We’ve all heard the saying before: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
But is that really possible? To go into work every day… and truly love it? Employees at the nine businesses profiled in this year’s Lynchburg Business Best Places to Work awards say, “Yes, it’s possible!”
After receiving numerous nominations from the community, we selected these organizations based on their company culture and community impact. From flexible hours to professional development opportunities, learn what makes each of these businesses stand out among the rest in Central Virginia.
Century 21 All-Service
COMPANY BIO: Broker/Owner Kevin Turner grew up in Bedford and began his career in real estate at the age of 21. He bought his first franchise in 1995. Over the years, he acquired other real estate firms and now has a total of five offices throughout Central Virginia. The name was eventually changed to Century 21 ALL-SERVICE. The company culture is one of family and teamwork—they strive each day to educate the 90+ agents and staff so they can give 121% to their clients.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: Century 21 ALL-SERVICE encourages success through mentoring, training and a support staff second to none. The motto “Family First” is very important to the Management Team and, on any given day, you may see employees’ children or even a family pet roaming the halls. The company also believes in recognizing a job well done by celebrating with the entire team through award breakfasts, top producer events and rallies, each highlighted with extensive advertising.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: Century 21 ALL-SERVICE is always looking for ways to be involved. The company is an active member with the local chamber of commerce organizations and many team members serve on local boards. The company participates annually with the Bedford Christmas Station, Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, to name just a few. Employees also help raise money for fundraisers for charities including the American Cancer Society, Gleaning for the World and Relay for Life.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I could not think of a better place to work. This is a forward-thinking company that keeps pace with the times, while still staying true to the concept of family first.” – Janet Walker, Advertising Coordinator and Forest Administrator.
“As an employee of 12 years with Century 21 ALL-SERVICE, I’ve been blessed enough to move up in the company and work side by side with the Broker/Owner. Not only to call Mr. Turner my boss but my friend! Kevin is a great family man and he’s been instrumental in making certain I have time with my grandsons. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else!” – Shelia Klein, Relocation Director.
CVFP Medical Group
COMPANY BIO: Central Virginia Family Physicians (CVFP) Medical Group is an established independent medical practice with seven regional primary care offices, three immediate care facilities, a central laboratory, a diagnostic center, sports medicine clinic, and a student health center. The team is committed to its vision of serving patients and being a positive change in healthcare by delivering high quality, cost-effective healthcare services while also providing a great patient experience.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: CVFP, at its core, is a big family taking care of other families. Team members enjoy a family-inclusive summer picnic, annual team member appreciation week festivities and prizes, Christmas parties, years of service recognition, participation in the Lynchburg Heart Walk, incentive bonuses and free/discounted primary care. Leaders are passionate about aligning team members with roles and teams that best showcase their skillsets. Team members are passionate about helping people have better health for a better life.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: CVFP provides primary care services for approximately 100,000 patients within the greater Lynchburg area and surrounding communities. CVFP corporately participates and fundraises for the American Heart Association Lynchburg Heart Walk, provides sideline coverage for many area high school and college football teams, conducts a CVFP Giving Back Week that raises funds for local nonprofits, and sponsors/participates in various community events throughout the year.
IN THEIR WORDS: “Working at CVFP is a true blessing! I love this family of coworkers and how well we mesh together. Even though it’s crazy busy most of the time, everyone works together as a team.” – Lori Rakes, Clinical Team Member
“At CVFP, we believe our team members are deserving of our very best. Creating a culture that values and supports our team members is important to us and we are constantly looking for ways to improve.” – Shawn Crawford, CEO
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
COMPANY BIO: ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC is a premier provider of geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, environmental consulting and facilities engineering services across Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. With more than 600 employees and over 30 years of experience, ECS is equipped to help clients through the entire project cycle for both the private and public sectors. The ECS Lynchburg office is a satellite of and works closely with the ECS Roanoke office.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: ECS Lynchburg has been “Setting the Standard for Service” for more than a decade. ECS offices are fun and relaxed with highly motivated and driven employees. Dependable and steady growth, a wide variety of projects and team members with solid industry experience combine to make ECS thrive. The company works hard for clients—from local businesses to national retail chains and area universities—and plays hard at team building events and activities.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: ECS is an employee-owned firm that stands behind a commitment to community involvement. Their team has the power to positively impact the lives of thousands of people and the company sponsors events and support causes close to where they live and work. Select examples of ECS staff members’ community involvement: CANstruction, Avon Walk to End Breast Cancer, Kindergarten STEM Education Program, The Lunch Project and EXPLORING youth education program.
