Drake Earns Certification

August 2021

Many of us have thought that Drake is a great place to work for a while, and now it’s official.

The Great Place to Work Certification™ is only earned by companies that meet certain requirements. Specifically, the employees have to confirm their company is a great workplace, based on confidential survey responses received by Great Place to Work.

According to a 2019 survey of US employees by Great Place to Work, only 59% of employees at the average U.S. company agree that their's is a great workplace. In contrast, 89% of Drake employees said Drake is a preferred workplace.

To learn more about the Great Place to Work survey and Drake culture, we sat down with Vickie Martin, Drake's Human Resources Manager. Vickie has worked at Drake since 1992, so she is an excellent person to discuss what makes Drake a great place to work.

Drake:“Thank you for making time for us today, Vickie. Before we discuss what the Great Place to Work Certification means to Drake, we want to learn more about your Drake story”

Vickie: “Well, when I started at Drake, I never thought I’d still be here twenty-nine years later.  At the time, Drake only had twelve employees  We were still located in rural Nelson County, near where our founder Fred Drake had started the business in his basement. One of my neighbors told me that Drake needed a receptionist, and since I lived nearby, I applied.  Here I was, fresh out of high school, with no idea what my career would be, but since this small company needed someone to do administrative work, they hired me.”

Drake: “That’s interesting, Vickie. What happened next?”

Vickie: “Over the years, I worked in a variety of roles from reception to accounting. Eventually, I became the Human Resources Manager, where I am responsible for everything from personnel to payroll. 

One thing I love about Drake is that they gave me the freedom to find what I am naturally good at.  After I worked in these various roles, I discovered that I love human resources. I love helping people. I really love the guys on the shop floor, and love doing what I can to make their life as good as possible.”

Drake: “That’s great to hear. We’re glad that Drake gave you these opportunities.”

Vickie:  “I really like the culture that we have here.  Even though we’ve grown significantly from when I first started, Drake still feels like a small company. Drake is unique in that everyone – from engineers to accountants to machinists and welders – are all working under one roof, and everyone gets along so well.  There’s a strong feeling of camaraderie, where everyone talks to everyone, and everyone knows everyone.  No matter their position in the company, people here are very approachable  Our President, Tom Ivy, will often chat with shop personnel. 

Pre-Covid we had frequent social events, which gave everyone a chance to sit down and talk to each other, especially colleagues who may not work together often. This further created a sense of camaraderie between old and new employees. 

One more thing that is great about this place – Drake gives us the opportunity to advance our careers while still having a personal life  As I mentioned earlier, I got to try several positions at Drake before I found what I love doing. Along the way, I had the flexibility to earn my college degree, to get married, and to have time to raise my two children. Drake allowed me to grow my career and my life at the same time.

Drake: “So, do you think the Great Place to Work Certification accurately reflects what it's like to work at Drake?”

Vickie: “Absolutely! I am extremely proud that Drake is a Great Place to Work certified company. This is a real certification that we earned. It’s not something every company gets. There is a minimum number of responses needed, so our employees had to care enough to take the time to complete the survey. Plus, given our high rating, they obviously think highly of working at Drake, which shows in the results of the survey. 

It’s the people who make Drake a great place to work.”


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