Last year, Kansas-based Account Recovery Specialists, Inc., placed about in the middle of its Small Company category in’s Best Places to Work 2010.

Eleven new employees and a year later, ARSI came back to dominate the Medium Company category, placing first.

“We had 94 percent participation in the survey this year,” Kecia Kesler, President & CEO, told

“I think this survey is helpful, and shows tangible ways that we’re improving the environment for our employees,” she said. “Employees see that we’re willing to act on the information we get — that this isn’t just something we’ll read once and move on from.”

Kesler attributes her company’s success to management transparency.

“We’re definitely an open organization,” she said. “We regularly share company financials at meetings, which means that staff feel like they have some influence on year-end profitability.”

Kesler encourages staff at all levels to think about revenue-generating activities — whether it’s questioning current procedural practices to ideas for new lines of business.

“I want them to feel like they can question everything. I believe that the frontline people are often in the best position to analyze our efficiencies.”

ARSI has nearly 90 employees, and almost 20 years as an incorporated business.

When asked if ARSI would be participating in next year’s Best Places to Work survey, Kesler said, “Absolutely! We definitely feel like the Best Places to Work survey is an important tool for our continued growth and success.”

To see all of this year’s honorees, please visit Best Places to Work in Collections 2011.

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