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NuStar Energy
NuStar Energy
2009 Best Companies rank: 44

The philosophy at this pipeline operator (a spinoff of Valero): If you do a good job, you'll always have a job. Chairman Bill Greehey and CEO Curt Anastasio have maintained a no-layoff policy and consider employees their most valuable asset. They cite layoffs as "counterproductive," since they "erode morale, create fear and reduce productivity."

NuStar has avoided cuts even as other oil and gas companies are experiencing layoffs, by managing costs and constantly looking for ways to improve profits.

The dedication to keeping staff has paid off in a loyal workforce. After Hurricane Ike hit in September, the company's Texas City terminal sustained major damage. Many workers lost their homes in the storm but still reported to work the following day to help get the facility back up and running. Says one employee: "It's an honor and pleasure to work for a company that considers you a valuable individual."

NEXT: Stew Leonard's
Last updated January 27 2010: 4:46 PM ET
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