Category: Under $3B in Assets
Pascagoula, Miss.
Assets at June 30: $270.9 million
No. of employees: 54
President and CEO: Weldon Perkins

Cooking together is one of the ingredients for making a great place to work at First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Pascagoula-Moss Point. Its main branch houses a spacious kitchen that, like the kitchen in a home, serves as the heart of the organization, and cooking plays a role in many of the thrift's special occasions, including board meetings and fundraisers. For more than 10 years, for example, employees have sold "red beans and rice" lunches as part of a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

First Federal, founded in 1955, operates six branches in Jackson County, Miss. Branch workers enjoy regular, informal visits from the thrift's president, who devotes one-on-one time to branch managers and other staff, ensuring they feel connected to the organization. The practice began under a former president, Stewart Ramsay.

"Having previously worked in a branch for 10 years, I can tell you that it is something that the branch employees look forward to," says Jennifer Garlich, First Federal's vice president of marketing. "It really does give you a sense of connection to the home office and the direction of the association."

Among First Federal's most popular benefits are its frequent bonuses. All officers and staff earn incentives based on the thrift's performance. Rewards typically add up to between one and three months of salary per year.

Next: Somerset Trust Company

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