Elite SEM Voted Number One Place to Work by Crain’s NY

By Tinuiti Team

On Friday morning 12/6/2013 Elite SEM CEO Ben Kirshner got on a train from Philadelphia to New York to attend the Crain’s 2013 Best Places to Work in New York City Luncheon.  Of the thousands of companies that applied, just seventy five were invited to be honored as the best places to work in NYC.  While Ben and the rest of the Elite SEM team were fully aware that Elite SEM had made the top seventy five (an absolutely huge honor in itself), we had absolutely no idea where Elite SEM would fall in the rankings.

As Ben got to the office the rest of Elite SEM’s New York City and Philadelphia employees were gathering at 8:30 AM for bagels and coffee in preparation for the annual Elite SEM Holiday Party (Northeast).  This year’s holiday event was paintball on Long Island so Elite NY and PHL office employees were up bright and early, discussing different strategies and tactics on how their team (“Elite Veterans” versus “Elite Rookies”) would emerge victorious.

As everyone was having their morning coffee and bagels getting ready for the day we asked Ben what he would say if Elite SEM won the number one best place to work in New York City.  Ben gave us a dry run of an acceptance speech, giving thanks to his wife, Rebecca Kirshner, for all of her support and for allowing him to travel and do all the things he needs to on a weekly basis to help grow and support Elite SEM.  The Elite SEM employees gave him a round of applause for the speech and then everyone went on with their day: Ben to the Crain’s Luncheon and the rest of us to paintball in the elements for our Holiday party.

The rest was, as they say, history.  At the Crain’s Luncheon, Ben spoke on a panel about Elite SEM’s hiring practices and other questions about Elite SEM.  Afterwards, the specific ranks on the Crain’s List were to be announced.  Ben sat at a table with other companies being honored to be in the top 75 to wait and see what number Elite would be on the list.

The unveiling began at number 75 and counted down from there.  As the first came 25 came and went, Ben thought to himself “oh my God, we’re in the top 50”.  As they got to the 21st company on the list Ben thought to himself “Is this real? We made it in the top 20”. As they got to number 11 on the list and Elite SEM had yet to be called, Ben thought to himself “holy $!%@, we’re in the top 10!”.  As fate would have it out of all 75 companies honored as the best places to work in all of New York City, Elite SEM was named number one!

Ben got up on stage in front of more than 100 people in attendance and gave the speech he had practiced in the morning for all to hear.  In addition to thanking Rebecca and the Elite SEM employees Ben made special mention of Director of SEO of Elite SEM and E-commerce Vice President of Coffee for Less Zach Ciperski.  Zach is currently in the hospital right now and it’s safe to say, anyone at Elite who has known Zach for as long as he’s been a part of our family would gladly give up any award on the planet to see him completely well and back home with his family and at work.

As a side note, keeping up with the rest of the events from the day the “Elite SEM Veterans” showed the “Elite SEM Rookies” a thing or two about paintball the same way they do on a daily basis in Online Marketing, and eked out a narrow 3-2 victory in sudden death paintball overtime.

The Northeast Elite gang and CEO Ben Kirshner met after their days’ events were over at Eddie’s Pizza in New Hyde Park for some delicious thin crust pizza, to share their stories of the day, and to exchange presents in true holiday spirit.  A special shout out to Elite’s very own Tony Edwards for getting the season one Felicity DVD he’s been asking me about all year.

A Very Special Thank You

We would like to thank Crain’s NYC and say that receiving this award is an absolutely momentous honor that our entire company from coast to coast is extremely proud of.  There are many amazing companies also mentioned on the list whom we are very humbled to be mentioned alongside of. Friday December 6th will forever be a very memorable day for us all.  A very special thank you to our brilliant CEO, Ben Kirshner, for turning his dream into a reality; the same dream that has been, and will continue to be recognized as a groundbreaking way to run a business. To all of the employees of Elite SEM, our great clients, our trusted partners and vendors, and all of the other people in our lives that made this possible, thank you.

Between the number one place to work by Crain’s New York and recently winning Best Agency at the 2013 US Search Awards in October it’s been a crazy 2013 and we look forward to sharing more great news and online marketing related content on the Elite SEM blog.

More about the Crain’s Best Places to Work List

The Crain’s Best Places to Work survey and recognition program is “an exciting initiative dedicated to identifying and recognizing New York’s best employers” (  This year’s winners come from a very diverse set of companies from search marketing agencies, to law firms, and technology companies.  Winners were chosen based on the results of surveys sent to employees and employers and information sent over in the application process.

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