Entrepreneurs in the Making: Ideation with Canon-McMillan Students

The holidays are over! This is leaving some of us relieved and a few of us a little disappointed that it’s time to get back to the grind. Regardless, this past month has been a busy time for everyone. Before we cocooned ourselves for the remainder of whatever PTO days we had remaining, ABG Capital took some time to do what they do best; invest in the future.


How so? One month ago today, we welcomed the students of the Canon-McMillan School District’s Entrepreneurship Program! Twice a year, as part of our community outreach initiatives, we welcome the class and their teachers to our office for an educational field trip.

ABG Capital finds it important to invest in educating students for “real-world” office life expectations. On this particular visit, the students gathered together to listen to ABG Capital’s CEO Jeff Tapolci, VoIP Innovations’ President Dan Ravenstahl, Director of IT Adam Scott, Director of Human Resources Sharon Kolesar, and Director of Development Jerry Eddy.

After a brief introduction of our company’s history, structure, and people-focused culture, Jeff spoke about some of the useful business tools he uses to ensure the alignment and health of our companies. The students learned about the importance of Strategic Thinking and the 7 Strata, along with Execution Planning and the use of a One Page Plan. The main topic of discussion, however, was the topic of ideation.


What is ideation? The thought process of ideation comes from Stanford University. The goal of performing ideation is to produce “innovation at work” whether it be the overall mindset of your employees or an actual team-building session completed throughout each department. Ideation occurs at every point of the project planning process, but these ideas are often brought together with others generated during specific exercises aimed at uncovering new methods, approaches, practices, and, perhaps most importantly, new ways of improving something such as a new user interface experience. So much information is uncovered over the course of most projects that there must be a point where it is combined, analyzed, and converted into practical solutions and means of making innovation at work more tangible.

After hearing the detailed overview of ideation, students formed small groups to perform their own ideation sessions. Following the layout and steps of this ideation/brainstorming template, the Canon-Mac students chose struggles that involve other people, can be solved with a physical thing or experience, and that could be tackled within a week.

The students dove deep into these brainstorming sessions and came up with some really insightful and thought-provoking ways to develop analogous situations, break through any constraints, and framework for the problems they decided to tackle.

Shortly after their ideation run-through, the students were able to wrap up their day with the chance to meet with members of our staff that work in departments like Development, Marketing, IT, and Accounting. Our team members shared with them how our roles in the company, along with other companies they have worked for, have helped shape their careers and led to new opportunities.

After the meet and greet, the day ended with pizza for lunch and a Q&A session from the students.

The day was busy, fun was had, but most importantly the students were able to take away a better knowledge and understanding of what may lie behind the door of graduation. The students were able to witness first-hand the power of what a small family run business has the potential to turn into with hard work, cultivation of those around you, and respect. Success is the aim of the game. ABG only hopes that we could instill that goal in the minds of these young adults and inspire the next generation.

For more information on ideation and how you can implement this philosophy and strategy into your workplace, click here.

To get a copy of the Innovation at work Ideation worksheet, click here.

ABG Capital to Attend Fall 2016 Growth Summit


Source: gazelles.com

Staying current on the latest strategies for recruitment, execution, development, and operations is key. It’s a tool that ABG Capital uses to sharpen their current skill sets. It’s hard to argue that attending the Gazelles Growth Summit isn’t worth the time and travel. Especially when you’re recognized and awarded time and time again for growth, culture, and employee satisfaction. This year alone ABG Capital and its portfolio companies have reeled in eleven awards from Inc. 5000, Pittsburgh Business Times’ 100 Fastest Growing Companies, and Inc.’s 50 Best Places to work…just to name a few!

As some of you may or may not know, ABG Capital attends the Gazelles Summit, presented by Fortune, twice a year. The spring Summit focuses on leadership and the fall Summit focuses on growth. There, top news-makers and thought-leaders along with hundreds of executive teams from participating companies are gathered for two intense days of learning, networking, and idea generation.These recognitions have been earned as a result of not neglecting their own education and development as a whole.

