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March 20, 2015 Best Places To Work In CT 2015

SMC Partners keeps it fun

The SMCmonsters participated for the second year in the Hartford DragonBoat Races and improved from C Division to the A Division.

SMC Partners LLC has grown exponentially since its 2007 inception through its commitment to the family atmosphere it was founded on.

A lot of businesses want to pride themselves on their flexibility, but few places make it the priority that SMC Partners does, said members of the Hartford-based companies staff, ranging from top-level executives to new hires.

When Julia Moore graduated from UConn last year, she was in a rare position to pick where she wanted to land.

A healthcare management major, she interned at Yale New Haven Health System for Women's Health Connecticut. She said she originally saw herself landing at a larger consulting firm and hadn't even heard of SMC Partners.

“I interviewed at quite a few places after graduating, but when I came across SMC I knew I found the right fit,” said Moore, who is now a business analyst.

That's because the company immediately accepted her into its family, she said, from the CEO's open-door policy to the endless activities like group fitness challenges and paintball, and support the company provides to employees, such as providing 100 percent coverage of medical expenses, four weeks vacation, and unlimited sick days.

Launched by Accenture alumnus Scott Cleary in 2007, SMC Partners LLC is an information-technology, business process, and data-driven consulting firm focused on implementing healthcare processes for providers, insurers, and other social service organizations.

Internally, they pride themselves on walking the walk when it comes to creating a personal and flexible environment for staff, Moore said.

Sheri Righi, an SMC director, is a part-time member of its executive team and mother of two. She said few places would allow her to hold on to an executive status and balance her family life the way she's able to at SMC.

About a week after her second child was born, Righi still was able to work by having a meeting with her team at her home.

Righi has been with SMC Partners since the beginning, and mentors more junior staff members. She said it is her goal that the job remains as challenging and rewarding for them as it has been for her.

“I would hope that they would say they get to learn every day on their job,” Righi said. “You should walk away every day with the feeling that you're fulfilled and you've learned something.”

Jonathan Besse, chief operating officer, said the company's commitment to flexibility allows him to coach sports leagues, mentor others, and serve on the board of trustees at Bay Path College in his hometown of East Longmeadow, Mass.

Besse arrived officially at the company in 2013, and oversees its expansion as it looks into branching out into new industries, new spaces, and new skill sets. The challenge, he said, is holding on to SMC's modern values and personal focus as part of any expansion.

“We don't want to grow at the expense of our people and the expense of not delivering to our clients, which is what we do best,” Besse said. “I'm really excited about where we're going.”

SMC Partners started with seven employees, and now boasts nearly 50, with more growth on the way, said Besse. New arrivals get four weeks of vacation, competitive compensation, and a 401(k) plan. SMC picks up the full premiums on the health savings accounts it offers, while chipping in $1,500 to defray any deductibles.

The company participates in the annual Dragon Boat races in Hartford each year. Employees are regulars at charity 5Ks, and this year, they will be covered in mud at the grueling, boot-camp themed Spartan Race.

“I plan to stay here as long as I can,” Moore said.

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