Some companies aren't crazy about being known as a family firm. Top executives don't allow family members to work in the business, and they go extra steps to cultivate a slick, corporate feel in their office furnishings and corporate environment.

The Bozzuto Group is different. “They embrace family,” Snider says. Just look at the employee directory: Toby Bozzuto and Duncan Slidell, sons of founders Tom Bozzuto and John Slidell, respectively, work at the Maryland-based company. But those two aren't the only ones with family connections.

“We have lots of sons and brothers and fathers and sisters and mothers and cousins and friends here,” says Julie Smith, president of Bozzuto Management Co. “We welcome family members and friends to work in the Bozzuto organization.”

FOUNDING FATHERS: John Slidell, Tom Bozzuto, and Rick Mostyn of The Bozzuto Group In fact, 40 percent of Bozzuto hires come from internal referrals. “People don't refer people unless they're happy,” Smith says. “They also don't refer people who won't be successful. They feel that [a bad referral] will come back to hurt their own reputation.”

When applicants are hired, they meet Tom Bozzuto himself at the company's head quarters. I t could be only the first of many visits to Greenbelt through-out a Bozzuto employee's career. “We promote from within the company,” Smith says. “We would prefer to grow someone and teach them skills to advance to their next position rather than hire from outside the company. With us, they not only have a career path within the management group, but they can work in the construction company, the new homes division, marketing, and in our design centers. They have the ability to move in a lot of different directions under the Bozzuto umbrella.”

The Bozzuto Group

  • Headquarters: Greenbelt, Md.
  • Employees: 1,085
  • Turnover Rate: 42%