IN THEIR WORDS: “My proudest moment at ECS was the day I was presented with my 10-year award. To hit a decade and still feel as excited to go to work and get the day going as you did that very first day of work is such an amazing feeling!” – Heidi RosaRuiz, AR Manager
“All employees regardless of position have a voice that is welcomed and considered.” – Gary Syslo, Facilities Department Manager
COMPANY BIO: Electronic Design & Manufacturing (EDM) was started in 1990 with three employees and has grown to 70 employees today. Founder Robert Roberts sold the company to employees prior to his retirement—today, EDM is 100% owned by its employees through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). EDM is a contract manufacturer of printed circuit board assemblies and acts as the manufacturing arm for customers. The manufacturing facility includes high tech automated machinery as well as hand assembly performed by an outstanding workforce.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: Since EDM is employee-owned, the company works hard to have a culture of information sharing. Employee owners receive regular updates on customers, financial information, quality and important company issues. Manufacturing employees work flex hours and many get to enjoy leaving at noon on Fridays. EDM also tries to incorporate fun whenever possible with food trucks, lunch time cookouts, and other food-related activities.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: EDM believes in giving back to the local community and has throughout its history been a financial supporter of local nonprofit organizations. In addition, EDM employees perform hands-on community impact activities such as packing take-home meal bags for Daily Bread clients and organizing holiday gift boxes for local children in need.
IN THEIR WORDS: “It’s rare to work someplace where everyone pulls together so well to build a product. Employees are committed to doing the best for the customer and we support each other to get the job done.” – Michael Butler, Surface Mount Associate
“At EDM you are part of a team and your voice counts. Employee ownership makes you think like an owner. We are like family here.” – Teresa Angel, Purchasing/
“The real secret to EDM’s success is our people. We are fortunate to have a team of exceptional people and they are what makes this a great place to work.”
– Georgeann Snead, President/CEO
COMPANY BIO: Intercon has carved its niche by providing custom cable assemblies and wire harnessing to manufacturers across every industry since 1987. The company prides itself on the capability to build equipment according to customer specifications. From local Forest-based companies to Fortune 500 partners, Intercon has built a reputation of quality and service in its globally competitive field.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: Intercon truly believes that “teamwork makes the dream work” and puts a major emphasis on rewarding employees and having fun. The sole purpose of the Activities Committee is to build and sustain a positive company culture. Examples include paid time off for meeting production goals, an annual outdoor Employee Appreciation Day, Christmas party, cornhole tournaments, March Madness bracket and hot shot tournaments, quarterly lunches, and various holiday parties.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: Intercon sponsors several local community organizations and nonprofits such as area school fundraisers, team sports, canned food drives for Lynchburg Daily Bread, and blood drives for the Red Cross. They have also partnered with Bedford One, Jefferson Forest High School, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, local universities, and the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services to build employment opportunities through internships, jobs, and company tours.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I love Team Intercon! It is such a friendly place with great people. I love our exciting events, rewards, and contests such as cornhole tournaments, quarterly lunches, and an entertaining Employee Appreciation Day and fun-filled Christmas party.” – Jeanna Markham, Inventory Control Specialist
“I love that Intercon gives us the opportunity to earn extra paid days off for hitting company goals. Last year we were rewarded with an additional 7 paid days off throughout the year. It was the best Christmas present ever when we hit our annual goal and closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day!” – Sharon Pfister, Buyer
Liberty Christian Academy
COMPANY BIO: Since its founding in 1967, Liberty Christian Academy has existed to support parents and guardians in their biblical responsibility to nurture and train their children. It is the mission of LCA to provide opportunities that allow students to realize their God-given potential and to live lives that glorify God in the spiritual, academic, social, physical and vocational realms. LCA has grown to now educate ages 2 all the way through grade 12.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: Employees (also known as TEAM LCA) are always encouraged to challenge the system respectfully in order to “make it better,” as Dr. John Patterson, Head of Schools, would say. TEAM LCA is encouraged to get fit spiritually, physically, relationally, emotionally, and financially so that each team member is able to fulfill their respective roles successfully. TEAM LCA also conducts peer reviews quarterly and welcomes feedback in order to not grow complacent.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: LCA works to positively impact the community surrounding it. LCA has its own BETA club that constantly does work in the community—from serving others to making dog treats for the humane society. LCA also partners with Freedom 4/24 every year to raise money for human trafficking and help take care of the girls who have been rescued.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I love working at LCA because I believe in our mission. God has a great purpose for each of our students and I’m grateful to have a role in that. I’m so glad that my family and I are part of Bulldog Nation.” – Amy Love, Director of Curriculum
