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January 7, 2019 2019 Best of Business Awards

Best of Business: People to know

The Davis Cos. team gears up for a Spartan Races obstacle course. Davis was named Central Massachusetts' Best Staffing Agency for 2019.

Best Staffing agency

Davis Cos. 


Founded: 1985

Employees: 90

Notable runner up: Robert Half International

The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in October. That’s good news for most, but it can be a problem for employers who are looking harder lately for the right matches for their job openings.

The staffing agency DAVIS Cos. has grown as its customers’ needs have, both at its Marlborough headquarters with roughly 65 employees, and as it has added offices far outside the area.

Less than two years ago, it added a Memphis office to go with others in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Minneapolis and Atlanta, where it decided to open offices once its customer needs in those areas justified the expansion.

Texas, Florida and the Carolinas are on the horizon in 2019 for new outposts, President Brendon Davis said.

DAVIS Cos. has lasted more than three decades by focusing on the right industry fits, Davis said. Initially, it was predominantly manufacturing. It wasn’t until after 2000 and especially after the Great Recession the company shifted heavily into more recession-proof industries like life sciences, engineering and biotechnology, he said, which have taken it to offices where those industries have grown.

That specialization has served the company well, said Davis, whose father started the business out of his basement in 1985. A representative for engineering companies, for example, will more easily know the right fit between employer and prospective employee because they work more closely with companies in that field and get to know their company cultures, he said.

“We have people hired into our company, and we build them out into a skill set,” Davis said.

DAVIS Cos. prioritizes professional development courses for its employees and supports charitable causes important to them, Davis said.

DAVIS Cos. has kept busy and has grown – it has roughly 100 employees on staff and another nearly 3,000 when contractors are included – because even though fewer people are unemployed these days, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still movement between companies as workers seek better opportunities, Davis said.

Best Chamber of Commerce

Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce


Top executive: President & CEO Timothy P. Murray

Founded: 1875

Employees: 13

The Worcester chamber includes five affiliate chambers to represent more than 2,200 businesses in the region, providing public policy advocacy, economic development, marketing and more than 200 events annually, including industry-specific roundtables like financial services and diverse professionals.

Notable runners-up: Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce

Best Nonprofit Fundraiser Event

March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction*


Top executive: Stephen Sycks, senior development manager for Central and Western Mass.

Founded: 1938

Employees: 10 in Massachusetts

Amount raised: $125,000

March of Dimes fights for the health of moms and babies. Last year in America, nearly 700 moms died from complications related to childbirth and 10 percent of babies were born premature. In 2019, March of Dimes will launch Supportive Pregnancy Care in Central Massachusetts.

Notable runners-up: YOU Inc. Gala for Kids, Worcester County Walk to End Alzheimer's, 15-40 Connection Gala

Best Law Firm

Mirick O’Connell*


Top executive: Managing Partner

David E. Surprenant

Founded: 1916

Employees: 132

With additional offices in Westborough and Boston, Mirick O’Connell focuses on providing practical and cost-effective legal solutions to the myriad legal needs of its clients, as they evolve. It latest new practice areas include craft beer and cannabis.

Notable runners-up: Bowditch & Dewey, Fletcher Tilton

Best Woman-owned Business

PENTA Communications, Inc.


Top executive: Founder & CEO Deborah Penta

Founded: 1989

Employees: 17

As a 100-percent female-owned business for the past 30 years, the advertising and marketing company has integrated numerous programs to support mentoring for women in the community and launched a Mentor Scholars Program to work with co-ed groups of graduating seniors seeking careers in business.

Notable runners-up: The Queen's Cups, Crompton Collective, Coghlin Electrical Contractors

Best Minority-owned Business

Resource Management, Inc.


Top executive: President Rachel Lopez

Founded: 1995

Employees: 838

RMI is a service-driven, human resources business solution firm, focusing on value and customization for clients. The family-owned business last year launched new opportunities for clients to partner with accountants and attorneys and has a general counsel and risk and claims manager on its executive team for additional expertise.

Notable runners-up: Domitek, Cafe Reyes

Best Young Professionals Network

YPWA (Young Professional Women’s Association) of Worcester*


Top executive: President Amanda Misilo

Founded: 2011

Employees: 0 (nonprofit with seven volunteer board members)

YPWA brings women of all ages together for networking, development, community service and fun. In the past year it introduced an Adulting 101 event series, offering educational seminars to provide tools to serve the professional and personal lives of attendees.

Notable runner-up: Worcester Young Businessman's Association

*Repeat winner

Read about the rest of the 2019 Best of Business Award winners:

Handling your money

Multimedia experts

Places to conduct business

Servicing your business

To add a touch of luxury

Where to unwind

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