Counselor

No. 20: Concord Marketing Solutions, Best Places To Work 2018

Counselor honors the top industry workplaces through an exclusive survey and rankings. Find out what makes Concord Marketing Solutions a great place to work!

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Rank: 20
Concord Marketing Solutions (asi/166445), Glendale Heights, IL

Staffers enjoying Bring Your Ugly Sweater to Work Day.

Benefits & Perks: Company covers 85% of employee health insurance costs and offers flexible work hours. Concord provides free computers for employees’ children when they graduate 8th grade.

Workspace Highlights: Employee-designed collaboration and relaxation stations with modern colors and furniture.


For employees at Concord Marketing Solutions, going to work is like heading in to see your second family. And that’s by design. Co-owners Kirk Graves and Robert Conte work hard to both create and maintain that culture, even as the company continues to grow. They lead by example – every employee is treated with respect and the entire office follows the golden rule of treating others as they want to be treated.

The family focus shows in office perks as well. Flexible hours are a key part of the culture. Work/life balance takes priority – if an employee needs to work from home, come in late or leave early, that’s completely acceptable. Leadership trusts that regardless of when they’re present in the office, the employees will do everything they need to do in order to complete both their work and family responsibilities.

“Our company is a positive place where people come to work but also socialize and deepen their relationships and friendships,” says Graves. “It’s a home away from home where camaraderie means having each other’s backs and helping one another.”

One of the firm’s biggest perks is for children of employees. In 2012, Concord began a computer giveaway program: every employee’s child gets a free computer when they graduate 8th grade. It’s just another way to bring family values to the company – inside and out – that employees truly appreciate. Employees even refer to Concord’s office as their “home away from home,” noting “co-workers try to treat each other the way they want to be treated, which creates the right atmosphere for people to work and co-exist.”

Concord was founded 25 years ago, in 1993, as a full-service marketing firm, with a goal to work with large corporations. In 2002, Concord began running company store programs with a pay-as-you-go model. Today, the firm offers custom packaging, fulfillment, incentive and recognition programs and international sourcing.

No doubt, employees here work hard, but they also party hard. Recent team events have included cube decorating extravaganzas, Bring Your Ugly Sweater to Work Days, holiday parties, cruises on nearby Lake Michigan, pig roasts and monthly birthday lunches.

“Our management promotes a healthy culture where all of us feel like members of a big family, and we all pitch in to make Concord the best place to work,” a 12-year staffer told us. “Each Thanksgiving we have a potluck, and everyone brings a new or traditional dish to share. We celebrate Halloween with crazy costumes, and Cinco de Mayo with a taco cart. We also make and exchange cookies, and every year we celebrate Christmas together, like a family.”

The employees were even able to work together on the newest feature of the company: three communal collaboration spaces. A team of Concord staffers helped to design the new office areas, which feature modern furniture and bright colors, all devised to boost creativity. Employees are encouraged to use the spaces for more than just collaboration – they’re also for rest and relaxation so people can recharge as needed throughout their workday.

One of Concord’s collaboration spaces.