Meet the 63 companies named to N.J. Top Workplaces list for 2021

Employees and employers alike have faced unprecedented challenges throughout the past year as a result of the pandemic. Most were forced to pivot by shifting schedules and finding ways to work from home while still acting as a cohesive unit and delivering goods and services with little to no interruption.

Although it was not an easy feat, 63 Garden State companies garnered praise and admiration from their associates, who named them to New Jersey’s Top Workplaces list.

How did these organizations achieve this distinction? Employee engagement platform, Energage, reached out to New Jersey-based employers with at least 50 employees and surveyed staff members to determine the state’s Top Workplaces. Public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and government entities were eligible. This is the third year of the initiative, which is run in partnership with and Jersey’s Best.

Employers whose staff members took the 24-question survey received a free overview of the results, providing insight into where their company succeeded and where there was room for improvement.

“You don’t get on this list by accident,” said Bob Helbig, media partnerships director of Pennsylvania-based Energage. “We give credit to every company that asks their employees, ‘How are we doing?’ and is open to that feedback. The really good companies — that’s how they operate. They’re willing to hear the criticism because that’s the only way you can improve. Otherwise, you’re just operating in a vacuum, and you don’t know what’s wrong until it’s too late.”

Communication is the Key to Staying Connected

As this past year was unlike any other, Helbig noted that communication was a main focus for employees.

Top workplaces 2021-Family First

As this past year was unlike any other, communication was a main focus for employees in this year’s Top Workplaces list. (Photo courtesy of Family First Funding)

“Because of the fact that more people are working remotely, companies have had to go the extra mile to communicate with their employees, and employees are really appreciative of that,” Helbig said. “People are feeling more in the loop than ever. They’re feeling more connected with their companies, and that’s so important even during normal times. But, because of the pandemic, everybody’s stepped up in terms of what they’re communicating, how they’re communicating and making sure the message is received.”

Communication is a hallmark at LS Technologies (LST), (small, No. 3), which provides engineering, technical and professional services for federal and state government agencies, and was named a Top Workplace in the small company (50-149 employees) category.

LST CEO Allison Poltorak said the company “strives to create a safe, inclusive environment conducive to open communication that respects, informs and empowers all employees so we can be more innovative, productive and successful.” Poltorak added that the company is “very proud of this workplace recognition, and of the LS Technologies employees in New Jersey who work so hard to support the Federal Aviation Administration’s mission.”

Dawn Coyle, a program analyst who joined LST during the pandemic, said working with the company has been a great experience.

“LST makes it a priority to stay connected and consistently engaged by providing a level of communication and transparency unmatched by any other entity I have worked for in the past,” Coyle said.

Working as a team during a global crisis was a challenge for larger organizations as well, but again, communication and collaboration prevailed at Plymouth Rock Assurance, (large, No. 1), a financial services company, which placed in the top three among large-sized organizations (500 or more employees).

“The last year has been difficult amid the ongoing pandemic, but our employees have worked exceptionally hard to benefit our customers, agents and local communities,” said president and CEO Jeff Briglia. “The culture and spirit that the Plymouth Rock team has built is special, and it is wonderful to be recognized as one of the state’s top employers.”

Briglia’s sentiments were echoed by employees of the Woodbridge-based company. One anonymous staffer who responded to the survey stated, “I am able to work in an environment that feels encouraging and safe. Now, working from home during the pandemic, we still have that feeling of camaraderie and feel connected to make sure our work is complete and we continue to grow and learn as a team.”

Top workplaces 2021-Annie Mac

A culture of caring is one of the primary reasons residential mortgage lender AnnieMac, (midsize, No. 3), was named one of the Top Workplaces in the midsize company category. (Photo courtesy of AnnieMac)

Residential mortgage lender AnnieMac, (midsize, No. 3), was named one of the Top Workplaces in the midsize company (150-499 employees) category. CEO Joe Panebianco attributed this honor to the culture of caring that’s been cultivated “since day one.”

“Our entire working dynamic changed in 2020 when we shifted to working remotely, but with everyone’s commitment, our bond as teammates remains stronger than ever,” Panebianco said. “We help, teach and appreciate each other like we always have, and we’re delighted that this award is decided by input from our own employees. It tells us that they feel genuinely fulfilled working with our company, and we couldn’t be more pleased to hear it.”

Fellow mortgage lender Family First Funding, (midsize, No. 1),was named to the list in the midsize company category for the second consecutive year. Diane Kinoian, training and development coordinator at the mortgage company, said this is just the beginning.

“The year of 2020 will go down in history, not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the record low mortgage rates that resulted in tremendous growth for our company,” Kinoian said. “With all of the pivoting that was required to equip employees to work remotely, service our clients virtually, hire and train many new ‘Family’ members, all while remaining poised throughout a challenging year, we couldn’t be more thrilled that our employees and New Jersey have taken notice.”

