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Updated: January 9, 2023 / 2023 Best of Business

Best of Business 2023: Best Employee Services

Photo | Courtesy of Cyprian Keyes Golf Club Cyprian Keyes Golf Club, in Boylston

Best Golf Club for Corporate Outings: Cyprian Keyes Golf Club*

For David Frem, general manager of Cyprian Keyes Golf Club, one of the highlights of 2022 was seeing things start to move closer toward normal.

The club’s golf business was strong during COVID. It was one of the few recreational activities people could easily access when everything else was shut down. While the company has been able to sustain its golf momentum, even with the return of in-person dining and general socializing, the events business started to come back in 2022.

“The biggest success is that the happiness level of all clients was as high as I’ve ever seen it,” Frem said. “People were just thrilled to be able to have a normal golf outing, or a normal baby shower. Our success was able to sustain a high level of service and production, coming out of one of the most challenging business environments due to the pandemic.”

Central Massachusetts has its fair share of great golf clubs, Frem said. At Cyprian Keyes, the staff keeps things simple: The focus is on ensuring everything goes according to the client’s wants and needs. It’s about building relationships, giving clients flexibility, and creating a comprehensive package so there are no surprises.

With so many nonprofit clients, Frem said, it’s easy to create a deep connection. Cyprian Keyes will often donate something to a nonprofit’s auction and do its best to make sure the client raises as much funding as possible.

Cyprian Keyes is always thinking about how it can do better, he said. And the client always comes first.

“We don’t have some special secret,” Frem said. “We really focus on the importance of this being a key day for them, so they don't have to worry about the event itself.”

-- Story written by Laura Finaldi

*denotes repeat winner

Best Venue for an Employee Outing: Apex Entertainment*

Location: Marlborough,
Top executives: COO Marcus Kemblowski & George Aronstein, director of operations
Founded: 2017
Employees: 250

Apex Entertainment’s 30 bowling lanes, indoor go-karts, arcade, and two bars make the venue attractive for outings of all kinds. In 2022, the venue hosted more than 3,000 events from birthday parties and corporate outings to a charity road race and bowling tournaments.

Notable runner-up: Polar Park

Best Staffing Agency: The DAVIS Cos.*

Location: Marlborough,
Top executive: Chairman & CEO Robert Davis
Founded: 1985
Employees: 101

The DAVIS Cos. has adapted to embrace remote and hybrid work options while staying committed to company culture. In 2022, the company focused on expanding training programs locally and internationally, with an emphasis on new employee development to meet growth goals.

Notable runners-up: Masis Staffing Solutions, Franklin Professional Associates, Robert Half

Best Employee Benefits Consultant: Sullivan Benefits*

Location: Marlborough,
Top executive: President & Owner Chrystine Heier
Founded: 1998
Employees: 10

Sullivan Benefits seeks to help clients maximize dollars spent on employee benefits. In 2022, the company launched a monthly webinar series to educate current and prospective clients on the changing benefit landscape and the resources available to attract and retain employees.

Best Professional Training Company: MindsetGo*

Location: Westborough,
Top executive: Mark Altman, speaker, trainer, and coach
Founded: 2014
Employees: 4

MindsetGo coaches and trainers utilize practical exercise to help leaders problem-solve in their own companies. MindsetGo used 2022 to respond to two core problems for clients: remote leadership and change management. The focus of the training shifted to helping C-suite executives learn effective communication as a way to sustain company growth.

Best College for Business Education: Nichols College*

Location: Dudley,
Top executive: President Glenn Sulmasy
Founded: 1815
Employees: 150

Nichols completed a multi-year renovation of its dining hall in 2022 and updated its library to make the study space more modern. Dining and social spaces that were closed have reopened, and a Starbucks is now on campus. The college’s focus remains on providing a well-rounded business education.

Notable runners-up: Assumption University, Worcester State University

Best Young Professionals Network: Young Professional Women’s Association*

Location: Worcester,
Top executive: President Kimberly Driscoll
Founded: 2011
Employees: 0 (run by a seven-member volunteer board)

YPWA provides networking and social opportunities to foster connections between women looking to make a change in the region. In 2022, the YWPA added new sponsors and took on new initiatives to add value to its growing membership.

Notable runners-up: Worcester Young Businessmen's Association, HYPE9 from the Corridor 9/495 Regional Chamber of Commerce

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