This past spring the Growth Summit focused on Verne Harnish’s book Scaling Up- Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. A book designed to scale a “hyper-growth” business. The book and the seminar have a very specific focus; it’s written with so-called “gazelles” in mind; ambitious, small, entrepreneurial firms that make the transition to hyper-growth companies. Those are companies where a month, or a quarter is more like a year for a regular business. When you’re growing that fast you need some guiding principles, or rules to run by. Verne Harnish created the “Rockefeller Habits” based on the leadership and management principles used by John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. (Often regarded as the richest person in history).

It’s safe to say that whatever stage of business you’re at, this book is packed with practical things you can implement in this moment to make a noticeable difference to the performance of your company.

As we’ve discussed in a previous post, the book focuses on 3 habitual pillars:

  • Priority: Does the company have their Top 5 objective priorities for the year and quarter, and a clear Top 1 priority? Does everyone in the company have his or her own priorities aligned with these? Priorities matter because you’ll make faster progress by focusing everyone’s energies on one area.
  • Data: Does the company have sufficient feedback on a daily and weekly basis to ensure the company is running and the market is demanding? This will also help you predict the near-future.
  • Rhythm: Does the company have an effective pattern of well-organized daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings to maintain alignment and drive accountability?

The book goes into depth on how to make sure you’re doing these three things right, as well as touching on company culture and how to recruit effectively.

What about this fall’s Growth Summit? It will focus on the idea and implementation of acquired contacts, deal flow, and knowledge as being the fundamental key sources of business development. Gazelles International will bring together experts in leadership, strategy, marketing, sales, operations, and finance to create a best-in-class interactive educational experience.

This gives business owners the opportunity to become the leader they’ve always imagined they could be–while surpassing all competition. This Summit will teach the ideas and tools of connecting with people that will propel any enterprise to the next level.

Some of the ideas and principles at this fall’s Growth Summit:

  • Building new connections & nurturing leads
  • Discovering best practices & discussing case studies
  • Develop skills surrounding client acquisition & facilitation
  • Participation in spirited round tables & challenge convention
  • Presentations from renowned news makers & thought leaders
  • Expertise gained by implementing the Four Decisions

It has never been more important for leaders of growth companies to make the right decisions about people, strategy, execution, and cash. ABG Capital will continue their education in the days to come at the fall Growth Summit in order to continue cultivating their growth in all facets.

Keep checking in for our follow up post as we uncover what we have learned and improved on, all stemming from the lessons learned at the Growth Summit!

Small Businesses and Security – Are You Prepared?

In the past it was very unlikely to hear stories about the average American small business being a target for a sophisticated cyber attack.padlock-lock-chain-key-39624-large For obvious reasons; they have fewer financial resources and relatively unknown brand recognition. Fast-forward to 2016 and you’ll find that these assumptions have been flipped upside down.

The dam has broken for small companies when it comes to security. Smaller companies have become more and more attractive to hackers because they have weaker online security. Smaller companies, like most, are conducting almost all of their business online as well. Particularly, by using cloud services that don’t require encryption. This is every hackers dream. Unlimited information behind an easily-picked, locked door without a deadbolt. Even worse, say your clients are Fortune 500 companies. Your hacker just hit the jackpot.

Although the public typically only hears about cyber attacks against high-profile companies, banks, and government websites, small businesses make prime targets for cyber-criminals, competitors, and disgruntled parties.

Unfortunately due to their lack of knowledge and resources, small businesses have the least-protected websites, accounts, and network systems making cyber attacks a walk in the park.

So what can small businesses do to further their protection? We asked two rock-stars from ABG Capital’s IT and Development Departments for some answers. We spoke with Chief Information Officer Adam Scott and Director of Development Jerry Eddy to discuss some of the best practices and tools to utilize for optimal security in your small business.

Right now, what is the biggest security threat to a small business such as ABG Capital?

Jerry: The biggest threat to small business is hackers looking for opportunities to obtain confidential information. Hackers will try to exploit any perceived weakness in the network as well as trying to obtain information via social engineering. They use social media sites and even contact employees and try to learn more about the staff and the company. By using that information, they attempt to gain access to confidential information through misrepresentation and trickery. It is important for the business to make their employees aware of this type of hacking, so they are able to defend it as much as possible.

Beyond anti-malware and anti-virus protection; where should a small business begin when implementing security programs to protect against these threats?

