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Arthrex, an orthopedic surgical equipment manufacturer with a base in Santa Barbara, has been the latest to join the ranks of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Ranked at No. 94, Arthrex is among other companies on the list with Santa Barbara outposts, such as Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (No. 11), Marriott International (No. 53), and Whole Foods (No. 55).

Fortune’s prominent annual list ranks large firms across the country based on employee satisfaction surveys. The results are tallied from employee feedback on everything from company camaraderie and management credibility to diversity efforts and benefit programs.

Founded in Munich and headquartered in Naples, Florida, Arthrex produces and exports a wide range of medical products for orthopedic surgery, a kind of surgery that deals with the musculoskeletal system. These products range from bio-compression screws for the foot and ankle, to delicate, scissor-like graspers for managing tissue during surgery, to endoscopes that allow surgeons to peer directly inside patients’ joints — “all the parts and tools you’d need to carry out a surgery,” said John Batikian, an associate electrical engineer at the Santa Barbara location, Arthrex California Technology. Arthrex California Technology places particular focus on arthroscopy, surgical procedures of minimal invasiveness that utilize endoscopes.

Beyond tangible benefits such as catered lunches and tuition reimbursement, it was the sense of community that helped propel the 31-year-old company into Fortune’s list. According to Batikian, employees at Arthrex California Technology routinely sit down for lunch together, including the bosses and president, which he said “makes it that much easier to go talk with them”—an important consideration for the list.

The Great Place to Work Institute, which reviews workplace environments and partners with Fortune to create the Best Companies list, reports that 95 percent of Arthrex employees often or almost always feel that their workplace has a “great atmosphere.”

“We celebrate all the holidays together, we have a family picnic in the summer, we go out bowling once in a while as a whole group,” he said. “They really push us to try and stay active and healthy.”

Companies with recreation-oriented practices scored highly on the list. No. 11-ranked Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which runs downtown’s Canary Hotel, also follows this active- and wellness-oriented approach for its employees; discounts and reimbursements for activities such as gym and yoga studio memberships were part of Great Place to Work’s favorable review of them.


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