West Paw Design: Employer of Choice Award Winner!

Posted April 08, 2014

Exciting news! West Paw Design has been named the 2014 Employer of Choice here in Bozeman, Montana. The Bozeman Job Service Employers’ Committee selected West Paw for its exemplary combination of employee-friendly policies and practices, including flex-time scheduling, paid time off to volunteer, maternity and paternity leave, open book management and commitment to employee enrichment through training and mentoring — all of which result in an awesome culture. 

It also probably didn’t hurt that in 2013 survey of competitive employers in the Gallatin Valley, West Paw Design came out on top in every benefits category. Or that we’re a B Corporation.

“I'm proud of all that we all do to create our valuable culture and environment,” says West Paw Design President Spencer Williams. “We share a wonderful place and I'm so grateful to be one of the team.”

Darla Joyner presenting to Spencer Williams

We think our secret weapon was our employees’ own testimony on on the company’s behalf: As part of our application, we asked our employees why West Paw Design should be named the Employer of Choice. We thought we might get some ideas for the application in terms of what really mattered to employees. Instead, they wrote a book (and we included some of their quotes in the application!). Caution: Warm fuzzies ahead…

“I'm very proud to work for West Paw. It's fantastic to work for a company that cares about me, my family, my well-being, my community and my goals and aspirations both inside these walls and out. West Paw gives 120 percent as an employer, which makes me want to give 120 percent as an employee.” 

— Chris Chase, production systems

  “We strive to do what is right even when it might not be the best way to grow our bottom line. My values are very in sync with the company values, which makes our decisions feel good and helps me sleep well at night knowing we are doing what is best for our people — both customers and employees — and the planet. I also love the team I get to work with. And when I tell anyone outside the company that I work for West Paw Design, I am proud because every experience they have had with us (our people or the company) is an amazing one.” 

— Scott Ogeka, operations 

“I am proud to work for WPD because our mission and vision are so inspiring. Whereas most other brands take the path of least resistance and offer products that aren't made in the USA and don't offer any sustainable materials, West Paw starts with these two parameters and innovates around them. I love hearing customer comments on how we are able to solve their pet problems in a more altruistic way.” 

— Niki Singlaub, research and design 

“West Paw Design is a successful business leader that does more than just good business through engaging employees, creating safe and high-quality products in the U.S., giving back to both our local and nationwide pet-loving communities and reducing our impact on the environment. The employees here are so talented, kind and eager to be better everyday. It's exciting to be a part of a team like that.” 

— Stacey Scott, accounting

“How bad can life be when you get to make dog and cat toys? I love to tell people what I do for a living.”

— Jan Willey, toymaker

“I have worked for West Paw Design for nearly 14 years, and although I have seen much change throughout the years, the values of the company have remained the same: Act with Integrity, Be Accountable, Be Tenacious, Be Friendly, Be Healthy, Continually Improve and Create Value. WPD approaches business in a unique and refreshing way. We push boundaries to achieve success while remaining true to ourselves, and I am grateful to be part of the journey!”

— Kathleen Johnson, COO

“The company’s use of Great Game of Business and Open Book Management to financially educate every employee is by far the biggest thing I brag about at dinner parties, business meetings — even to random strangers on the street. We invest a great deal of time and effort into educating all of our employees to think like business owners. This investment comes back to West Paw Design tenfold in the form of having every employee looking for opportunities to do things better. It is exciting to think of the college students who work here and the fact that, after their time working at West Paw Design, they will go on to join or even start their own businesses with the sentiment that open financial communication is an expectation.”

— Tracy Larimer, sales 

“West Paw Design represents a business that cares about its employees, takes pride in their products and delivers quality, American-made products to its customers. WPD can do all of these things while limiting our impact on the environment, keeping jobs local and continually improving our overall sustainability model. WPD takes pride in maintaining its home-grown feel and that is what makes it a great place to work.” 

— Nikki Dixon-Foley, customer service 

“I am proud to work for a company that is committed to being an example of how business can/should be conducted. The company has a conscience. We make great products and I love that we can stamp our products with ‘Made in the USA.’”

— Marciela Ross, marketing 

“West Paw Design is a genuine company where everyone works together because they truly care about giving our customers great products and great experiences. When everyone is working toward a common goal, it creates a hard-working, fun atmosphere. Everyone wants to help each other, and we constantly want to do better than we did before. We had a ‘friendly’ symbol on our packaging that represented that our products are Earth-friendly, but I also thought it summed up what it is like here at West Paw Design. It is just a friendly company, led by friendly managers and filled with friendly employees.”

— Ryan Buck, IT  

“I am proud to work at WPD because we actually walk the walk. We back up our promises with results and we are making a positive ripple in the world.” 

— Stani Butler, marketing 

We're honored to receive the award, but it's no secret how we did it: We actually have EMPLOYEES of the year working here.  

Paws up!


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