01/21/18 — Local company makes 'Fortune' list of nation's top companies to work for

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Local company makes 'Fortune' list of nation's top companies to work for

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 21, 2018 3:05 AM

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Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. employees President Bret Strickland, Vicki Terrell, Veronica Davis, Chief Executive Officer Bobby Strickland, Kim Head and Paul Aycock, executive vice president of agency services, at the company's Goldsboro headquarters where its Great Place to Work insignia is prominently displayed.

Employees of Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. working from the Strickland Insurance Group home office in Goldsboro rated the company as one of the best places to work in the nation.

The rating, based on an anonymous survey of nearly 100 employees, including 85 in Goldsboro, led to Atlantic Casualty Co. making the "Fortune" list of 50 Best Small Workplaces.

Company executives recently learned that the company made the cut, at No. 38, on the "Fortune" list and received the Great Place to Work designation for 2017.

"I think what's important here is it's not what other people said about us," said Cathy Graham, Atlantic Casualty human resources director. "It's what our employees said about us.

"It's based on the results of what the employees themselves say about working for Atlantic Casualty. It's a huge honor."             

The ranking was generated from anonymous surveys of employees that included six categories. Employees gave the company a 99 percent score for each category, saying the company has great bosses, communication, rewards, pride, challenges and a great atmosphere.

"This is just more affirmation that what we say is being recognized," said Bret Strickland, president and chief operating officer.

Nationwide, more than 74,000 employees provided input about their companies, at small and medium workplaces, of which two "Fortune" lists were generated.

"To get 38 out of that, that's outstanding," said Bobby Strickland, chief executive officer and co-founder of the Strickland Insurance Group, established in Goldsboro in 1970.

Today the Strickland Insurance Group Holding Co. operates Atlantic Casualty in three locations, including Scottsdale, Ariz., and Hartford, Conn.

"It was an honor," Strickland said. "Anytime that you can take and look at those categories and get a 90 percent, that's 9 out of 10. To me, that says a lot about the company. And we practice it.

"We go out of our way, I think, to try to have a great place to work, and this is a reward for it."

Each year, "Fortune" also releases its 100 best companies to work for list, with more well-known employers rising to the top, including Google, Edward Jones and Quicken Loans.

"We were the only company in North Carolina that were on that list," said Paul Aycock, Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. executive vice president of agency services.

Atlantic Casualty received an award and added a Great Place to Work 2017 insignia on the wood floor inside the company's headquarters, on Commerce Drive.

"We have bragging rights for 12 months," Graham said.

The family oriented culture of the company, as well as local charitable efforts, is what sets it apart, company officials said.

In 2016 alone, employees raised $30,000 in support of area needs. Close to half of the amount went toward Relay for Life.

Other fundraising supported families in need, co-worker needs and nonprofit organizations. Employees support churches, emergency and fire services, schools and various needy families.

"It depends what we are made aware of," Graham said. "We try to make sure it's a local event or somebody who's going to benefit from it.

"We have a really caring atmosphere here. Everyone rallies around to help employees, whatever the difficulty might be, and we help the community in the same way."

"Forbes," which listed the top 50 Best Small Workplaces on its website, also included comments that were provided by employees of the company.

"I have never worked for a company where the owners/executives know each employee by name," one employee wrote.

"They take the time to speak with you not only in the workplace but also outside the workplace. I feel like part of the family."~