Arlington, VA May 12, 2021 – PhoenixTeam has been named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the Best Workplaces for 2021. The list is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of American companies that have created exceptional workplaces and company culture whether teams are operating in person or remotely.

Long before PhoenixTeam was formed in 2015, PhoenixTeam’s Managing Partners envisioned a company that put its people first. A place where independent thought, growth and learning was paramount and a space where creativity, openness and empathy was celebrated and encouraged. PhoenixTeam holds this vision as close to our hearts today as then because that is what makes us unique and differentiates us from other companies.

Collecting data from thousands of submissions, Inc. singled out 429 honorees this year. Each nominated company took part in an employee survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, on topics including management effectiveness, perks, and fostering employee growth. The organization’s benefits were also audited to determine the company’s overall score and ranking.

“PhoenixTeam would like to thank Inc. for recognizing us as one of the 2021 best places to work, says Tanya Brennan, CEO and President of PhoenixTeam. “When we started this company, we envisioned a place where we would want to work ourselves. A place that inspires our people and provides them opportunity to achieve their goals and make an impact on the world. Six years later, having grown the team to almost 100 people, we continue our journey to inspire our people to be their very best.” 

“The definition of a positive workplace has changed drastically over the past year,” says Inc. magazine editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “Stocked fridges and nap pods were no longer perks many companies could rely on once work went remote. So, this year’s list is even more important as it reveals organizations that continue to enrich the lives of its employees amid a pandemic.” 

About PhoenixTeam

PhoenixTeam is a women-owned small business that provides mortgage technology solutions to improve the home purchase experience for borrowers and help financial institutions, technology providers, and government agencies achieve their desired outcomes. PhoenixTeam specializes in serving federal housing agencies and the mortgage industry, helping deliver better business solutions through technology implementation excellence. For more information, visit 

Meet Jennifer Drahota, who has dreams of someday writing and publishing her own book. Although she has not figured out what it is going to be about, but she is sure that it will involve tidbits from her crazy and rewarding personal and professional experience. She is taking notes along the way.

‘Quit focusing so much on everything around yourself instead of what is right in front of you. Be diligent with what you have in this moment’. This advice has served her well, most recently in parenting her two young daughters as well as keeping her grounded all around.

Jennifer is proud to be part of this team and loves that at PhoenixTeam, there is so much amazing talent, diversity and leadership of all the team members.

If Saugat could give his younger self sage advice it would be “There is no course that teaches you money and time management, mental health, self-love, self-confidence, and acts of kindness, but it is the most important knowledge you will ever need”.

Saugat’s perfect day is a day spent with family. It was a pleasure for him when he began working for PhoenixTeam that he immediately felt like part of the family. To Saugat, everyday feels like a Friday at PhoenixTeam.

Travel and learning new things are a passion for Saugat and if he wins the lottery, you will find him vacationing in Greece, taking flying lessons or on a long drive with his favorite music playing on the radio

By Jaedri Wood</p

When reading through a job application, the first question that comes to mind is “Do I fulfill the requirements?” This is a reasonable question, but job seekers tend to forget the other side of the requirement coin: “Does the employer/ organization fulfill my requirements as well?” Searching for the right job to fit your career goals is a tireless effort, especially in today’s market. However, this effort should not be one-sided. Job seekers should inquire about mobility, training, and how to succeed in the company rather than solely completing the required tasks in the job description. Employers should also be searching for a forward-thinking team member who will go above and beyond to not only complete tasks, but who will always ask “what’s next?”

The mistake many make after securing a job, is not asking about the future of their role. If team members never ask what is next, they will be stuck in a role of maintenance, not excellence. To break out of the maintenance phase, employees must pursue internal and/or external continuous learning. Continuous learning is what transforms an employee into a valuable, retainable team member. In an agile world, where quick iteration and continuous development are paramount, team members are pushed to do more, do it faster, and do it better every time. From an organization’s perspective, it is easy to claim to be successful when the technology is steadily improving. However, as an organization, we do ourselves, our clients, and our team members a great disservice if we think software is the only thing that needs continuous improvement.

Software improvement would not be possible without the mass amounts of time, energy, and creativity that comes from the people designing it. Team members must have this same drive when it comes to their own improvement within an organization. When the software is upgraded, the team member’s skillset should be as well. For example, if someone is hired on to manage a specific software project, what happens when a more complex project comes along that they are not familiar with? While some companies may opt to give the work to a more skilled team member, we would suggest a different alternative: train them instead. When organizations invest in training or other learning programs, it shows team members that they are valuable investments and encourages them to pursue more growth opportunities. Investing in training for employees makes them feel more adept to handle challenging tasks, reduces turnover, and increases the profit margin of a company by 24% on average. Beyond the balance sheet, an IBM study reported that employees who feel they cannot develop in the company and fulfill their career goals are 12 times more likely to leave the company. The cost of turnover and rehiring must not be understated. Retaining skilled, happy, productive employees is a consistent investment that must be made by the company if they wish to avoid those costs. Furthermore, companies should foster a learning environment beyond the available trainings. Learning new skills is a result of thinking, not just teaching. Organizations are responsible for creating an environment where team members can leverage their new skills and actually use them. After all, training is expensive, and the return on investment will be lost if a certification is gained but not used.

