In the article’s intro, author Gordy Megroz explained the criteria: “Enlightened companies seek ambitious individuals who work hard, think big, and crave life-affirming careers, lunchtime bike rides, and soul-expanding travel.”
All the companies selected for the list had a common thread, Megroz said in a phone interview. “They provided employees with great opportunities to go out and enjoy the outdoors and exercise.”
Megroz wrote about Outlaw culture: “Long hours, lots of creative energy flowing throughout the office, and people passionate about their work—that’s Outlaw in a nutshell.” He also noted perks like season passes to the local ski area, gym passes, the occasional cat-skiing trip in British Columbia and multi-day raft trips.
A skier himself, Megroz said the cat skiing trips definitely stuck out in his memory. “Not too many companies offer that. That sort of sold me.” The in-house music studio for blowing off steam on the drums is also “cool and different,” he said.
Outside went through a yearlong selection process to create the ‘top 100,’ identifying nonprofit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in a U.S. office. Participating companies received confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer-questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives and community outreach.
Best Companies Group, an external partner, analyzed the results and selected the companies that best enable employees to pursue active lifestyles while also supporting their social and environmental contributions.
Outside senior executive Michael Roberts described the top 100 as “forward-thinking companies [that] believe success depends on helping their employees live more active and fulfilling lives.”
In addition to lauding environmentally and community minded companies, Megroz said the idea was to highlight those that “just seem like the Outside readers’ ideal place to work.”
Outlaw, a fully integrated marketing, consulting, video production and media firm based in Big Sky, was founded in 2009 and has grown quickly. It now serves more than 400 clients and also owns and publishes the Big Sky Weekly, Mountain Outlaw magazine and explorebigsky.com.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized among such a prestigious list of companies,” said Outlaw CEO Eric Ladd. “Our team works incredibly hard to represent our clientele, and we’re very fortunate to work in this beautiful mountain town.”
“We always wanted to create a fun, dynamic company and have our team equally inspired with the projects and clients we work with,” said Outlaw COO Megan Paulson. “To be named as one of the top 100 in the county is something we can all be very proud of.”
The online story gets significant traffic on outsideonline.com, Megroz said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you get quite a few resumes flowing your way.”
Other businesses on the list include Osprey Packs, New Belgium Brewing, Horny Toad, Smith Optics and Backbone Media. From Montana, Mercury CSC, the ZaneRay Group, Seeley Lake Elementary School, Adventure Life and River Design Group were also included.
The full list of 100 is available at outsideonline.com/bestplacestowork. Profiles of the top 10 small, medium and large companies will be published in the September issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands Aug. 14.