Company: CentralReach LLC, Holmdel, NJ USA
Nomination Category: People-Focused CEO of the Year
Chris Sullens, CEO of CentralReach, is leading the company in its mission to provide an end-to-end software solution that enables Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinicians and educators to produce superior outcomes for people with autism. After being hand selected by Insight Venture Partners based on his proven track record of building strong company cultures with a “people-focused” philosophy and advancing customer-centric technology companies, Sullens transformed CentralReach into one of the top places to work, garnering a place on the NJBIZ Best Places to Work list. He accomplished this by refocusing the company’s mission on four core pillars: hiring and developing passionate people, evolving its products through speedy innovation, transforming clients and employees into raving fans, and continuously investing in the company’s systems, processes and structure.
Sullens invested in hiring the right mix of technology, healthcare, & ABA professionals to bolster the company’s expertise. In the past year, CentralReach recruited 50 new hires, supported 30+ internal transfers and promotions, and has 24+ ABA professionals on staff including the renowned Dr. Rick Kubina, BCBA-D. Sullens also supports the continuing education of his staff by helping them stay up to date on their credentials through employer-paid programs, which led to reducing employee churn by 67% from 2017 to 2018 with employees supportive of the company’s future under Sullens.
In addition to his commitment to ongoing education, Sullens also introduced new employee benefits including: a 401(k) program with company match-retirement plan beginning on day one of employment, generous PTO including one additional free PTO day to volunteer as part of “CR Cares” corporate social responsibility efforts, an expanded parental leave policy, and charitable donation matching. He enhanced existing programs, including remote work opportunities for work/life balance, robust medical insurance plans, dental, vision, pet insurance, workout days, and Teledoc healthcare options. A recent employee comment really solidifies the impact that these efforts have made on the employee base, “I don't know if you realize the difference you're making in the lives of your employees so I'm here to remind you that you are, and it's significant, so thank you for that. Investing in our employees and showing them that appreciation is what will take us to the next level in being one of the best places to work for. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.”
Culture is a priority for Sullens. After joining, he implemented an internal employee satisfaction survey tool called Culture IQ to measure successes and areas of opportunity. The most recent Culture IQ survey showed that CentralReach exceeded the national employee culture benchmark for high-performing companies as high as 18% above average.
CentralReach and Chris Sullens also support neurodiversity in the workplace and as such, have established and maintained a dedicated program that hires people with autism to work at CentralReach. The ReachOut program is committed to reducing the nearly 84% of the autism population who is currently under-employed or unemployed, making this program widely supported by all employees within the company.
Since Chris joined, CentralReach has won several awards for the company’s expansion, employee culture/retention, and positive impact including the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (#130), the NJBiz Fast 50 (#10), the 2018 Best in Biz Company of the Year, the NJBIZ Best Places to Work Award (#8), the Red Herring Top 100 North American Companies, and most recently, the Most Innovative Company of the Year Award (American Business Awards). Sullens also maintains a 100% Glassdoor approval rating. These tremendous wins demonstrate the positive impact Sullens has made on propelling the ABA industry forward through technology while building a world-class company culture.
Sullens was also named the Humanitarian of the Year by Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean Counties for his altruistic nature and commitment to giving back to the community.
-Chris Sullens Handpicked by Insight Venture Partners as CentralReach CEO
-CentralReach wins #8 in NJBIZ Best Places to Work in NJ under Chris Sullens’ leadership
-Chris Sullens Named 2019 Humanitarian of the Year by Fulfill
-Chris Sullens maintains a 100% approval rating on Glassdoor
-Chris Sullens named to ROINJ Influencers Power 100 List: Technology
-CentralReach ranks on 2018 NJBIZ Fast 50 (#10) Under Chris Sullens’ leadership
-CentralReach ranks on 2018 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (#130) Under Chris Sullens’ leadership
-CentralReach Named 2018 Best in Biz Company of the Year Under Chris Sullens’ leadership
-CentralReach Unveils New Business Intelligence Solution – CR Insights – to Help Customers Drive Business Optimization & Understand Key Metrics
-CentralReach exceeds 92% response rate in CultureIQ survey and receives top scores from employees