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UCG Voted One of The Best Places to Work

Great Places to Work
Washingtonian, November 2005

UCG

What it does: Publish business newsletters, electronic magazines, and directories.

Number of employees: 370 in Washington, 1,000 nationwide.

Interesting perk: Afternoon fruit cart pushed by people from different departments—often with a surprise nonfruit treat; recent examples include root-beer floats, mini margaritas, and ice cream.

UCG is a company that doesn’t believe in rules. Its leave policy, for instance: There is no set number of days off.

“If you want a vacation or need sick days, you take them. It’s a matter of common sense,” says Jerry Purcell, director of human resources. “We are the poster child of openness.”

UCG promotes a fun, open environment. That’s evident in its workspace, which looks like a city newspaper’s newsroom. All six owners, including founders Ed Peskowitz and Bruce Levenson, sit there. There are no offices, only low-walled cubicles.

While some employees have a journalism education, others are experts in the industries UCG covers: health, energy, finance, telecommunications, computers, automobiles, online education, and taxes. It has 2 million clients worldwide for such publications as Funeral Service Insider and Radiology Coder’s Pink Sheet.

The company was the first in America to sponsor an “I Have a Dream” class, offering college scholarships to 62 inner-city sixth-graders in the 1980s. An employee managed foundation supports other charities.

The lobby flat-screen TV replays scenes from company trips and events. The biggest happens once every five years when every employee and a guest is taken to a mystery destination for the weekend. The most recent gathering happened just after September 11, 2001; the company shifted its plans and took 900 people to functions in Washington and New York City, the cities most affected by the terrorist attacks.

UCG, 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 1100, Rockville; 301-287-2700; ucg.com.

Copyright © 2005 by The Washingtonian; reprinted by permission.

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