Digital Marketing Coordinator Leah Beganie added, “Working here, our employees know that Family First Funding is one of the best places to work; we love that New Jersey knows it, too!”

Making a Difference

In a year when many felt powerless and isolated, having an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others fostered a sense of connection and gave employees feelings of positivity and well-being.

Top workplaces 2021-MTF Biologics

Edison-based MTF Biologics (large, No. 3) advances the science of tissue transplantation by awarding grants that fund groundbreaking research. (Photo courtesy of MTF Biologics)

Edison-based MTF Biologics, (large, No. 3), named one of the state’s Top Workplaces in the large company category, advances the science of tissue transplantation by awarding grants that fund groundbreaking research.

Joe Yaccarino, president and CEO of MTF Biologics, stated that being named to the list “validates our company-wide efforts of not only achieving our mission but of creating a workplace of both inclusion and impact,” adding, “At MTF Biologics, all of our employees are committed to one singular mission — saving and healing lives.”

MTF Biologics’ employees value knowing how much their work matters.

“I know that when I come to work, I have a greater purpose,” wrote one survey respondent. “To be a part of that greater goal inspires me every day. My favorite part of the job is getting to hear the stories from both our donor families and our tissue recipients on how the foundation has changed their lives for the better. I worked in other jobs for 30 years before I came here and never once felt the level of inspiration I do now working for MTF Biologics.”

A fellow MTF employee agreed, stating, “I feel as if I am part of something that is actually making a difference. The real-world application of our daily endeavors are widely apparent.”

Helbig noted that many of the companies that made the list received “high marks for innovation,” which shows that employees are “feeling really invested in what they do.”

“Now it doesn’t mean it’s easy,” Helbig said. “It means that everyone is working harder to make sure that they’re getting things done effectively.”

In addition to feeling connected and part of a forward-thinking company, employees also treasured knowing that they’re part of a shared mission.

Chairman, president and CEO James S. Vaccaro of Manasquan Bank, (midsize, No. 2), said he and his colleagues are honored that the financial institution was once again recognized as a Top Workplace in New Jersey in the midsize category.

Top workplaces 2021-Manasquan bank

Employee-focused events have created an impressive level of connection and camaraderie at Manasquan Bank, (midsize, No. 2). (Photo courtesy of Manasquan Bank)

“At Manasquan Bank, our employees have always been the epicenter of our fine institution, and this award reaffirms that we have created a workplace where colleagues feel motivated, inspired and connected to our shared mission,” Vaccaro said. “By fostering and practicing our people-first culture, we continue to build meaningful employee experiences that are collaborative, transparent, engaging and rewarding.”

Employees appreciate that level of connection and camaraderie. “I have a great group of people that support me and the bank,” said one survey respondent. “I get to make a difference in our customer’s lives, whether it’s purchasing a home, starting a business, having a baby, we are with them every step of the way. I also get to lead and mold and develop new talent and help them get to where they desire to be.”

Finding Fulfillment

Chief Operating Officer of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, (large, No. 2), in Ridgewood, Michael Oppler, said the company is grateful to receive this recognition of Top Workplace in the Garden State in the large company category “because it means we have created an environment where people feel fulfilled in their work.

“We have always focused on building relationships in our business, and that produced great results for our company as well as the clients and community we serve,” Oppler added.

Helbig noted that the survey illustrates that people are motivated by more than money.

“You could be paid very well, but if you are treated poorly, you are not going to want to give your very best,” he said. “When we look at how you get the very best out of people, you make sure to create an organization where everybody’s headed in the same direction and people feel important and people feel valued, that what they’re doing matters. They feel appreciated. They have trust in the people they work with, particularly the leadership of the organization. If you don’t have those things, I don’t care how big your paycheck is, you are not going to want to give your best. But you do want to give your best when all those other factors are present.”

The following are 63 companies named to New Jersey’s Top Workplaces list as nominated by their employees and evaluated by Energage, based on questionnaires answered by their employees. They’re broken down by size and ranking.

Large Companies (500 employees or more)

1. Plymouth Rock Assurance

Headquarters: Woodbridge

NJ Location: Woodbridge

Industry: Financial services

Founded: 1992

Employees: 982

2. Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

Headquarters: Ridgewood

NJ Locations: 3

Industry: Agents/brokers

Founded: 2008

Employees: 730

3. MTF Biologics

Headquarters: Edison

NJ Locations: 3

Industry: Biotechnology

Founded: 1987

Employees: 724


Headquarters: Arlington, Va.

