No. 2: The Distinctive Edge

Employees of the Distinctive Edge in Timonium say one of their favorite things about their jobs is the growth potential. The 58-employee company provides sales, marketing and communications services, focusing on client acquisition and retention, to Fortune 100 companies. All employees take part in a comprehensive training program, and promotions are made from within; all of the company's managers started out as entry-level employees and worked their way up. "The opportunity for growth is greater than anything I could have imagined," says one. "The mentors and coaches here are beyond helpful. Everyone is willing to help each other." In addition to leadership development, the company's employees also appreciate the pay, bonuses and opportunities to travel for client meetings. They're also philanthropically active; the Distinctive Edge works with such nonprofits as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the March of Dimes and Catholic Charities' Our Daily Bread and holds canned food drives several times a year. The company also recently exceeded its fundraising goal of $5,000 for Operation Smile, which assists children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

In this photo: A young team of account executives work under the guidance of company president Eric Chapman (top left).

Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun
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