Jerry: They need to examine each step of every procedure that has something to do with a customers’ confidential information such as credit card and social security numbers. By examining each step, they need to make sure that they are doing everything possible to protect the confidential information through both technical and human means.

Are these services/tools affordable?

Jerry: One thing that can be done is use the controls of ISO/IEC 27002. It is a popular, internationally-recognized standard of good practice for information security.

Governance, risk management, and information security management are broad topics with impact throughout the organization. ISO/IEC 27002, is relevant to all types of organizations including commercial enterprises of all sizes, not-for-profits, charities, and government departments. The security risk and control requirements provide a common framework that any company can adopt, follow, and implement. It also addresses the need of the information security risks relating to their employees as well as contractors, consultants, and the external suppliers of information services.

data thiefThe standard is concerned with information security, meaning the security of all forms of information (e.g. computer data, documentation, knowledge and intellectual property). It provides controls that can be measured and that outline a comprehensive review of things that every company should evaluate about information security.

Is two-factor authentication for an employee’s computer/emails/etc. a safe bet?

Jerry: It helps by adding authentication to the authorization process of logging in. When you login, you now need two independent pieces of information, so therefore, if I have your username and password, I still need something tangible such as your smartphone or key fob to further authenticate that the person logging in fact, is the actual person.

Hypothetically speaking, how would a company best protect itself if a cloud provider we use went up in smoke?

Jerry: With any information that you store on a cloud provider, you will want to see if they offer the ability to back up to a separate site and/or provider. Also try and use cloud providers that have a good reputation or that you have heard of before or have been recommended by others to minimize the potential for a loss of cloud provider.

What should a small business do to educate its employees regarding security best practices?

Adam: Make sure to use secure, complex passwords. Learn to protect your information, don’t leave PII (Personally Identifiable Information) laying around. Locking their computers when they leave.

Should companies develop a security policy that is ingrained into company culture?

Jerry: Yes, the company needs to get buy-in from every employee to make sure that every effort is being taken to protect any confidential information that the company possesses. When you engage employees in the creation, development and implementation of security policies you get better security.

Adam: Yes, you want to make your security polices and training as easy to remember as possible. Regular security emails to the staff is a good start. Then move on to videos or Lunch and Learns and encourage employees to attend.

How is ABG Capital’s policy tied to its culture?

Adam: Our C.O.R.E Values state it-

We Cultivate our employees by encouraging them to learn.

We Overcome the security hurdles that face us to improve data security.

We Respect our staff, and they give us the reliability that they are keeping our systems and data safe.

We Evolve by adapting to changing network threats to protect us against data losses.

Do you have an incident response plan, and do you practice it?

Adam: Yes, we have security meetings on a weekly basis where we discuss existing security issues, plan a path to correct them, and learn about new threats we need to protect against. We developed these plans and test them internally and externally using outside vendors for vulnerability and penetration tests.

Lastly, what security threat scares you the most? Any additional advice for preparation?

Adam: Data loss from a data breach would be #1. Having your systems crash is an easy fix; you repair the hardware, restore the data, and you’re up and running. But how do you get back all of your customers’ data once it’s out the on the web for anyone to see? We plan and test on a regular basis to prevent these losses. Intrusion detection systems, dual factor authentication, and employee training are just the start. You need to train your teams and work with the experts in the field to constantly prepare for the new threat coming down the road. Keeping up with the latest security blogs is a good start, but putting together an information security committee is probably the best first plan of action. Get the best minds together in your company, then you can bring together the skills of the best people to plan and protect your data.

Now ask yourself;

Is your small business ready for the unknown? Applying the insight given to us by Jerry and Adam is a great first step. However, it doesn’t stop there. Be proactive and do your research. Remember that educating your employees about security and compliance starts offline. As stated by author and security privacy specialist Bruce Schneier; “If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.” They want what you’ve got. Don’t give it to them.

ABG Capital Was Named on the Inc. 5000 List Again!

We are thrilled to announce that we were listed at No. 4507 on Inc. Magazine’s 35th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, making this our second consecutive year!

