Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
Four Oklahoma companies were included in Fortune magazine's latest list of the top 100 companies to work for.
Topping the state list at No. 13 was Oklahoma City-based oil and gas company Devon Energy. Devon jumped up 35 spots from last year, and ranked the highest among energy companies.
Tulsa-based QuikTrip was ranked 27th, up one spot from last year. Chesapeake Energy in Oklahoma City is No. 73, down from its 2008 ranking of 61, and American Fidelity Assurance Co. was ranked 45th, dropping from 24th place last year.
Devon was lauded for its low turnover rate and an innovative 401(k) retirement plan recognized in national business publications. The plan includes company contributions of up to 22 percent of an eligible employee's salary.
"While making the Fortune list is wonderful recognition for the company, it says even more about our employees," Devon Chairman Larry Nichols said.
"Their values and commitment are what make Devon a great place to work," he said.
The company celebrated with a gathering at the downtown Sheraton Hotel, where employees heard remarks from several Devon executives and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
"While this is a great honor for Devon, it is also very exciting for our community as a whole because it reflects the quality of life we all enjoy in Oklahoma City," Cornett said.
American Fidelity, a privately owned life insurance provider, made the list for a sixth consecutive year and handed out gifts to employees as they arrived and provided lunch.
American Fidelity's wellness programs, onsite fitness center and cafe offering healthy menu items were cited by Fortune.
The QuikTrip convenience store chain made its seventh consecutive appearance on the list, and was cited for being one of a handful of companies that has never experienced layoffs. "Not only is that a source if immense pride, it is also a constant reminder of QuikTrip's purpose, which is to give our employees the opportunity to grow and succeed," QuikTrip President Chet Cadieux said.
The company, which celebrated 50 years in business last September, has long been recognized for promoting from within its ranks and offering pay and benefits above industry standards.
Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy was lauded for not laying off employees even when natural gas prices plummeted and its stock fell from $74 to $12, and for hiring 1,100 workers between July and October last year.
"I am very proud of the culture and workplace environment that we have created in which our employees can grow and prosper," Chesapeake Chairman Aubrey K. McClendon said.
The annual Fortune ranking is compiled in concert with Great Place to Work Institute, which conducts an employee survey. Employment track records, benefit programs and each company's corporate culture is also analyzed in compiling the list.