When Greg Jacobson founded PolySource LLC in 1993, he said it was never about plastics; it was about the people.
"I was more or less committed to construct a business model that was not only enjoyable work, but also worthwhile to create an environment that was very family-oriented so it had flexibility," said the CEO.
The resin and compound distributor took the top spot on Plastics News' Best Places to Work list for 2017.
PolySource offers 100 percent paid-for medical, dental, vision and prescription coverage to its 15 employees and their families. The company also contributes $6,000 per year to each employee's health savings account.
Additionally, the company pays for gym memberships, daily lunches, cell phones and AAA memberships.
"We're just trying to make things easier for the team," Jacobson said. "People have families and everything, so we bring the lunch in. You don't have to worry about fixing a lunch really quick before you leave home or head out. It's just to facilitate things and make people's schedules more flexible.
"We don't have any benefit in this company that's not bottom-to-top or top-to-bottom," he added.
Employees also can take advantage of a company vacation house in Florida.
"[The house is] 15 minutes from Disney, so it's a really family-oriented location, and it's used quite a bit," he said.
At Independence, Mo.-based PolySource, its policy is to share the company's success with everyone, regardless of job position.
"I think because it took all of us to get [where we are]," Jacobson said, when asked why that policy is so important to him. "In order to be an employee at PolySource, you have to be really willing and committed to work hard. So, at the same time, when we benefit from that, everyone benefits from that because everyone worked hard."
The success of PolySource doesn't just stay within the company, either. Employees are involved in a multitude of charity initiatives, from nonprofit organizations to local families in need. Jacobson said it's not unusual to buy clothes for a family in need, for example.
"The biggest [charitable endeavor] we're involved in is a local group that's trying to put together a multicultural inner-city school that is faith-based," he said. "We're beginning to spend a lot of time on that. That's probably our biggest one right now. … The same way we feel toward our suppliers and our employees and our customers, we also feel the need to give back to our community, too."
While PolySource's website lists nine core values that are essential to its success — fun, integrity, respect, hustle, humility, honesty, empowerment, commitment and trust — Jacobson said the one that stands out the most to him is humility.
"The only thing I always want to be sure to end with is, this was a dream I had, to watch all the people that I have been fortunate and blessed to work with, and watching them bring it to reality has been quite a pleasure for me to experience," Jacobson said. "When you first get started, you never know. And this one is so altruistic — intrinsically altruistic — that it gives you hope that surely this will work. And by golly, it does.
"And it continues to give you hope and faith in the United States and in our community and the people around us," he added. "I think we read enough ugly stuff [in the news], but there's a lot of good going on out there, too."