Jeff Tapolci, Chief Executive Officer, states, “We align our core competencies with the demands inside the markets in which we compete. In doing this, we’re able to have quite the scalable growth pace. We’re also a huge proponent of Verne Harnish, the CEO of The Gazelles International Leadership and Growth Summits and author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and Scaling Up. We have built our entire organization around his principles, the One-page-plan and the Rockefeller Habits Checklist.”

Inc 5000
The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available at newsstands August 23), is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $200 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 640,000 jobs over the past three years, or about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that period.

“The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch. That’s one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails.”

The 2016 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2012 to 2015. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2012. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2015.

In 2016, ABG Capital also ranked on Inc. 5000’s 50 Best Places to Work, Penn Central Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in PA, Best Places to Work in Western PA, and the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Fastest Growing Companies.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.


ABG Capital Named on Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2016 Fastest Growing Companies

Today we officially announced being named on the list of 2016 Fastest Growing Companies by the Pittsburgh Business Times! Though we’ve been keeping mum about making the list, we never knew our ranking until last Thursday. We can now share with you that we ranked 60th on the list!

ABG Capital Listed on Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2016 Fastest Growing Companies“Our company has been on a sustainable and scalable growth pace for years because we continue to focus on our core competencies and aligning them to the demands inside the markets we compete. We are very disciplined in our approach and honored to be on this list,” explained Jeff Tapolci, CEO.

One hundred companies were named on list of Fastest Growing Companies, honored for their revenue growth, at the Westin Convention Center hotel in downtown Pittsburgh the evening of August 18. Two of our portfolio companies were also named as award winners, VoIP Innovations at number 65, and InspiraFS at number 3.

In 2016, we also ranked on the Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies in America.

If you’d like more information on the 2016 Fastest Growing Companies and the full list of companies chosen, please visit the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Aligning the Herd One Gazelle at a Time

Aligning the Herd One Gazelle at a Time

“Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless” is a quote taken from Scaling Up: The Rockefeller Habits 2.0 by Verne Harnish. This book has inspired a business and leadership event that ABG Capital has been fortunate enough to attend; the Gazelles ScaleUp Leadership Summit.

It’s been three months since eight of our leaders attended Gazelles 2016 ScaleUp Leadership Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Seventeen dynamic speakers and authors captivated our team by sharing their wisdom, experience, and talent for success.  We gathered for discussions throughout the conference spending time reviewing notes, sharing ideas, and reflecting on strategies and initiatives that would best benefit our organization in the short term. Upon returning to the office, our leadership team agreed to meet once a week to hold ourselves accountable, narrow down our top take-ways, and decide on the one big rock or number one priority for the remainder of the year. Together we came to a similar conclusion of what that one big rock is and what we feel is needed to be even more successful, creating alignment through shared consciousness and empowered execution.

The first step in this process is to share the plan with each employee and identify opportunities for all employees at all levels in the organization to make decisions and solve problems by enabling rather than directing. This concept of engagement through empowerment leads to a “team of teams” approach to foster transparency and allow for stronger communication and understanding of the company’s strategic plan. The execution portion of ScalingUP pinpoints three critical components that must happen throughout the organization in every team; priority, data, and rhythm.

Source: gazelles.com

Source: gazelles.com

Promoting trust and purpose with and between teams will contribute to bottom-up results from daily interaction. Our company initiative for quarter three and four is to ensure that each team is meeting regularly to define its big rock for the week, month, and quarter.  We’ve been instrumental at achieving improved communications resulting in better efficiency and enhanced teamwork between departments.

Align Today is a tool we use to keep everyone in the loop by sharing a one page plan available for all to see, update, and work together toward aligning department initiatives with the company’s common goal or BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal). We recently outsourced Centric Performance to conduct employee surveys and management review meetings for selected teams to help identify each employee’s understanding of his or her role and how it contributes to the common goal of the company. Leadership is serving others and bringing out the best in people.  It’s important to rally the emotional connection and understand the importance of what each employee values to truly have an engaged staff who wants to develop individually and succeed as a team. Our plan is to involve the employees in designing a plan for their own critical numbers and KPIs to create buy in, appreciation, accountability, and involvement toward the common goal.

