At MacB, growth means fulfilled employees

At MacAulay-Brown Inc., the mission is customer service.

Crucial to that mission are challenged, fulfilled employees, company leaders say.

According to an employee survey, that’s the case with MacAulay-Brown, often otherwise called “MacB.” Employees of the defense and homeland security contractor made it the No. 1 “top workplace” among large Dayton-area companies in workplace satisfaction. MacB has up to 600 Dayton-area employees and about 2,000 employees in about 20 locations across the nation, from Colorado to Virginia, and even abroad.

Sid Fuchs, MacB president and chief executive, called notching the No. 1 spot in the survey “a surprise and an honor,” although he quickly added, “not a total surprise.”

“I think there’s a good morale and a good culture,” Fuchs said. “I think employees do like MacB quite a bit.”

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One facet of that can be seen in the opportunities employees have, said Michael Beauchamp, MacB senior vice president, corporate development. There are plenty of areas in which employees can work: Intelligence, IT services, aircraft maintenance and much more.

“Because we have such a diverse background for employees to work, we have a lot of employees who move around,” Beauchamp said. “I mean, we have employees who work overseas for two or three years. We have enough variety they come back stateside to work for other government customers.”

The MacB culture works for several other reasons, company principals say: Colleagues, work environment, the ability to advance and more.

“I think for a majority of us, we have long tenures here,” said Katherine Gaskill, MacB senior director, corporate human resources. “We’ve been with the company when it was 200 employees, all the way up to approximately 2,000 now, and we’ve been able to maintain that — that small-family culture and environment.”

Michael Zeiser, MacB chief financial officer, said customers won’t be made happy by unhappy employees.

“The focus at MacAulay-Brown has always been … customers and employees first,” Zeiser said, adding with a laugh: “Or tied for first.”

Every corporate decision takes into consideration not just customers but employees, Zeiser said.

“I’ve never seen a happy customer with a discontented worker,” Fuchs said.

The business has seen steady growth in the 34 years since its founding. There’s no particular secret to that success or to the reason the company continues to be based in the Dayton area.

“Wright-Patterson is a key customer for us, from the birth of our company, and I think that’s the basis of the initiation here in (the Dayton area),” said Mia Kerivan-O’Malley, the company’s chief information officer, who has called MacB home for 24 years.

What drew Kerivan-O’Malley to the company remains a reason to stay, she said. There remains a “small-business feel” with the resources of a larger company, too, she said.

Today’s environment — with a focus on ever-tighter defense spending — is challenging, Fuchs acknowledged.

“It’s like blocking and tackling,” he said. “If you execute every day, you know you got a good chance to win. And that’s why we focus on the fundamentals right now.”

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