If three years of writing this special report has revealed anything in aggregate, it is that Oklahoma’s economy, fueled by private industry, is far more diverse than many people may imagine. Yes, the fields most associated with Oklahoma make up a large portion of the state’s employers: energy, agriculture, aerospace and manufacturing. But with lower profiles are the countless other business entities, large and small, that support those major sectors, and businesses in other fields fewer people associate with the Sooner State, such as biomedical and several other branches of technology-based commerce.
Most, if not all of, these diverse aspects of Oklahoma’s economy have revealed themselves in this special report over the past three years. Either in companies that have made it into the pages of the report to follow, or in those who have been nominated and are not yet ready to be included in the lofty litany, countless businesses have been excited to participate in Great Companies To Work For.
Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the two CEOs we’ve opted to interview in conjunction with Great Companies – both of whom happen to head companies honored in this special report. Not long ago, neither Oklahoma Magazine staff and advisors nor most in Oklahoma may have heard of Oklahoma City-based QuiBids.com. Meanwhile, Tulsa’s Bama Companies is an icon of almost a century known to virtually every local resident. Helmed respectively by our interview subjects, Matt Beckham and Paula Marshall, these great companies came to the attention of Oklahoma Magazine in our first Great Companies To Work For editions. We discuss their different paths to success and what it is about their company culture makes them great places at which to work. We’re honored to feature them this year, when once again the very-different QuiBids and Bama are recognized in these pages.
That diversity illustrates the ongoing challenge to evaluate employers that are very different. Once again, this year Oklahoma Magazine offers A Sample of Great Companies To Work For, in which the best effort has been made to evaluate businesses that can be relatively compared, as well as spotlight various employment sectors that rationally have to be evaluated internally because they stand out so distinctly from other sectors.
Companies selected for inclusion in all parts of this special section were selected based on evaluation of data submitted via online application, in some cases a two-step procedure, as well as automatic renomination and re-evaluation of companies who appeared in or applied for inclusion in previous Great Companies. Business and community leaders were also asked for nominations, which was followed by data collection and evaluation. In a non-scientific method based on the collection and evaluation of company data, employee perspective, public recognition and contribution to their communities, Oklahoma Magazine endeavored once again to identify the state’s great employers, in a score of sectors and sizes and present to you a little information about each.
Now in its third year, 2013 Great Companies To Work For demonstrates that our often-underexposed diversity is our strength.