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Best Places to Work in Insurance 2013: EPIC

San Francisco<br><br>RANK: 2<br><br>Medium Employers, Retail Agents/Brokers

Best Places to Work in Insurance 2013: EPIC

The major theme that emerges while talking with employees at San Francisco-based Edgewood Partners Insurance Center Inc., a retail property/casualty and employee benefits insurance brokerage and consulting firm that does business as EPIC, is how much they support one another.

First and foremost, what makes EPIC a great place to work is its people, says Irvine, Calif.-based senior account manager Kim Pechar, who has been with the firm more than eight years. Everyone works as a team member at EPIC, she said. At other companies she has worked for, the attitude is “"I'm a producer. I'm here to sell and you're here to process.' That's not how it is here,” she said.

Furthermore, at EPIC “you will always have someone who will actually listen to you, take your advice and maybe implement something,” said Ms. Pechar.

San Francisco-based account manager Zohreh Talebzadeh, who has worked at the company almost seven years, said what makes it a good place to work is “the environment, the camaraderie, and the effort everyone makes, which is truly a team effort to ensure we're not only servicing our client as best we can, but servicing each other to ensure the best outcome possible.”

“It's very energetic and open. It's truly like a family, but also like a sports team, where you always know whom to pick for the right team,” said Ms. Talebzadeh. And, “if someone's stuck, there's always someone there to help them out.”

Corporate environments, where she has worked previously, “can be very cold, very closed off and kind of robotic, so to speak, where EPIC is just one big family, and we're all connected and very happy to be here.”

EPIC co-founder and President John Hahn said, “I think we're kind of a unique blend of culture and teamwork and entrepreneurialism and passion. We believe in work/life balance. We have a blend of experienced people, and also young people, and I think we find a way to have fun and celebrate.”

Most large companies, he added, “have lost their focus on that, and they worry about shareholders.” EPIC's philosophy is “if you create a great place for people to work and be productive and satisfied, they do great work for their clients, and if they do great work for their clients, our shareholders will be rewarded.”

Employees say they love EPIC's benefits, including its 401(k) match and wellness program, and that it “provides open and honest communication.” They say it also provides generous paid company holidays, including an EPIC Appreciation Day that employees can take at their discretion.