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Trade Talk: Sundog shines nationally

Generally speaking, showing up to work on a Monday morning to find complimentary Starbucks gift cards waiting for you and your co-workers makes for a good day at the office.

Generally speaking, showing up to work on a Monday morning to find complimentary Starbucks gift cards waiting for you and your co-workers makes for a good day at the office.

Showing up to find a limousine waiting to take you there - as the employees of Sundog did this week - makes for a great one.

There have been more than a few great days at the office this year for the Fargo marketing and technology firm. In February, the company was named the best place to work by the state's Young Professionals Association. The kudos went a step further this week when Advertising Age, the marketing industry's top trade publication, named the company one of the 30 best places to work nationally in marketing and media.

Nearly 150 companies applied for the honor. Sundog chief executive Brent Teiken told me the company decided to go for it after realizing many of the qualities that helped it win the North Dakota award - generous benefits, serious professional development and a fun office environment, among others - were the same criteria on the national stage.

"I said, 'Let's look for something national. Let's take this to the next level,'" he told me. "I think it puts us on a level that's on par with other large, well-known organizations that are in the industry."

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Company executives learned they'd made the list a few weeks ago, but managed to keep the news under wraps while they planned a "day of pampering" to celebrate. That included the swanky coffee trips, mimosas, chair massages, lunch catered by Moe's Southwestern Grill, and an afternoon social outing.

Even at perk-rich Sundog, that's an above-average day. But it was also a reminder of what many employees already knew: Working at the company is kind of awesome.

"We talk about this with our friends, we talk about it with our families. I've been telling my friends and family that for years, ever since I started working here," said Paul Bourdeaux, a senior software engineer. "It's gratifying to know that other people see the hard work we put into our culture and programs here."

Worried about the accolades going to the company's head? Teiken is out in front of that one. He's got a baseball home plate on the wall in his office, and in every conference room around the office. The message: Don't lose track of who we are.

Another daily deal site coming

A few weeks ago, we wrote about SaveCoin , the area's first website to offer Groupon-style daily deals on restaurants, services, and other products. Now, a second Fargo-Moorhead site - DealsND - is launching Monday.

Founder Rick Berg (not the congressman) says the locally owned company will offer discounts of 50 to 90 percent off on "restaurants, spas, movie theaters, golf courses and anything in between."

You can also connect with Trade Talk online at www.tradetalk.areavoices.com

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Readers can reach Forum business reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502.

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