NJ Location: Florham Park

Industry: National security, expertise and technology for enterprise

Founded: 1962

Employees: 533

5. CompoSecure LLC

Headquarters: Somerset

NJ Locations: 3

Industry: Secure payment products

Founded: 2000

Employees: 717

6. Cedar Crest Village – Erickson Living

Headquarters: Catonsville, Md.

NJ Location: Pompton Plains

Industry: Senior living

Founded: 2001

Employees: 932

7. RWJBarnabas Health

Headquarters: West Orange

NJ Locations: 14

Industry: Health care

Founded: 2015

Employees: 35,000

Midsize Companies (150 to 499 employees)

1. Family First Funding LLC

Headquarters: Toms River

NJ Locations: 8

Industry: Mortgage lending

Founded: 2011

Employees: 215

2. Manasquan Bank

Headquarters: Wall Township

NJ Locations: 15

Industry: Banking

Founded: 1874

Employees: 207

3. AnnieMac Home Mortgage

Headquarters: Mount Laurel

NJ Location: Mount Laurel

Industry: Residential mortgage lending

Founded: 2011

Employees: 438

4. Robert Half

Headquarters: Menlo Park, Calif.

NJ Locations: 9

Industry: Staffing and recruiting

Founded: 1948

Employees: 168

5. Bridgeway Senior Healthcare

Headquarters: Bridgewater

NJ Location: Bridgewater

Industry: Care and rehabilitation

Founded: 1987

Employees: 383


Headquarters: Parsippany

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: Flavors and fragrances

Founded: 1871

Employees: 190

7. Computer Design And Integration LLC

Headquarters: Teterboro

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: Value added reseller – IT

Founded: 1995

Employees: 150

8. Sax LLP

Headquarters: Parsippany

NJ Location: Parsippany

Industry: Accounting, tax and advisory

Founded: 1956

Employees: 150

9. Express Stores

Headquarters: East Brunswick

NJ Locations: 25

Industry: Wireless phone sales

Founded: 2008

Employees: 213

10. Knipper

Headquarters: Lakewood

NJ Locations: 4

Industry: Biotechnology

Founded: 1986

Employees: 366

11. Pine Belt Enterprises Inc.

Headquarters: Lakewood

NJ Locations: 3

Industry: New and used car sales, leasing, parts and service

Founded: 1937

Employees: 226

Small Companies (50 to 149 employees)

1. Staffing Alternatives

Headquarters: North Brunswick

NJ Location: North Brunswick

Industry: Temporary staffing service

Founded: 1994

Employees: 68

2. Primary Financial

Headquarters: Edison

NJ Location: Edison

Industry: Life insurance, annuities and retirement investments

Founded: 2013

Employees: 70

3. LS Technologies LLC

Headquarters: Fairfax, Va.

NJ Location: Atlantic City

Industry: Federal contractor

Founded: 2000

Employees: 46

4. All American Ford in Old Bridge

Headquarters: Old Bridge

NJ Location: Old Bridge

Industry: Auto dealerships

Founded: 2009

Employees: 101

5. Slalom

Headquarters: Seattle, Wash.

NJ Location: TBD

Industry: Consulting

Founded: 2001

Employees: 131

6. Senior Helpers Bergen County

Headquarters: Paramus

NJ Location: Paramus

Industry: Home health care

Founded: 2013

Employees: 90

7. RegentAtlantic Capital LLC

Headquarters: Morristown

NJ Location: Morristown

Industry: Financial advisers

Founded: 1982

Employees: 56

8. DPR Construction

Headquarters: Redwood City, Calif.

NJ Location: Edison

Industry: Commercial construction services

Founded: 1990

Employees: 56

9. Fire and Safety Services LTD

Headquarters: South Planfield

NJ Location: South Plainfield

Industry: Emergency vehicle sales and service

Founded: 1964

Employees: 59


Headquarters: Fairfield

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: Accounting

Founded: 2001

Employees: 54

11. Madison Trust

Headquarters: Montvale

NJ Location: Montvale

Industry: Self-directed IRAs

Founded: 2009

Employees: 50

12. Resources Real Estate

Headquarters: Shrewsbury

NJ Locations: 3

Industry: Residential and commercial real estate

Founded: 2000

Employees: 103

13. Institute of Management Accountants

Headquarters: Montvale

NJ Location: Montvale

Industry: Education

Founded: 1919

Employees: 123

14. Panda Restaurant Group

Headquarters: Rosemead, Calif.