Team members should be empowered and encouraged to seek out trainings or learning opportunities to further invest in themselves and the organization. Not every employee will ask or want to be trained more extensively for their role, and that is perfectly acceptable. However, companies who do not set aside investment capital for funding the employees who do with to pursue that path, will be missing out on prime opportunities to create a stronger, more dedicated, and passionate workforce than ever before.

At PhoenixTeam, continuous, lifetime learning is one of our core values. We are proud of the environment we have created where each of our team members is continuously growing, learning, and talking about it—a lot! From software engineers to our diversity and inclusion team, everyone is empowered to step out of their typical role and learn something new. Continuous learning makes our team more versatile, agile, and better as a whole. We are more than the certifications we achieve, we are practitioners and experts. Our team puts our certifications to the test every day by finding new ways to implement and improve ourselves and the software we create. Many of our team members are SAFe certified, Certified Scrum Masters, have an array of Mortgage knowledge and experience, and much more. Why do we invest so heavily in training? It’s simple: our goal is to have a team that is capable of anything. If there is a knowledge gap, we search for trainings to mitigate it. Once we know what we don’t know, the work begins to become experts in any and every field we can. Continuous learning is what differentiates us from the rest. We are here to learn, not just here to do.

Katie describes herself as fun loving, loyal, adaptable a bit of a people pleaser, slightly stubborn and loves making friends. If you missed information at a company meeting, don’t worry, she has an intense long-term memory and can recall discussions and decisions made years later. She is passionate about everything! She puts passion behind everything she does, which is driven by the desire to continuously learn. Becoming a SCRUM and SAFe Agilist were two of her career goals and PhoenixTeam helped her achieve both certifications. Katie loves the learning opportunities that PhoenixTeam offers her and appreciates that her team members are all invested in teaching as well as learning. When Katie is not working, she loves to read, color, shop and hike on warm sunny days.

Damion lives by his positive attitude and humble personality. The best advice he has ever gotten is “Judge not, least ye be judged.”  Damion does not believe “everything happens for a reason”, but he believes in making the best of the current situation.

When Damion was in college he worked on an initiative where an update was made to a financial system to begin tracking cost basis when stocks are purchased and sold. This was his “Ah Ha” moment that made him realize he had a real interest in finance and the inner workings of the residential mortgage industry space. His mantra is, “plan, do, check, adjust” and applies this to work and personal life.

Damion was drawn to PhoenixTeam when a current coworker informed him of the challenging work PhoenixTeam was doing and he wanted to be a part of it. His favorite part of working with PhoenixTeam are the challenges and how the daily support of his team members keeps him motivated.

If Kelli won the lottery, the first thing she would do is buy a house on the beach in South Carolina so she could wear flip flops every day while driving to the beach in her golf cart. Kelli was drawn to PhoenixTeam, after one of her coworkers had spoken so highly of the company. Kelli had been previously working for a company where her work life was absorbing all her personal life. PhoenixTeam believes in ‘work-life balance’, and Kelli has found hers here. It was when Kelli was a freshman at Penn State that she realized how important work-life balance is. Social interaction at a Division l University is a huge part of attending college and Kelli knew for her to succeed in her major of Economics and still enjoy the social aspect of college her major needed to be something she could balance. Today, Kelli is still a season ticket holder for Penn State football!Kelli has been married for 26 years to her husband, Nick. She has a 25-year-old son, Austin, and her first grandchild Mason.

Austin spent his middle grade school years living in Australia. His mortgage career began while he was still in college. He is thrilled to be working at The PhoenixTeam where his efforts are leading to improve technology experiences for the VA homebuying experience. “My favorite thing about PhoenixTeam is the comradery with other team members-Everyone is always willing to help or assist and share information. PhoenixTeam also has such a commitment to learning and training which is great!” Austin and his wife hope to get to Bora Bora someday, but in the meantime they enjoy their home life in Jacksonville, FL raising their three sons together.

Dan is a salesforce solutions architect with an extensive background working with nonprofits. Working at Phoenix has given Dan the opportunity to be in a fulltime consulting role working on large scale projects. “Phoenix authentically feels like the whole team, from top to bottom, is committed to building an organization that builds up its people and doing what is in the long term best interest of our customers.”

Dan lived his twenties in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, and loves to cook a wide variety of Indian and SE Asian dishes. Now living in the D.C. area with his wife Michelle, they are expecting their first baby at the end of March 2021.

p>Jake comes to PhoenixTeam with 20 years’ experience and 5 Salesforce certifications. Working at PhoenixTeam has shifted his mindset on solution delivery. “The way Phoenix goes to market is not to deliver a project, but a product” “It has changed my mindset around software delivery and how to define and measure success.”

Jake was drawn to Phoenix because he is allowed to make his own path, add value to his clients and take risks that he was not able to do before. “The team environment at Phoenix makes me excited to come to work (by which I mean I come downstairs and sit at my desk) and do the work I want to do the way I want to do it.” Jake is a native Washingtonian and has a huge passion for BBQ, whiskey and woodwork. His free time is spent with his wife and two young boys.