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Best Places to Work in Insurance 2014: Alltrust Insurance Inc.

Palm Harbor, Florida<br><br>RANK: 3<br><br>Small Employers, Benefits Brokers and Consultants

Best Places to Work in Insurance 2014: Alltrust Insurance Inc.

It's Alltrust Insurance Inc.'s focus on the “three Cs” that make the Palm Harbor, Florida-based benefits broker and consultant a great place to work, employees say.

Founder Joe Part always says “he's got the three Cs: His colleagues come first, the clients second and the community third,” said Kristen Andonian, an account executive at Alltrust. “If employees ... are happy and enjoying what they do, then that translates over to the client.”

One way Alltrust keeps employees happy and engaged is by catering lunch every day, Ms. Andonian said, adding that there are 34 employees in the Palm Harbor, Florida office.

“When I first started at Alltrust (seven years ago), Joe (Part) said there are two important things when building a relationship,” she said. “It's eating together and laughing together. And if you can do that, you'll form a strong bond with whoever you meet.”

Alltrust also boosts morale through dress-up theme days, flexible work hours and, most recently, the addition of a scholarship program for employees who want to pursue a master's degree or certification that relates to the business, CEO Sozon C. Vatikiotis said. The idea for the Alltrust Advancement Program first came up about 10 months ago, but the program policy was finalized this summer, he said.

“Anybody who decides to go and get certifications or advanced education gets a scholarship every six months to spend on ... books, materials, tuition, whatever it is,” Mr. Vatikiotis said. “We've very openly promoted going and getting this stuff done, and we'll subsidize the cost for it and give time off in order to make it happen.”

Absent from Alltrust's new advancement program policy is a clause requiring employees to stay with the company after obtaining a degree or certification.

“We've never had to put that in place,” Mr. Vatikiotis said. “It all goes back to hiring the right people. If you hire people who value what we do and are culturally in-line with who we are, we can make it fun to come to work, we don't have to worry about attrition.”

Mr. Vatikiotis added that Alltrust has a retention rate of about 97%.

“Pretty much every day I try to gauge what it is that our employees want and need,” Mr. Vatikiotis said. “And if it's something we can do within reason, we do it.”

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