NJ Locations: 11

Industry: Restaurants

Founded: 1973

Employees: 111

15. DOWC

Headquarters: Ringwood

NJ Location: Ringwood

Industry: Automotive service contract provider and administrator

Founded: 2014

Employees: 52

16. PB Roofing

Headquarters: Elmwood Park

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: Commercial roofing

Founded: 2007

Employees: 50

17. Princeton Child Development Institute

Headquarters: East Windsor

NJ Location: East Windsor

Industry: Autism intervention

Founded: 1970

Employees: 70


Headquarters: Landing

NJ Location: Landing

Industry: Commercial outdoor power equipment and snow/ice management

Founded: 1957

Employees: 52

19. EverythingBenefits

Headquarters: New Providence

NJ Location: New Providence

Industry: HR technology software

Founded: 2015

Employees: 73

20. InspiriTec Inc.

Headquarters: Philadelphia, Pa.

NJ Location: Newark

Industry: Contact center and IT help desk services

Founded: 2000

Employees: 52

21. Visiting Angels

Headquarters: Marmora

NJ Location: Marmora

Industry: Private duty home care

Founded: 1998

Employees: 90

22. Horizon Pest Control

Headquarters: Midland Park

NJ Location: Midland Park

Industry: Consumer services

Founded: 1970

Employees: 60

23. Certified Financial Services

Headquarters: Paramus

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: Financial advisers

Founded: 1986

Employees: 104

24. Savvas Learning Co.

Headquarters: Paramus

NJ Location: Paramus

Industry: K-12 education publisher

Founded: 2019

Employees: 106

25. Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC

Headquarters: Bloomfield

NJ Location: Bloomfield

Industry: Reverse mortgage

Founded: 2012

Employees: 62

26. Otterstedt Insurance Agency Inc.

Headquarters: Englewood Cliffs

NJ Locations: 7

Industry: General insurance

Founded: 1919

Employees: 114

27. Discovery Data

Headquarters: Eatontown

NJ Location: Eatontown

Industry: Financial services, insurance data and analytics

Founded: 2002

Employees: 50

28. AvePoint

Headquarters: Jersey City

NJ Location: Jersey City

Industry: Software company

Founded: 2001

Employees: 80

29. Viking Pest Control

Headquarters: Liberty Corner

NJ Location: Liberty Corner

Industry: Full-service pest control company

Founded: 1980

Employees: 71

30. Merola Tile

Headquarters: Manalapan

NJ Location: Manalapan

Industry: Wholesale distribution

Founded: 1988

Employees: 98

31. Eastern Christian School

Headquarters: North Haledon

NJ Locations: 4

Industry: K-12 education

Founded: 1892

Employees: 128

32. CMC Food LLC

Headquarters: Elizabeth

NJ Locations: 3

Industry: Production plant – eggs

Founded: 1984

Employees: 86

33. Visual Lease

Headquarters: Woodbridge

NJ Location: Woodbridge

Industry: Lease management software

Founded: 1995

Employees: 111

34. All American Subaru in Old Bridge

Headquarters: Old Bridge

NJ Location: Old Bridge

Industry: Auto dealerships

Founded: 2009

Employees: 54

35. Health Recovery Solutions

Headquarters: Hoboken

NJ Location: Hoboken

Industry: Health care – other

Founded: 2012

Employees: 111

36. A3 Technology Inc.

Headquarters: Egg Harbor City

NJ Location: Egg Harbor City

Industry: IT – other

Founded: 2001

Employees: 76

37. Woodmont Properties LLC

Headquarters: Fairfield

NJ Locations: 10

Industry: Integrated development, construction and management

Founded: 1963

Employees: 122

38. Capitol Lighting

Headquarters: Boca Raton, Fla.

NJ Locations: 3

Industry: Lighting, home furnishings and accessories

Founded: 1924

Employees: 65

39. Iris Software Inc.

Headquarters: Edison

NJ Location: Edison

Industry: IT services

Founded: 1996

Employees: 81

40. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Headquarters: Marlborough, Mass.

NJ Location: Fort Lee

Industry: Pharmaceutical manufacturing – other

Founded: 2010

Employees: 88

41. PLM Trailer Leasing Inc.

Headquarters: Newark

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: Refrigerated trailer leasing

Founded: 1971

Employees: 73

42. Collabera

Headquarters: Basking Ridge

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: IT – other

Founded: 1991

Employees: 109

43. Advanced Digital Data Inc.

Headquarters: Flanders

NJ Location: Flanders

Industry: Computer software

Founded: 1973

Employees: 132

44. Navicore Solutions

Headquarters: Manalapan

NJ Locations: 2

Industry: Nonprofit financial services

Founded: 1991

Employees: 106

45. Marketsmith Inc.

Headquarters: Cedar Knolls

NJ Location: Cedar Knolls

Industry: Advertising and marketing

Founded: 1999

Employees: 61

If you wonder why a particular company is not on the list, it might be because it chose not to participate in the survey, or because it did not score well enough in the survey process. Sometimes, Energage disqualifies employers based on questionable results detected through statistical tests it runs to ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey.