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Bob Sirott's One More Thing About The Best Places to Work in Chicago

By Bob Sirott | FOX Chicago News


Chicago - One more thing about the best places to work in Chicago.

The Tribune is doing its annual survey of area employees to determine the local companies that have the most dynamic, supportive and inclusive cultures. Winners are divided into large, medium, and "small-size business" categories.

For 2011, the top five large companies were:

Abt Electronics, W.W. Grainger, Mesirow Financial, Advocate Health Care and Lou Malnati's Pizzeria.

I don't have any personal insight into Grainger--they're an industrial supplier, or Mesirow, or Advocate.

But I've shopped at Abt in Glenview. While the Best Buys and other big box electronics retailers have been going out of business lately, Abt has continued to grow and do well. They're a third generation, family-owned and operated business founded by Jewel and David Abt, who started it in 1936 after jewel gave her husband 800 dollars. It's still all in the family.

And like a lot of folks around here I'm sure more than a little familiar with Malnati's Pizza. Lou Malnatti got his start in the 1940's working in Chicago's original deep dish pizzeria- Uno's. He opened the first Malnatti's in Lincolnwood in 1971. Lou passed away in '78, but his wife Jean and sons Marc and Rick have carried on the tradition.

It's nice to know local independent family businesses, run by people who still really care about quality and customer service --like Malnatti's and Abt--are successful—even in these tough economic times. And that they're getting recognized for their efforts above and beyond the norm. There's a lesson there for all businesses.

On the complete list of the best places to work, I only noticed one broadcasting business: WBBM-FM, B-96 radio. Maybe employees get free lollapalooza tickets. My favorite employer is anyone who hires me.

©2012 FOX Chicago News