Three companies on Middle Tennessee’s 2022 Best Workplaces list for small businesses that employ fewer than 125 people have appeared on the list every year for the past decade.

Hastings Architecture, STARS and MP&F Strategic Communications can celebrate again this year after being named top small businesses by their employees.

The overall winner in the category is Kia of Murfreesboro, a car dealership with 45 local employees.

The winners:See the list of the best places to work in Middle Tennessee

Methodology :How the Best Workplaces Were Determined

Hasting Architecture

Since its founding in 1985, Hastings claims to have had a deep commitment to design and community, producing award-winning work that is both accretive and impactful for its clients and the communities it serves. Staff of more than 85 architects, interior designers and planners collaborate in the company’s open studio in downtown Nashville.

Hastings is regularly recognized nationally for its hard work and progressive corporate culture. In 2019, the Journal of the American Institute of Architects’ ARCHITECT magazine named Hastings #3 overall, #7 in design, #10 in business, and #35 in sustainability in its annual ARCHITECT 50 rankings.

Hastings employees cite a fun, creative work environment and a strong company culture among the top reasons it’s great to work.

“I feel extremely lucky to be here as often as I am,” one employee said. “A fantastic team of people who are always inclusive and supportive.”

Another added: “I feel included and trustworthy even though I recently graduated and I’m relatively new to the office. I’m given high-level responsibilities that help me learn and grow. rapidly.”


Since 1984, STARS’ mission has been to help young people pursue their limitless potential. STARS has served some of the region’s most disadvantaged populations by providing school-based prevention and intervention services, as well as intensive outpatient treatment services for adolescents with substance abuse and concurrent disorders.

STARS services have produced consistent results including increased school attendance and grades, youth attachment to school/community, individual resilience, and reduction in suspensions, expulsions, bullying, violence, delinquency and the consumption of alcohol and other drugs.

STARS CEO Rodger Dinwiddie said it’s an honor to be the recipient of the Tennessean’s Best Workplace Award every year since the process began.

“STARS is committed to providing the type of workplace where everyone experiences a positive culture and climate,” Dinwiddie added. “We have an amazing staff and it’s been so great to get their feedback through this process every year. We collectively celebrate the positives and take seriously the areas where we still have work to do.”

STARS employees cite proven success and the ability to make a difference in their community as reasons they love their workplace.

“I love my job because I’m able to sow seeds of love and kindness to help feed someone else’s spirit and help them where they are at,” one employee said. .

Another added: “I work with children and their families on a personal level. I like to think that the time and attention I give to students will have a positive impact on them.”

Main medium-sized companies:Nashville Predators, Churchill Mortgage on list 10 straight years

Main big companies:Change Healthcare/Chamberlin Edmonds, HealthTrust and MAPCO Express are new to the list

MP&F Strategic Communications

McNeely Pigott & Fox is an award-winning, full-service public relations and marketing communications firm based in Nashville. MP&F’s Nashville office is home to the majority of the company’s 65 employees.

MP&F started in 1987 as a one-person consultancy. Today, it’s a team of more than 70 communications and public relations strategists working with clients across the country in a variety of industries, including healthcare, technology, hospitality and tourism.

McNeely Pigott & Fox Strategic Communications employees meet as a group twice a year in the fall to take two days out of the office for a retreat.

The company says it prides itself on hiring staff from diverse backgrounds. This allows the company to expand the breadth of knowledge and capabilities of its talent pool and gives it the flexibility to tailor its teams to specific clients and projects to achieve the best possible results.

“We are incredibly honored to be on this list,” said Managing Partner Jennifer Brantley. “The work culture and the city of Nashville are constantly changing, and it’s proof that every member of our team is capable of keeping up. Everyone here works hard every day to make sure our colleagues feel included, respected and able to do their best work. »

Employees say they feel their work is meaningful and there are plenty of opportunities for growth.

“I love my job because of the people and because of the breadth and depth of the work,” one employee said. “Every day brings an opportunity to work on something new and do it alongside some of the best minds in the industry. My colleagues are creative, dedicated, hilarious and inspiring and make even the busiest days fun. All ideas are welcome and I feel really motivated to give it my all because everyone is doing the same.”