Best Places to Work 2010

With Dogs in Tow, Staff Feel at Home on the Range

Letting Employees Bring in Pups Just Part of the Family-Like Environment, Which Includes a Fully Stocked Kitchen

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- You can't forget you're in Texas when you work at the Fort Worth Live Stock Exchange and cattle regularly parade outside your front door. Fortunately the staff at search- and interactive-marketing agency Range Online Media are a bunch of animal lovers -- the shop even has a policy that lets employees bring their dogs to work.

Chief Operating Officer Ray White says having dogs in the office boosts morale and adds to the caring, family-style atmosphere.
Chief Operating Officer Ray White says having dogs in the office boosts morale and adds to the caring, family-style atmosphere.
LOCATION: Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas; branch offices in New York and Salt Lake City


GIVING BACK: For the past two years, Range team members have planned a holiday carnival at an elementary school in an economically challenged area of town. Range has donated funds for the Haiti rebuilding initiative through the American Red Cross and raised awareness among industry colleagues at conferences. It also supports the Warm Place, a local organization that provides support to children and families who have lost a parent.

Chief Operating Officer Ray White, who joined six years ago, believes the dogs boost morale and add to the caring, family-style atmosphere. "Everybody stops and helps everybody else," Mr. White said. "About three months ago, one girl lost her dog and another girl organized everyone to go out looking for it. It took about a week but eventually the dog was found." The office also has a foosball table and a Wii and holds regular team-bonding events, including cookouts, golf tournaments and annual gallery nights on which staff present their own artwork.

But Range Online Media staff still work hard. Parks Blackwell, director-new client development and operations, said the agency is focused on doing the best by its clients and sometimes this translates to the occasional late night. "There's a culture of getting the job done because clients expect a certain level of excellence," Ms. Blackwell said. "If one team needs to get something done by the next day, people not on that team will also jump in and help." The agency supports its staff through the busy patches by ensuring they can take time off later and by taking care of basic needs, such as keeping the kitchen stocked with food.

Account Manager Stacy Gourley, who joined the company in April 2009, said there is a culture of staying up-to-date with technology and trends. Aside from regular training sessions, Ms. Hartley said, "We're encouraged to test things out and be the first in the industry to try new things, making sure that we get case studies out of it," she said. The company also fosters innovation with quarterly awards recognizing staff for their useful ideas.

Vic Drabicky, director-international and vertical development, has been with the company since its formation and founded the New York office five years ago. He says the culture in the New York office is similar to Fort Worth but slightly quieter because the staff number only 10 within a much bigger Aegis corporate office. "There are no dogs here," he said.

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