As the B2B Growth Agency, our mission is to accelerate growth – of our employees, our clients and our industry – which is why I’m excited to share that this week, we’re celebrating two major achievements that reflect this mission: Walker Sands has made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for the 8th year in a row, and has also been named a Best Place to Work in Chicago by Crain’s for the 3rd year in a row.
While these are two unique accomplishments that deserve their own celebrations – one rewarding revenue growth and the other company culture – we’ve always understood how closely connected those things truly are. “Happy Employees, Happy Clients, Happy Business and Great Work” are the four anchors that help guide all of our decisions, from hiring to expanding into new industries or opening new offices. We have always strived to create a best place to work with an employee-first mentality, because we know that without the amazing people who dedicate to us their talents, the rest wouldn’t be possible.
Thanks to this great work of our employees, Walker Sands is No. 2733 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list, joining companies such as Microsoft, Vizio, Intuit and Oracle that have also made the list eight times. Looking back on our growth in 2019, it’s hard not to think about how much the world has changed since then. While there’s no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year for companies across the board, we’re incredibly grateful, now more than ever, for our employees and what we’re still accomplishing together.
Through our continued emphasis on producing impactful work and building strategic partnerships in 2019, we grew revenue by 34% and surpassed 135 employees. To accommodate our rising headcount, at the start of 2019 we expanded our Chicago office to take up the entire 39th floor of our downtown home. And our growth wasn’t just limited to our headquarters. Our Seattle team has continued to advance our agency’s presence on the West Coast by producing award-winning work for our exceptional roster of Seattle clients. Most noticeably, at this time last year, the Walker Sands brand looked much different, too. We ended a great year with a rebrand of the company to better reflect the company we’ve become and to affirm our identity as the B2B Growth Agency.
Having made the Inc. 5000 list for the eighth year in a row, we’re no strangers to growth. But throughout it all, company culture has remained a priority. Following on the heels of our recognition as the #1 Best Midsize Agency to Work For by PRovoke earlier this year, we’re so proud to share that, out of 100 Chicago-area companies, Walker Sands has been named the 49th Best Place to Work in Chicago, 6th Best for Midsize Companies by Crain’s. While benefits like flexible PTO, 12-week paid maternity and paternity leave and a formal learning and development program help us live up to our reputation as a best place to work, it’s our people and values that form the foundation of our award-winning culture.
The ways in which our teams are embodying our values of “Learn, Support, Do” while making the most of working from home are more evident than ever in 2020. From regular team trivia nights, to an all-company fitness challenge where teams are logging exercise miles and minutes in a virtual race from our Chicago office to Seattle, we’re finding ways to stay connected while still producing great work for our client partners.
We also know that culture is not a “set it and forget it” task; it requires constant attention and evaluation, and we’re committed to continually looking for ways to improve so that we can create a place where all of our employees can succeed both personally and professionally.
There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year, but these awards are a true reminder of what our incredibly talented employees accomplish every day. This year, more than ever, our core values of “Learn, Support, Do” have really shone through, and I’m constantly inspired by our employees and the work they do – both externally for clients and internally within the agency. We’re excited to continue accelerating the growth of the agency and our employees throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond.