2010 Best Places to Work in Vermont awards ceremony held in BurlingtonWells River Savings Bank and Merchants Bank were the top winners at a ceremony held last night to honor the top employers in the state. The ceremony was held at the Main Street Landing Film House in Burlington to reveal the 2010 Best Places to Work in Vermont rankings and honor the recipients. A joint project of Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the awards went to 15 companies from around the state. In order to participate in the program, businesses had to have a minimum of 15 employees in Vermont. Businesses were divided into two categories based on size, with those that have 15 to 149 qualifying as small and medium companies, and a large companies bracket for those with 150 or more employees. Eligible companies entered themselves into a two-part survey process administered by Best Companies Group (BCG) of Pennsylvania, which evaluated each company and analyzed the data to come up with the final rankings.Twenty-five percent of the scoring was based on the employer questionnaire, which covered a wide range of company practices and policies. The remaining 75 percent was determined by the employee portion of the survey, which asked employees to rate their experience at the company. Only those companies which met what Peter Burke of BCG called the high-bar of workplace excellence, according to BCG s evaluations, were honored as one of the best places in the state to work. They were then ranked within their size category.Placing first among large companies was Merchants Bank, which is headquartered in South Burlington and has nearly 40 branches throughout the state. The top honor in the small and medium company category also went to a bank, Wells River Savings Bank of Wells River, a company that has been in business for over a century. They were joined by 13 other companies, ranging from large utility companies to a manufacturer of baking flour. All of these honored companies are winners, Vermont Business Magazine Publisher John Boutin said. It s a great testament to all of them that they recognize that being a good employer is not only the right thing to do, but that it benefits the bottom line. As diverse as these companies are, they are all successful, even during this economic downturn. The companies recognized with the distinction of being one of the best places to work in Vermont demonstrate a high level of commitment to doing business in Vermont and to the wellbeing of their employees, Betsy Bishop, President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. These 15 companies are most deserving of this award and should be proud of their accomplishments. This year s award recipients in order of ranking are:Small/Medium Companies: 1. Wells River Savings Bank 2. Edward Jones 3. The Bank of Bennington 4. Mascoma Savings Bank 5. Seventh Generation 6. King Arthur Flour Company 7. NRG Systems, Inc. 8. Resource Systems Group, Inc. 9. MBF Bioscience 10. TPW Management LLC Large Companies: 1. Merchants Bank 2. Dealer.com 3. Green Mountain Power 4. Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee 5. Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc.