2022 Best Places to Work SoCal Winners

2022 Best Places to Work SoCal Winners

Small Employer Category (15-49 US Employees)



  • Location: San Diego, California

  • Industry: Architecture & Design

  • Employees: 28

A people-driven workplace, Cultura’s goal is for its team to find balance in their work and home lives. Driven to success, the staff enjoys bonuses and profit sharing, and is afforded unlimited PTO. The YOLO Committee creates fun and joy, including Random All-Company Mental Health Days where all meetings are canceled, and the out-of-office sign is turned on. Supported by an environment that encourages speaking up, everyone knows they have the authority to make day-to-day decisions.

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The Bahnsen Group

A high-performing team with a culture of caring about employees, this investment strategy and wealth management experience company was named the single best place to work in Orange County last year. A place where game nights, team lunches, employee milestone celebrations and an annual golf tournament are regular features of work life but are just the warm-up for the annual all-expenses-paid retreat to various locations across the country. Employees say The Bahnsen Group listens to their concerns, provides transparent communication, and can be trusted.

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Blue Skies Consulting

Founded on the idea of creating a fun and challenging place to work that is rooted in work-life integration, Blue Skies demonstrates it cares about employees from the interview process through retirement. A boutique specialty management consulting firm, it offers free health insurance without co-pay, unlimited PTO, flexible work schedules, unlimited budgets for client relationship building and an employee satisfaction committee that has the CEO’s ear. Throw in an annual all-weekend party for all employees and plus-ones, and you’ve got a place where people work hard and play hard.

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Konnect Agency

  • Location: Los Angeles, California

  • Industry: Advertising/PR/Marketing

  • Employees: 43

Everyone is an individual at Konnect, a full-service PR and digital marketing agency specializing in strategy, media, creative, influencer relations and advertising to grow your brand. Employees “pick the perks” that meet their individual needs, like gym reimbursement, wellness reimbursement, cash, or paid time off. The agency is genuinely committed to creating a collaborative and an inviting atmosphere for all, with impressive benefits, telecommuting options, unique amenities, and a culture like no other. Annual all-expenses-paid trips to exotic locations have included Bermuda, Mexico, and Romania. Konnect has earned a spot of Inc. Magazine’s Best Places to Work list five times in the last six years.

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Shoreline Dental Studio

Creating an unparalleled work environment where like-minded individuals not only thrive but grow into the best versions of themselves shouldn’t be like pulling teeth. Shoreline Dental Studio fosters a positive, fun, and healthy work environment by sponsoring team and family events that promote positive culture and foster employee relationships. The company views success as simply leaving people (patients or team members) better when they leave than when they arrived.

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Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys LLP

Employees of this boutique law firm can earn all-expenses-paid weeklong vacations for meeting fiscal goals, and win monetary prizes for going above and beyond, referring cases, or receiving compliments for their service. Selected a Best Place to Work for nine consecutive years, the firm cares about work-life balance and provides resources and encouragement for continuous education and personal growth. Employees look forward to the team bonding bar competitions complete with themed decorations and costumes, food, and prizes.

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Smarty, LLC

Smarty is a free web browser extension, cashback savings portals and mobile app that helps shoppers save money as they shop online by providing cash back rewards. Rated the sixth best place to work last year, Smarty is back on the list as a place where catered lunches, hybrid work schedules, and an annual Halloween party make coming to work fun. Open communication and transparency are important values at Smarty, where every member of the team is welcome to voice new ideas and feedback which helps foster innovation and genuine teamwork.

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Keystone Law Group, P.C.

Employees at Keystone enjoy various team bonding activities such as seasonal parties, escape rooms, happy hours, volunteering opportunities, family playdates, wellness, and sporting events. In addition, Keystone celebrates employees for Employee Appreciation Day by throwing in a full week of activities featuring breakfast tacos, a catered lunch, chair massages and more. The firm believes in having a good work/life balance offering attorneys the ability to reduce their billable hours. A Certified Green Business, Keystone employees teamed up for the annual Kickin’ Cancer 5K Run, Walk, and Stroll to fight women’s cancers, raising over $15,000.

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Startr Co.

  • Location: Los Angeles, California

  • Industry: Advertising/PR/Marketing

  • Employees: 15

The PR firm for small businesses and startups, Startr Co. has an unwavering commitment to its team and fosters an intrapreneurial environment where employees have fun brainstorming, cheering for each other, and celebrating as a team. They have even established a dedicated chat room to praise employees for outstanding performance. The staff can look forward weekly to early closings every Friday during the summer and winter, and to regular company-sponsored happy hours, lunches, and dinners. The fun culminates in an annual, all-inclusive company retreat at exciting locations. For their daily health and wellness, employees have the option to enroll in a customized perk option that fits each individual.

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Be Structured Technology Group

If there are flowers awaiting you at your desk at Be Structured, it must be your work anniversary; a date employees celebrate with gusto. The monthly pizza Fridays and company outings, plus the large, quarterly, fun-filled retreats, help break up the work days and let off steam. Be Structured, an IT support company, is flexible – flexible work hours, a gaming corner for work breaks, and a kitchen full of employee-chosen snacks help make the office a comfortable place to do business.

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  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Industry: Advertising/PR/Marketing
  • Employees: 45

Selected as a Best Place to Work three times by Inc. magazine and four times by Entrepreneur magazine, Smashtech is a place where diversity is a norm, not a policy. The company hires for skills and cultural fit and then ensures that employees thrive. This vertically integrated marketing company performs bi-annual reviews based on core values and core competencies of each role and performs 360 peer and bottom-up feedback for team leads, managers, and directors. Managers request constant employee feedback and offer numerous pathways to personal growth.

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Mission edge san diego

  • Location: San Diego, California

  • Industry: Non-profit – Health & Human Services
  • Employees: 32

Mission Edge’s employees are treated as professionals, given autonomy to perform in their roles, and are provided all of the necessary tools and resources to succeed whether they are in person, fully remote, or working a hybrid schedule. The agency makes a consistent effort to keep employees engaged and connected through various events including learning club, webinars and seminars, holiday celebrations (including costume contests, pumpkin carving, ugly holiday sweater contest, etc.), team and organization-wide meetings, plus frequent updates in company chats. Furthering their mission of helping non-profits scale their operations, Mission Edge offers staff paid time off to volunteer in the community.

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  • Location: Los Angeles, California

  • Industry: Advertising/PR/Marketing
  • Employees: 42

Ad.net is a performance-based advertising marketplace outside of major search engines, where world leading brands can find new customers. With its product summit, unlimited PTO, bonus compensation for new ideas, fireside chats, office, virtual happy hours, and multi-day retreats, Ad.net empowers employees to be self-starters, from entry-level positions to high-ranking executives. From the office’s open floor plan to the ability to connect virtually while working from home, the workplace is designed to invite collaboration, team building, and creative thinking that drives a sense of individuality as well as personal and professional growth for staff members.

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Guardian Litigation Group

At the employment law firm Guardian Litigation, genuinely kind people root for one another and make each other laugh. The game room, silly contests, and offbeat holiday celebrations (like having pie on Pi Day) keep things light. Employees feel secure and empowered by an employer that shows it cares about them — and provides them with snacks and coffee throughout their work time. This is a place where everyone looks forward to their birthday because it means food and a gift card from the company.

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BJA Partners

  • Location: Solana Beach, California
  • Industry: Insurance (non-healthcare)
  • Employees: 15

BJA Partners, a full-service insurance brokerage and consulting firm, is dedicated to ensuring that employees are happy by providing company-sponsored events, holiday parties, and employee recognition through gift cards and dog days at the corporate office. Employees enjoy a great PTO package with work hour flexibility, the option to work from home, and office closure at 3pm on Friday. A multiple-time Best Place to Work, BJA values employee wellness and family life balance. Quarterly perks like gifting everyone gas gift cards, restaurant delivery gift cards, movie gift cards and more are a big hit.

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gish Seiden LLP

As an international accounting firm, gish Seiden has employees spread across the globe. Nonetheless, the firm finds ways to engage the entire staff, no matter where they are, with virtual social events like trivia night, virtual escape room, and Bingo. Named a Best Place to Work multiple times over the last decade, the firm offers weekly gift card drawings and lightens the stress during tax season with games and contests. Employees enjoy such fun as ice cream social hours and Nerf fun competitions and share the company’s success with bonuses twice annually.

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At HireClout – a premier tech recruiting and consulting company focusing on technology, product and IT roles – culture isn’t about company outings; it’s about providing leadership opportunities and the two-way exchange that sets up transparency, encourages accountability, fosters trust, and leads to ownership of core values. Employees enjoy all the usual team building events, celebrations, lunches, and game room, but what really sets the company apart is professional and personal growth opportunities – taking interest in everyone’s lives as people and not just replaceable employees.

