Original Content: Austin American Statesman

Posted Nov 02, 2018 at 04:00 AM

A healthy culture of connected colleagues, creativity, inspiring surroundings and fulfilling work have helped George P. Johnson (GPJ) Austin gain recognition as one of the city’s top employers for the third straight year. “There are a lot of passionate people here!” said Erica Wiggins, Director of Marketing.

Wiggins and her colleagues may be enthusiastic about their compelling work, but it is the personal connections they have made and the possibilities for personal development at this award-winning hotbed of imagination and production that have them really excited.

GPJ is the world’s leading experiential marketing agency. It is known for creating events and experiences on behalf of clients that, in turn, elevate those customers’ brands and drive their businesses. From coordinating international auto shows, to planning corporate conferences and national sports sponsorships. GPJ employees have bountiful opportunities to flex their creative muscles and chart the courses of their own careers.

“I’ve been with GPJ almost 15 years, and I’ve visited every office in North America, but there’s something special about Austin. Austin brings its own creative and unique flair to the organization,” said Jennifer Shifman, VP and General Manager.

Sandi Toungate, Sr. Director, Integrated Event Production for GPJ Austin, praised GPJ’s unique enterprises that encourage team members to be intentional about their personal professional development.

“The open environment is a great opportunity for those who ask questions,” she said, noting that employees are empowered to be the best they can be at GPJ. Toungate added that the agency promotes from within and provides training to help people reach their career goals.

Stewart Chow’s eight-plus- year experience with GPJ exemplifies the potential for professional exploration and career enhancement available at this dynamic agency. Chow started as an event planner with GPJ fresh out of college and has grown into a role as a Marketing Manager for GPJ Corporate.

“The leadership here cares about people and encourages growth,” he said. “I feel lucky for the help shepherding my career.”

It is not just top-down relationships that make a difference at GPJ, however. The agency’s human resources professionals stress the vital roles all employees play in the work, in the atmosphere of the office and in supporting each other.

“We find connection and camaraderie,” said Kristen Waghorne, Director of Talent & Culture. “People are genuinely interested in each other. We have social groups that share interests and want to be together.”

In addition to using their project management and creative expertise to benefit local Austin charities, GPJ employees also give back on a national level, collaborating with other offices to give back via more far-reaching charitable endeavors.

Employees such as Wiggins enjoy these special undertakings with colleagues because they benefit worthwhile causes and help build relationships among employees.

Having those personal connections can be crucial in a fast-paced office like GPJ Austin. Waghorne noted that the Austin GPJ culture has a work-hard, play-hard mentality. The creative environment and the chance for personal development, however, make it all worthwhile, as do the perks GPJ employees enjoy. The teams at GPJ have flexible time off. The office has a dog- friendly policy and is known for its food and beverages.

The setting in which the work takes place is a perk all on its own. Cozy corners with murals by local artists are designed to inspire. Comfortable clusters of furniture, open cubicles and the turntable playing in the background foster the radical teamwork that make the artistry and innovation flow at GPJ Austin.

The agency is employee-owned, fostering a unique attitude of caring that keeps the employees concerned with everything from how the company runs to the ways it gives back to the community. Inspiringly creative and close-knit, GPJ Austin continues to be a top area employer.

Check out the original article here.