January 8, 2018
WBJ 2018 Best of Business

Best Employee Services in 2018

Blue Cross Blue Shield won the Best Health Insurance Provider award. Here, Blue Cross associates take part in the company's annual service day.

Best College for Business Education

Nichols College*

Dudley, www.nichols.edu

Top executive: President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Ph.D.

Founded: 1815

Employees: 208

Read more: Nichols College focuses on the little things

Notable runners-up: Worcester State University, Assumption College

Best Limousine Service

Knight's Airport Limousine Service*

Shrewsbury, www.knightslimo.com

Top executives: Founder & President Michael Hogan; Co-Founder & General Manager Thomas Hogan

Founded: 1985

Employees: 140

Always striving to make life easier and safer for clients, Knight's sets itself apart by having a firm understanding of what its customers' needs are and committing to fulfilling those needs across the organization.

Best Financial Planning/Investment Services

Provo Wealth Management Group*

Shrewsbury, www.ProvoWealth.com

Top executive: Christopher P. Provo, president & CEO

Founded: 1992

Employees: 14

Provo takes a holistic approach with all its clients, guiding their financial health to align with their values. The company works to build a partnership based on trust and strives to be a dynamic problem solver for clients' needs.

Notable runners-up: B&D Advisors, Fidelity Investments

Best Health Insurance Provider

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts*

Boston, www.bluecrossma.com

Top executive: President & CEO Andrew Dreyfus

Founded: 1937

Employees: 3,788

Blue Cross aims to provide an array of affordable health plan to provide members peace of mind. The insurer offers easy-to-use tools on important healthcare issues like payment reform, the opioid crisis, serious illness care, and end-of-life planning.

Notable runners-up: Falllon Health, Tufts Health Plan

Best Employee Benefits Consultant

Sullivan Benefits*

Marlborough, www.sullivan-benefits.com

Top executive: Gary Goodhile & Chrystine Heier, principals & co-owners

Founded: 1998

Employees: 12

While its local competitors are acquired by large public companies, Sullivan remains committed to staying privately held, so in to act solely in the best interest of the client. Its approach works to uncover each employer's unique path to better outcomes.

Best Luxury Automobile Dealership

Wagner Auto Group*

Shrewsbury, wagnermotors.com

Top executive: President Mark Wagner

Founded: 1965

Employees: 400 (2017 figure)

Wagner offers a variety of luxury cars, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Indian Motorcycle, but the dealership strives to set itself apart with philanthropy by giving to organizations throughout the years like 15-40 Connection, EcoTarium and Worcester Academy.

Best Young Professionals Network

Young Professional Women's Association of Worcester

Worcester, www.ypwaworcester.com

Top executive: President Erin Jansky

Founded: 2011

Employees: 0 (it's a volunteer-run nonprofit)

YPWA brings women of all ages together for networking, development, community service and fun. Members find friends, mentors and connections to help them develop personally and professionally, learning confidence, strength and success.

Notable runners-up: HYPE9 of Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce, Worcester Young Businessmen's Association

Click below to see the other 2018 Best of Business winners:

Best Professional Services

  • Best Bank - UniBank*
  • Best Architectural Firm - Lamoureux Pagano & Associates
  • Best Credit Union - DCU – Digital Federal Credit Union*
  • Best Business Insurance Agency - Sullivan Insurance Group*
  • Best Law Firm - Mirick O'Connell*
  • Best Accounting Firm - Bollus Lynch, LLP Certified Public Accountants & Consultants*
  • Best Advertising Agency - Davis Advertising

Best Food & Entertainment

  • Best Restaurant for Business Lunch - The Sole Proprietor*
  • Best Restaurant for Business Dinner - 111 Chop House*
  • Best Caterer for a Corporate Event - Pepper's Artful Events*
  • Best Coffee Service - Good as Gold*
  • Best Exercise Facility/Fitness Center - Worcester Fitness
  • Best Public Golf Course - Green Hill Golf Course*
  • Best Private Golf Course - Worcester Country Club*

Best Office Services

  • Best Commercial Real Estate Brokerage - NAI Glickman, Kovago & Jacobs
  • Best Commercial Landscaper - Cheaper than the Kid Next Door Landscaping
  • Best Electrical Contractor - Coghlin Electrical Contractors Inc.*
  • Best Plumber/HVAC Contractor - JJ Bafaro Inc.*
  • Best Waste Removal - E.L. Harvey & Sons, Inc.*
  • Best Office Cleaning - Eagle Cleaning Corp.*
  • Best Staffing Agency - The Davis Companies*

Best Places for Drinks

  • Best Locally Owned Place to Meet for Coffee - BirchTree Bread Co.*
  • Best Local Brewery - Wormtown Brewery
  • Best Worcester After-Work Bar - Armsby Abbey*
  • Best Metrowest After-Work Bar - Tavern in the Square*
  • Best North County After-Work Bar - Rye & Thyme American Tavern*
  • Best Blackstone Valley After-Work Bar - Hunter's Grill & Tap
  • Best Central Mass. South After-Work Bar - The Cedar Street Grille*

Best Events & Venues

  • Best Golf Club for Corporate Outing - Cyprian Keyes Golf Club*
  • Best Venue for a Business Meeting - Beechwood Hotel*
  • Best Venue for a Corporate Event - Mechanics Hall*
  • Best Event Production Company - Revelation Productions
  • Best Nonprofit Fundraiser Event - March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction
  • Best Hotel for Business Clients - Beechwood Hotel*
  • Best Venue for an Employee Outing - EcoTarium*

Best Multimedia Services

  • Best Awards & Promotional Products - Engraveables*
  • Best Sign Company - Sunshine Sign Company
  • Best Commercial Printer - Curry Printing*
  • Best IT Services - Cinch IT
  • Best Internet Service Provider - Charter Spectrum*
  • Best Web Design Firm - Applied Interactive
  • Best Video Production - Pagano Media*

* Denotes repeat winner


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