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The Buddy Group

The Buddy Group is a business and marketing consultancy that believes in the power of story to create common ground, develop strategy, guide execution, establish a movement, rally a community and grow an exceptional business. Team culture is rooted in an open and creative environment that encourages story, empathy, and collaboration as its core values. They espouse a collaborative and creative environment where everyone has a voice, where pets are allowed and where employees enjoy team breakfasts and lunches.

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Hart, Inc.

A healthcare technology company that helps clients use and access data, Hart has built a work environment that allows employees to come as they are, be challenged and supported, and make an impact. Besides top-notch benefits like a wellness stipend, guided meditation, and gifts for significant contributions, the company offers opportunities for personal and professional growth through their on-site Hart University. The company says it sees “the value in continuous growth and learning, never taking the easy way but only the best way. Hart does this all while enjoying the journey and the process.”

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Objective, Investment Banking & Valuation

  • Location: San Diego, California

  • Industry: Financial Services – Other
  • Employees: 20

Objective, Investment Banking & Valuation is innovating the old model of investment banks. It prioritizes employee development and growth, transparency, and collaboration. Everything it does is focused on core values of client and team member fulfillment, collaboration, hard work, consistent excellence, and client objectives. The culture focuses on mental health, work-life balance, and transparency in communication. An example of that transparency: quarterly, the CEO presents all of the company’s financials for the quarter, the potential bonus pools and all the initiatives being worked on. “I’ve never experienced that anywhere else,” said one employee.

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TalentZok is the premier specialized staffing firm dedicated to clients’ success by matching the best talent with leading organizations. Their recruitment process is designed to be smooth and efficient – making the best matches seamless. The company believes that creating a cool organization in which to work they must live and breathe their core values, which they call their TZ Cöde. Those values are:

• Nothing Falls Between the Cracks

• Everything is Awesome!

• Compete for Fun. Compete to Win.

• I’ve Got Your Back

• Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

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Mariners Escrow Corporation

Mariners Escrow Corporation is a full-service escrow company that has been servicing the coastal real estate community for 40 years. As a testament to its positive workplace culture, half its 30 staff members have been with the company for over a decade, and 8 have over 20 years of loyal service. A Best Place to Work for the fifth consecutive year, its taco truck treats, Friday happy hours and onsite massages and manicures are among the employee perks.

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Everett Dorey LLP

Since its inception, this full-service civil litigation firm has worked to promote a culture of diversity, inclusion, collaboration, appreciation, and teamwork. Everett Dorey believes that providing a supportive work environment encourages team members to strive for excellence and be bold in its pursuit. The firm’s unwavering support of staff during COVID and the seamless transition to remote work inspired trust in the management team. Offering flexible hours and 20 hours of volunteering time annually boost employee morale, as do fun activities like Friday e-cards, virtual trivia, picnics and birthday celebration, and the weeklong Admin Appreciation Day celebration.

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O&S CPAs & Business Advisors

O&S, a rapidly growing Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm, aims to treat its staff like internal clients and encourage a work-life balance. They strive continuously to develop a fun, diverse and inclusive firm culture with core values of integrity, passion and future-forward thinking and training, and office culture that fosters collaboration, teamwork and opportunity. The annual baseball game outings, business and employee referral bonuses, and Halloween costume contests add to the positive work atmosphere.

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EH Private Bank

EH is a small private bank that knows our clients by name, understands their banking needs, and works as a team to provide the highest level of service possible. It provides a flexible work environment that fosters good communication, recognition and input by all members of the team – combined with high levels of support from all tiers of leadership. Perks include 95% health premium coverage, remote work with bank-provided technology, and $2500 referral bonuses. The company’s motto is: “Understanding that exceptional people create exceptional circumstances.”

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DBS Bank Ltd.

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Industry: Banking
  • Employees: 41

The defining characteristic of the DBS culture is a true sense of purpose. Born from roots as a development bank, there is palpable sense of wanting to make positive impact and do real things for real people and their businesses. Staff work hard, but also strive to create a joyful work culture where people are energized by being part of a great team and having fun. Named a Best Place to Work by various publications, DBS offers such unusual benefits as leave for military spouses, a Xbox playroom, meeting-free Fridays, and a WeTQ (We Than-Q!) recognition program with team dinners and more.