As you can see, the quote we began this with has a lot to do with the processes and tools we have injected into our environment. Routine matters. Let’s face it–if you’re moving without a routine, your priorities are most likely scattered and you have no analytical evidence to uphold any of your efforts. Even more important, your goal, or “big rock” that every employee and department should be focusing on as a priority, should be backed by rhythm. The rhythm within your day-to-day tactical progress is your routine–that “groove” or effortless pattern you get into when you master your priorities and data.

We realize that growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together in synchrony. If there’s one key we continually take away from the Gazelles it’s that our people are our rhythm. They are the force that continually pushes us toward success. If we cease to invest and cultivate in our employees, then there will be no perpetual development. All of our growth depends upon their activity within our organization. Activity that sprouts innovation.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Emojis at Work

World Emoji Day is marked by the iPhone calendar emoji as July 17. In 2015, people began celebrating the day by posting their favorite emojis to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. Of course, anyone can have fun with emojis online, but what can employees do who are working all day? Is sending a celebration emoji in a workplace email appropriate, or should they maintain their place online and in text messaging?

The Do's & Don'ts of Emojis at Work

Back in 1982, Scott Fahlman sent the first recorded smiley emoticon, “: – ),” in an email. He wanted the symbol to be used for jokes, but now the emoticons have evolved into a whole assortment of emotions. While Fahlman may not have been sending a professional email, many people wonder if communicating this way in the workplace is appropriate. There have been numerous inquiries about email etiquette throughout the years, especially within the past decade. Using too many exclamation points and adding text lingo such as “lol” or “omg” are both universally accepted as unprofessional. Many businesses prefer not to let their employees use them, but others have been more lenient if they are used in the right way. Emojis have been gaining traction over the past few years, so it’s time that we take a look at the do’s and don’ts of emoji usage in the workplace.


Emojis at WorkUnderstand email etiquette
– If you are ever unsure about whether to send an emoji email, then you should probably check with your coworkers to make sure it is okay to send. Check to see if your company has a style guide for how to send formal vs. informal emails.

Avoid ambiguity – Emojis can mean different things to different people. For example, what I think is an emoji for being upset, you may think is an emoji for being tired. If you do decide to use them, it’s probably best to stick to the simple happy and sad faces for less confusion.

Determine the right context – Should you be using laughing face emojis when discussing poor company performance? No. This example may be extreme, but examining the context of your email is important to avoid awkwardness or rudeness.


– Just like using more than one exclamation mark is unadvisable, so is using more than one emoji. Adding too many of them to your emails may annoy others and cause confusion as to what you are trying to say.

Use to get a point across – What would you think if your boss sent you an email that said, “Bring those reports to my office tomorrow or you’re fired :)”? Your boss may be Emojis at Workusing the smiley to get the point across that he is joking with you, but this type of message can be misinterpreted. Being outright and frank with coworkers is always the best option.

Send to your boss – This may seem self-explanatory, but the majority of authority figures in your workplace want to be treated with respect. While you may think you are being friendly, your boss may think you are being unprofessional.

This outline of rules for emojis at work is not anything that should be set in stone. The guidelines for language and communication are changing every day. Five years ago, using emojis in professional emails was unheard of, but now 78% of Americans are using them at work, according to one survey. The truth is that communication evolves over time, and only you know best how to interact at your company. Some people may send an emoji email celebrating July 17, and others may not do anything at all. Whatever you do, we want to wish you a Happy World Emoji Day!

Do you use emojis for work purposes?

ABG Capital Presents Make-A-Wish with Their Donation

Yesterday, members of ABG Capital’s Giving Back Committee went to the Mall at Robinson, in Robinson, PA, to

004 small

present a check to the Make-A-Wish foundation.  The money was raised by employees

throughout the year through various activities, including raffles, Valentine’s Day flowers, Mother’s Day flowers, and various opportunities for donations throughout the year.

Jeff Tapolci (CEO of ABG Capital), Dan Ravenstahl (President of GlobalPOPs), and Sharon Kolesar (HR Manager of ABG Capital) spoke on behalf of the company.  The company offered the foundation a check for $4,000.  The employees raised half of that amount, and the company graciously matched their efforts.  As a result, ABG Capital’s donation will be able to sponsor a child dream.

