Juicy Perks At Tangerine Promotions

Atmosphere At Northbrook, IL Distributor Is Casual But Productive

Tangerine PromotionsThe employees at Tangerine Promotions (asi/341609) gathered at the back of their growing office, where the walls are accented in the company's signature color and custom promotions are splayed everywhere. COO and CFO Adam Rosenbaum announces the recipient of the company's quarterly employee award by reading off compliments and quotes from fellow employees: taking the lead in the agency process, always willing to help in any situation and "this is a direct quote," Rosenbaum added, "'She works her ass off.'" The winner was revealed to be Senior Account Manager Catherine Iannuzzi, who was so surprised that she could barely keep her emotions in check. "Why am I so nervous?" she wondered out loud as she accepted the award. Later she would excitedly chat with her co-workers as the company's 30 employees at its Nortbrook, IL headquarters dug into a celebratory lunch.

"It's cause we all work so closely together," Iannuzzi said later when asked about the camaraderie between the employees, citing the constant collaboration and sharing of ideas. "You don't feel like a lone man on an island here," she adds. "Here you are part of the team."

Steve Friedman and Rosenbaum head that team, which has experienced explosive growth (500% over the last five years) and now places on the Counselor Top 40 list with $45 million last year in revenue. Friedman, a long-time employee at Halo, started the company 12 years ago that today specializes in highly customized wearables and promotional products for liquor companies and others. The distributor prizes creative types "who can source anything," says Friedman. "They work long hours and they can think outside the box. Everyone here is super energetic." Rosenbaum says the company does very little outside recruiting to find new employees, instead relying on employee referalls to bring in qualified candidates.

The company offers a wealth of perks that engenders loyalty and leads to practically zero turnover. Top salespeople get to go on a trip at the choosing of the number one salesperson. After a year, employees earn the chance to work occasionally from home and can take every other Friday off during the summer. Friedman and Rosenbaum lean on Creative Director Dave Glick to be a one-man Fun Committee, who orgnaizes BBQs and happy hours and doles out gold stars to high achievers. Recently on a spur-of-the-moment whim, Glick brought back ice cream and rolled it around in the office on a cart. "I put on the Good Humor music and just walked around yelling 'ice cream,' " says Glick with eagerness.

Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere is casual but productive; even Rosenbaum sports flip-flops four days a week during the summer. "We want everyone here to be comfortable," Rosenbaum says. "I know I'm definitely happier wearing flip-flops."