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Crest Imperial

Crest services the largest craft beer market in the country, selling over 17 million cases to more than 4,700 customers annually in Southern California. Nominated for this award by employees, Crest creates a culture where staff feel engaged, appreciated, and fulfilled. Naturally, free beer is a perk of working at a beer distributor, but how about the customized Nike shoes, the “You Got Caught” recognition program, and the weeks of employee appreciation. Crest also demonstrates a heightened focus on responsibility, safety, wellness, and training.

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CompassX Consulting

A leading business and technology consulting firm, CompassX Consulting believes employees should be well paid, inspired to keep learning, and not have to live on a plane or sacrifice their personal life to have that experience. The company prides itself on a “fun and adventurous” culture, regularly organizing hikes, beach parties, and sporting events for employees and their partners to attend. Employees here are well-recognized and engaged: monthly awards are distributed to those demonstrating company values or recognizing their peers, and they frequently cite a “positive team culture, exciting work, and many opportunities to participate in the rapid growth of a consulting firm”.

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CMR Risk & Insurance Services, Inc.

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Industry: Insurance (non-healthcare)
  • Employees: 36

CMR brings all the resources of a national brokerage combined with the high touch service of a private firm providing a full range of broker services. CMR recognizes employees with various awards and recognition, and creates a fun atmosphere featuring Taco Tuesdays, a Biggest Loser competition, and lots of cool CMR swag. Because it listens to its employees and acts on their suggestions, the company established a wellness committee and an events committee, which guide and plan initiatives in those two areas. No wonder CMR made the Inc. magazine list of fastest growing private companies last year.

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  • Location: El Segundo, California
  • Industry: Staffing
  • Employees: 44

A staffing agency started by technology leaders who wanted a better experience recruiting and hiring IT talent, Prosum partners with clients to match them with quality IT talent. A place where staff can do their best work, and feel valued and included, the firm was named a top staffing company to work for in 2022. The company provides a host of benefits, including all-hands trips to the beach and Las Vegas, and another trip for top performers.

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Artemis DNA

  • Location: Irvine, California
  • Industry: Life Science/Biotechnology
  • Employees: 45

Artemis is a high-complexity clinical diagnostic laboratory company that provides proprietary genetic testing and diagnostic laboratory services for a wide variety of medical specialties, including cardiology, oncology, immunology, neurology, reproductive health, and pharmacogenomics. It is an invigorating place to work, featuring monthly ping pong tournaments, a basketball court and mini-golf course and frequent company outings. Because it’s a small startup, team members work closely together on projects and have created a fun, family-like environment, where puppies run free, and staff can be seen racing go-karts. Artemis takes care of its team members too, with full coverage for medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and their families.

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Shore Solutions, Inc.

Shore Solutions strives to create a family atmosphere where employees feel appreciated, empowered, and respected. The company provides military equipment, procurement, logistics, and supply chain solutions for federal, state, and local agencies nationwide, and an impressive array of benefits to its small staff. That includes a fully equipped gym and weekly yoga classes during business hours, 100% company-paid employee health plans encompassing dental and vision, quarterly best employee awards as voted by staff that come with paid vacation to anywhere in the world, and more. During Christmas, the company selects two active-duty families and two veteran families to receive a $500 shopping spree, $250 cash to spend as they please, and a Christmas tree.

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  • Location: Aliso Viejo, California
  • Industry: Non-profit – Other
  • Employees: 25

Octane convenes and enables the Southern California tech and medtech business ecosystems by connecting people, resources, and capital. Employees feel their organization is a great place to learn, grow and make a difference in the community. They are working hard to help create 55,000 jobs by 2030 and are rewarded with vacation whenever they need it, unlimited training and personal and professional development, and fun team bonding experiences like bowling and archery. Octane has been named a Best Place to Work the last two years by the Orange County Business Journal.

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Kim & Lee, LLP

Kim & Lee has provided a wide range of accounting, audit, tax and management consulting services to businesses across the U.S. for nearly 50 years. The firm creates a family environment, complete with onsite gym and ping pong table, and when their muscles get sore, they head over to the massage chair. No one need bring a lunch, as they are fully catered and supplemented by a full snack bar and drink station. Employees enjoy flextime and the ability to telecommute as well as career support from the company.

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