To watch the live webcast, visit http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/27819673

ABG Capital to Participate in Strategic Planning Session

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

December brings us many things.  The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is among us, the final quarter draws to a close, many businesses are preparing year-end reports, and thoughts of the upcoming New Year are in our heads.  Many people take the time to reflect, both personally and professionally, on the past year and look forward to 2013.  On a personal level, many look at what they have accomplished over the year and make new resolutions for 2013.  Corporately, businesses may draw up year-end reports and analyze numbers to determine their goals for the upcoming year.  At ABG Capital, we do all of those things.  We utilize our ideals to enhance our work and personal lives.  Our ideals are to cultivate ideas and people through our C.O.R.E. (Cultivate, Overcome, Respect, and Evolve) Values for the purpose of Giving Back.

Employees of ABG Capital utilize these ideals personally in many ways.  We participate in various activities throughout the year, where we are given an opportunity to Give Back to our community.  These activities include working at the food bank, fundraising for Make-A-Wish, and cleaning headstones at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.  In addition to Giving Back, employees also are encouraged to live healthy lifestyles.  We do an annual Biggest Loser contest, where interested employees weigh-in on Fridays, and the biggest loser receives a cash reward.  Also, we bring in an inspirational speaker/author in on a regular basis to educate our team about healthy eating habits.

In terms of business, we take our goals, or New Year’s resolutions, very seriously.  Every year around this time, our companies participate in Strategic Planning Sessions, where goals for the upcoming quarters are brainstormed and strategized.  These 2-day sessions employ strategic planning and executive education adopted from the Gazelles Growth and Leadership Summits.  As discussed in this earlier post, http://blog.abgcapital.com/?p=141, ABG Capital sends key employees to these Gazelles Summits to gain valuable training on how to lead and grow their companies.  This education, along with a Gazelles coach, enables each of ABG Capital’s portfolio companies to evolve solid annual strategic plans.

As 2012 draws to a close, employees at ABG Capital are busy preparing for holiday festivities, gathering gifts and monies for Giving Back causes, and focusing their energies on having a productive 2013.

ABG Capital is 14th Among the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

What makes a workplace outstanding?  Ranking on Pennsylvania’s Best Places to Work list 5 out of the past 7 years, perhaps ABG Capital has the answer.  The focus at ABG Capital is on people and culture, which creates a work environment in which both businesses and individuals thrive.

ABG Capital is pleased to announce that it is ranked 14th among the top 71 small/medium employers in the state, according to the thirteenth annual Best Places to Work in PA awards program.  In addition to this honor, ABG Capital was also recognized locally by the Pittsburgh Business Times, ranking 41st on their list of Best Places to Work in Western Pennsylvania.  This was their 6th showing in the past 8 years.

The Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania program was created by four companies: Central Penn Business Journal, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Team Pennsylvania Foundation, and Best Companies Group.  These organizations developed this program for several reasons.  The organizations were interested in helping Pennsylvanian companies retain their current workforce, attract new workers, and to distinguish the businesses in the state that attract and retain Pennsylvania’s talented workforce.

This program evaluates and ranks the best places of employment in the State based on employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies.  To be considered for this award, companies are required to complete the assessment process, where employers complete Benefits and Policies Questionnaires and employees complete Engagement and Satisfaction Surveys.  Once this information is collected, Best Companies Group then sorts and interprets the data to determine company rankings.

“It is such an honor to once again be ranked with an elite group of outstanding companies in PA,” stated Sharon Kolesar, Human Resources Manager at ABG Capital.  “Here at ABG Capital, we create values to foster a healthy life balance for our employees.  To know that 75% of our ranking is based on our employees’ responses and feedback exhibits that our culture is effective.”

The winners’ rankings were announced Thursday evening, November 29, 2012, at an awards ceremony at the Lancaster County Convention Center.  Additionally, the ranked companies will be profiled in a supplement to the Central Penn Business Journal and other business journals across the state.

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ABG Capital leverages its unique business management model to reduce costs through the consolidation of back office operations for its portfolio companies. By consolidating services like accounting, legal, IT, software development, employee administration and HR, we are able to eliminate redundancy among, increase efficiency and be very nimble to the changes that occur in the market.  To learn more, visit http://www.abgcapital.com