Jennifer Neukam was a college student studying graphic arts when she began working at Stansberry Research, a Baltimore-based publisher of financial information and advice, in the summer of 2007.
At the time, she admits to being “completely green” when it came to the stock market.
“Initially, my expectations going into the role were that I would work at the company long enough to button up my degree, then move on to someplace else,” said Neukam, now Stansberry’s senior manager of training and quality assurance, via email. “I never imagined that almost 15 years later I would still be here. ... I can’t imagine that the grass could possibly be greener anywhere else.”
Founded in 1999, Stansberry Research produces and sells subscription-based financial information and software to investors around the nation and the world. It is an affiliate of MarketWise Solutions and InvestorPlace, which were named to this year’s small Top Workplaces list.
Sean Carroll, the managing director of marketing, is another company veteran.
“I’ve been here for almost 18 years,” he said in a written response. “There were a little over 20 people at Stansberry Research when I started and there are now more than 200.”
For many years, Carroll noted, Stansberry’s offices were spread across buildings throughout the city’s historic Mount Vernon neighborhood. They ranged from a single floor of a brownstone on Monument Street to an intact urban mansion and several brownstones on St. Paul Street.
Operations are housed now in a spacious site on Charles Street.
“In the old buildings, we worked in small rooms with anywhere from two to five employees sharing an office,” Carroll said. “In late 2016 we moved to our current office, which is three wide-open, 13,000-square-foot floors. We have gone from sharing space with [several] other people to 30.”
Then COVID-19 came along and the pandemic changed things again, requiring another adjustment to remote work.
“While it would be better to [work] in person, it has been about as smooth as we could have hoped,” Carroll said. “Our IT team was able to set everyone up with the things they needed to work remotely very quickly. All of our systems were already cloud-based, so we didn’t miss a beat.”
The other positive news, Carroll said, is that Stansberry Research was able to bring on new employees amid the pandemic.
“We were extremely fortunate that demand for our products actually increased,” he said. “We’ve been able to hire and onboard dozens of new employees in a fully remote or hybrid situation.”
Both managers described Stansberry’s professional culture as one in which employee perspectives are heard and explored, and no single person or team has a monopoly on good ideas.
“We embody a work-hard, play-hard mentality where wins are celebrated,” Neukam said. “My co-workers feel more like family friends than colleagues.”
The company has made efforts to keep its team connected socially during the pandemic. Last spring, for example, they shipped out cocktail ingredients, hired a bartender and invited everyone to join a virtual happy hour.
“We have continued to laugh and have fun as best we could,” Neukam said.
Stansberry’s annual holiday parties are also the stuff of legend, complete with gourmet fare, festive themed décor, photo booths, cigar rolling stations and even past performances by acrobats.
And that’s just one of the publishing company’s perks.
Back in 2016, Stansberry’s leadership told the team that if they hit certain goals, every employee would be rewarded with the entire month of August off. The incentive worked.
“Employees throughout the company spent this time traveling anywhere and everywhere, from road tripping out west to backpacking through Europe. Photographs from some of these adventures are actually framed throughout our office,” Neukam said. “This announcement has turned into somewhat of a tradition, as we’ve continued to enjoy added time off, during years of stellar performance.”
As a working mother of two, she believes that time off has helped her achieve a solid work/life balance.
”I treasure these summer days off with my kiddos,” she said. “It’s by far my favorite perk, and one of the many reasons I feel so fortunate to be part of the Stansberry Research team.”