“Working at LCA is a joy because we all support each other in the common goals of our mission statement. The love and encouragement given by the entire LCA faculty, staff and our families is phenomenal. I am blessed to be a part of the LCA family.” – April Bauserman, 2nd Grade Teacher
Selective Wealth Management
COMPANY BIO: Selective was founded on the simple belief that owning high quality businesses over long periods of time would result in superior investment results when compared to the widely adopted concept of broad diversification. Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Chris Devlin, discovered his first Selective company more than a decade ago. Formerly a nuclear engineer, Chris began investing on behalf of friends and family in 2009. Selective now has hundreds of clients across 38 states.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: At the heartbeat of Selective is a dynamic and unique work culture that’s driven by the belief that people do their best work when they enjoy where they work. CEO Matthew Schubert does an excellent job evaluating the right fit from a culture perspective. This is a company that empowers its employees to become problem solvers while giving them the necessary tools to succeed.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: Selective has always operated by the core value of adding value to its customers. This idea is born from a culture that looks to serve others on both a professional and individual level. Employees serve and lead in various capacities across the greater Lynchburg community. Currently, many employees of Selective serve with an organization called Open Table.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I’m challenged intellectually every day. The emphasis on professional development is terrific.” – Matthew Turner, CPA
“Selective has an extraordinary team of talented people with positive attitudes and excellent work ethic. I think this unique culture makes it fun to come into work each day and serve our clients.” – Chris Devlin, Founder
COMPANY BIO: Sonny Merryman, Inc. was founded in 1967 by the late Floyd W. Merryman (Sonny) and his wife, Lou. From its humble beginnings in Rustburg, the company has become Virginia’s largest and most experienced bus dealership and employs nearly 200 people. The company operates four sales and service centers throughout the state: Central Virginia (Evington-Headquarters), Hampton Roads (Chesapeake), Northern Virginia (Manassas), and Greater Richmond (Ashland), which opened in 2018.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: On the last Thursday of every month, employees gather together for what they call “Popcorn Palooza” for company-provided snacks and beverages, as well as to recognize the Employee of the Month. Throughout the year, the company also hosts numerous other employee events such as games at the Hillcats stadium in the company box, tickets to LU baseball games, an annual Employee Family Picnic, and summer ice cream luncheons.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: Sonny Merryman employees host an annual Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive, ring the Salvation Army bell, serve on local emergency response teams, sponsor local youth athletics programs, and also offer their time to local nonprofits and association boards. In 2018, the company provided more than $150,000 in support to numerous nonprofits and philanthropic efforts.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I started working at Sonny Merryman 2.5 years ago with no previous experience in the automotive field. Since starting I’ve been provided with numerous resources, training, and a strong team of individuals that have fostered my professional growth. As a company, we have a collective ‘can-do’ attitude, which I believe much of our success can be attributed to.” – John Hatcher, Technician
“It’s a very family-oriented workplace. I feel empowered to not only be a great employee but also a great mom.” – April Droog, Warranty Analyst
Stewart Langley Properties
COMPANY BIO: Stewart Langley Properties was founded in 2008 in a long family tradition of Property Management beginning with Stewart’s father. B. A. Langley bought his first rental property in downtown Lynchburg in 1962 and in 1991, he invited his children into the business. Today, Stewart Langley Properties consists of over 1,000 apartments, duplexes, and single-family homes in the Lynchburg area and is proud to provide homes that are a great value to those in the community.
WORKPLACE CULTURE: The company is fostered by the philosophy that the employees are the most important asset. In an industry known for frequent turnover, the majority of the staff remain long-term employees. Employees truly enjoy working together and are dedicated to excellence, quality interactions, and workplace harmony. Stewart generously provides the opportunity for a monthly bonus to every team member as well as multiple social events throughout the year to continue building work cohesion and friendships.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: By providing well-maintained and well-managed properties at a fair price, Stewart Langley Properties currently provides a great place to call home for over 2,000 individuals. The owner, president, and staff volunteer in multiple ways across the state. Stewart Langley Properties invests in the local community by supporting many local charities through generous contributions each year, including The Boys and Girls Club, The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, the Academy Center of the Arts, and many others.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I look forward to coming into work each day to make a difference in our community. I genuinely enjoy what I do and the people I work with. I feel honored to be a part of the team.” – Katie Hargis, Leasing Manager
“I like the team atmosphere that is evident throughout the company. We all work together to reach a common goal, and we are constantly brainstorming ideas to be better.” – Luther Maddy, Leasing Consultant