The 2015 Best Small Firms to Work For: Cask

Liz Guezzale

3. Cask

Headquarters: San Diego
Billable Consultants: 84
u0007Client Industries Served: Finance, Energy, Utilities, Healthcare, Transportation, Aviation, Public Sector
Consulting Service Lines: Strategy, Operations Management, IT

When it comes to Cask and the Best Small Firms to Work For ranking, fives appear to be wild. This is the fifth year in a row the San Diego-based, multi-service firm has been on the list. And, further, Cask has never been ranked outside the rarified air of the Top 5. In 2015, the firm moves up a spot to No. 3, tying its highest ranking to date.

Cask made its debut on the Best Small Firms to Work For ranking back in 2011, also at No. 3.

Elizabeth Guezzale, President of Cask, says The Best Small Firms to Work For designation illustrates the firm’s commitment to its culture and its employees.

And the ranking, Guezzale admits, goes a long way to attracting top talent to the firm.

“It allows Cask to garner positive attention that we may not otherwise receive; we really receive an increased number of applications for our open positions after publication,” she says. “To leadership, it helps reaffirm the commitment we make to our employees and helps them understand the value of the investments we make.”

And for clients, Guezzale says that “being a part of [The Best Small Firms to Work For] lets our existing clients know that they, too, are part of something special,” she says. “To be a Best Small Firm requires a certain discipline and dedication from everyone involved because it’s not the same as being in a large organization.”

Guezzale says she takes “incredible pride” in the manner in which it takes care of its employees.

“Each individual is unique and has needs, and Cask focuses a lot on making sure all these needs are met,” she says. “When your employees are cared for, they are better able to dedicate their time and concern to the clients. The fruits of Cask’s labors show through in the satisfaction of the client relationships we keep.”

To that end, Guezzale says Cask maintains several initiatives to ensure employees have the tools and resources they need to be successful, including: cross functional group professional development opportunities to ensure staffers are well rounded in non-standard areas of expertise; a structure allowing all employees the opportunity to contribute to development of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to deliver services; annual all-hands training activities to bring all employees together; and, multiple monthly social activities to encourage out-of-work social interaction, such as sporting events, golf-for-beginners outings and Wine & Whiskey Wednesdays.

Looking ahead, Guezzale says Cask’s top priorities “are geared toward the continued expansion and diversification of our services into new markets and customers.”

On the survey, Cask excelled in the areas of Compensation & Benefits and Leadership, finishing near the top of both categories.

“We continually benchmark our capabilities against both our peers and the leaders we admire,” Guezzale says. “We strive to communicate our vision, mission, and goals—and share the rewards of our success with the entire company.”

Q&A: How would you describe morale at the firm and why?

Elizabeth Guezzale, President of Cask, says: “Cask’s ‘mojo’ is a key component of our morale. It’s something that shows in our style, our drive to never be satisfied with what we have, and to always reach to deliver greater value to our customers and ourselves.”