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Sun Coast Resources named among top workplaces to work from the Houston Chronicle award.

Sun Coast Resources, LLC was named amoung Houston Chronicle’s Top Workplaces for 2015. 

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Neighbors Emergency Center and Texas Saffire have taken the top spots in the Chronicle’s sixth annual Top Workplaces rankings.

Those companies and others were honored Thursday night at a celebration at the Hilton Americas-Houston downtown.

On Sunday, the Chronicle publishes a special section highlighting the Houston area’s top 150 workplaces based on employee surveys. Winners are divided into three categories. Anadarko landed atop the large company list, Neighbors Emergency Center is the winner for midsize companies and Texas Saffire, an automatic fire sprinkler system installation company, for small.

Ginger Hardage, senior vice president of culture and communications at Southwest Airlines, was the keynote speaker at the event.

She focused on the Southwest brand, citing the famous story of the airline’s start from a diagram on a cocktail napkin. Flight attendants were decked out in hot pants.

Some of those flight attendants are still with the company. “They went from hot pants to hot flashes,” she said.

Southwest builds its brand from the inside out, starting with employees. If employees are provided the information on and vision for what the company wants to accomplish, they can better serve customers. That benefits shareholders and employees, who gain from Southwest’s profit sharing program.

“We know that when you put employees first the cycle continues and everybody wins,” she said.

She stressed treating customers like family. The passengers, in turn, act like family, perhaps advocating for the company. This happened, Hardage said, in Houston when Southwest was seeking needed approval to bring international service to Hobby Airport. Customers lobbied for the airline – and the international concourse opened here last month.

The crowd laughed and “awed” as Hardage shared stories of employees acting silly or going above and beyond. Diane Poirot, senior vice president of human resources for Harris Health System, called Hardage was “really inspiring.” Poirot enjoyed hearing how Southwest reaches its employees and how the workers buy into and contribute to the brand.

She especially enjoyed the story of employee reuniting a boy with his stuffed bear that was accidentally left at an airport during a layover. The employee even wrote a note from the bear about how it had a fun time at the airport.

As part of its special report, the Chronicle also singles out executives or companies for performance in special categories, ranging from leadership to ethics to communicating. Bill Thomas, chairman and CEO of EOG Resources, was honored for leadership of a large company; Jose Rodriguez, president and CEO at Shell Federal Credit Union, for leadership of a midsize company; and Philipp Sitter, co-owner of King’s Biergarten & Restaurant, for leadership of a small company.

More than 79,000 area employees weighed in with opinions in surveys done by Pennsylvania research firmWorkplaceDynamics.

Click here to read more about this year’s winners.