Location: Tampa, Fla.
Assets: $1 billion
Chairman and CEO: Jerry Campbell
HomeBanc's chairman and chief executive, Jerry Campbell, prefers not to be addressed as "Mr. Campbell." If an employee of any rank has a question, "Hey, Jerry" suffices.
"All employees are on a first-name basis," said Debra Hanses Novakoski, an executive vice president at HomeBanc and a member of its board of directors. "Our phone list and intranet directories are alphabetical by first name."
That's just one way HomeBanc tries to make workers feel like they're family. Employees also get treated to a meal of their choice on their birthdays. Whether it's pizza, salad, sandwiches or another favorite, the food is delivered to the office and colleagues join the celebration.
"On my birthday, we had breakfast burritos, fruit and smoothies for the office at headquarters—about 25 people," Novakoski said.
One of its most popular annual events is "Bring Your Kids to Work Day." Sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren have breakfast together and listen to the monthly "telerap" hosted by Campbell … er, Jerry. This live conference call updates employees on company and industry news and provides a forum for employee questions and customer feedback via submitted letters.
Emily Drouin, a loan quality control officer who has worked at HomeBanc for 10 years, brought her son Steven, age nine, to the daylong event recently. After the morning telerap, which was attended by about 25 other children, Steven said he learned that "rap" doesn't only refer to music, but also to the sharing of business ideas.
"Banking is a lot harder and more interesting than I thought," he said. "I like how it helps people."