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2. HomeBanc
Pictured: At HomeBanc's 6th annual customer golf outing, with LPGA pro Brittany Lincicome.

Location: Tampa, Fla.
Assets: $1 billion
Employees: 101
President and CEO: Debra Hanses Novakoski

HomeBanc has tried to create an atmosphere befitting its name, giving customers the comforts of home when they step into a branch. President and CEO Debra Hanses Novakoski believes that environment, and the philosophy behind it, helps make her employees comfortable as well.

HomeBanc's branches trade teller lines for couches and private transaction areas, with a smiling face and the smell of fresh-baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies there to greet customers as they walk through the door. It is part of a familial culture at the bank, where employees are all on a first-name basis and the receptionist has the same health plan and other benefits as the CEO.

Novakoski wants customers to think of their visit to this Tampa, Fla., bank as something to look forward to, and not just another chore. She said she hopes employees are just as excited to come to work.

"When I walk into a branch and see the lobby full of people and both customers and employees are smiling, I know things are going well," she said.

HomeBanc generously rewards success, with no cap on incentives for bringing in new business and an annual stock award program that over the past five years has given employees an average of about 5% of total cash compensation in shares. It is not unheard of for HomeBanc's top sales people to make more than top executives.

Novakoski, who has been with HomeBanc since its inception in 2007, was promoted to CEO in January with cofounder Jerry Campbell staying on as chairman of the board. She said that stability helps keep employees at ease.

"We have the same team in place that we started with ten years ago, with a consistent vision," she said. "Hopefully my title change was a non-event."