Missoula’s PartnersCreative Named One of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work 2014

Missoula-based marketing agency PartnersCreative has been selected one of Outside magazine’s Best Places to Work 2014. Each year, Outside recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious and prioritize giving back to the community.

PartnersCreative is one of six workplaces in Montana selected in Outside’s list. The others include Seeley Lake Elementary (ranked #1 on the list), Ecology Project International in Missoula, Mercury CSC and Foundant Technologies in Bozeman, and Flathead Beacon in Kalispell.

“We’re thrilled and honored to be considered one of the best places to work in the country,” said Susan Ash, co-principal and president of PartnersCreative. “Every day it is our goal to make this a marketing agency where our employees thrive professionally and can find the optimal work-life balance while producing great work for our clients and community.”

Read what Outside has to say about PartnersCreative online.

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Kara Shapiro (foreground), a web developer in PartnersCreative’s digital department, meets with colleagues Lou Ghaddar (left), Jenny Scheuch (middle) and Joe Nickell (right) in the marketing agency’s conference room. Photo by Athena Photography.

To find the best places to work in the United States, Outside conducted a rigorous eight-month vetting process in partnership with the Best Companies Group to assess the policies, practices and demographics of hundreds of companies. They went straight to the employees to learn about factors like corporate culture, role satisfaction, work environment and overall employee engagement. The Best Places to Work list represents the cream of the crop: These are companies that cultivate a comfortable and collaborative workplace, enable their employees to enjoy the great outdoors and take pride in their roles in the community and the environment.

“If you’re considering a career change or searching for your dream job, Outside’s Best Places to Work list is the first place to look,” said Outside Executive Editor Michael Roberts. “These companies set the standard for workplaces that really value their employees and offer an experience that’s fulfilling inside and outside the office.”

Outside recognizes PartnersCreative’s extensive community work in the areas of economic development, public safety, social change, recreation and conservation, which notably include western Montana conservation efforts to secure open space lands and remove the Milltown Dam. The magazine also notes the agency’s backyard meeting/play space on Missoula’s Alder Street, which the principals purchased and converted from an abandoned lot with a sunken foundation to a beautiful green space used for potluck summer lunches, downtown business parties, spontaneous meetings and a quiet outdoor workspace.

PartnersCreative is owned by principals Susan Ash, Sean Benton and Steve Falen, all of whom left big-city ad agencies in the Midwest about 20 years ago to create more fulfilling lives in Missoula and in the outdoors of western Montana. The 17-person marketing agency, founded in 2000 and located on Woody Street in downtown Missoula, offers strategic planning, brand development, copy and design, Web design/programming, project management, media planning and buying, public relations and advertising services. The company is currently hiring in its media department with plans to hire in its account service, public relations and creative departments within the next year.

The complete list of Best Places to Work winners is featured here.

ABOUT PARTNERSCREATIVE: Located in Missoula, Montana, PartnersCreative offers marketing and communications services to clients throughout Montana and the United States. Founded in 2000, the agency works with clients in the industries of economic development, telecommunications, health care, insurance, technology, engineering, and recreation and tourism, as well as provides social change and public safety marketing to civic and nonprofit organizations. PartnersCreative specializes in strategic planning, brand development, copy and design, Web design/programming, project management, media planning and buying, public relations and advertising campaigns.

ABOUT OUTSIDE: Outside is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. Since 1977, Outside has covered travel, sports, adventure, health and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The Outside family includes Outside magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, Outside Books, and now Outside GO, a revolutionary, 21st-century adventure-travel company.

ABOUT THE BEST COMPANIES GROUP: Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country and internationally to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide, regional and industry basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies who have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence.