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ICON International Thrives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Its hybrid office model supports work-life balance, encourages fellowship outside the office and drives career longevity.

By Livability on October 10, 2022

ICON International employees
Courtesy of ICON International

As employers continue to navigate the post-pandemic workplace, ICON International has doubled down on a future of work that sees its people eagerly returning to the corporate office.

Who could blame them? Since arriving in Fort Lauderdale in 2018, the $1.6 billion corporate barter agency has expanded its downtown space to meet the needs of its young, diverse and growing workforce. The open environment is bathed in equal parts South Florida sunshine and workplace camaraderie, helping nurture an uncommon culture of kinship.

“We’re doing something in Fort Lauderdale that no other company can claim in quite the same way,” says Serena Coons, the company project manager who relocated here from the company’s Connecticut offices to help build ICON’s market presence. “Our hybrid office model encourages fellowship and a shared mission not only for the exciting work we do, but the way we do it.”

It starts with the holistic training every associate experiences from day one. They’re taught about the company’s local and national digital and out-of-home media platforms, with mentors and coworkers alike eager to share their deep knowledge of the unique sector. Learning here is akin to osmosis — absorbed by being around some of the most knowledgeable workers in the fast-evolving media landscape.

“These aren’t just employees,” says Richard Upton, ICON’s executive vice president of operations based in the company’s Greenwich, Connecticut, offices. “They’re highly trained, collaborative and engaged problem solvers who deliver results far beyond the industry standard.”

Companionship extends beyond ICON’s offices. Coworkers regularly gather for company and client events, community volunteer efforts, team-building exercises and socials along Las Olas Boulevard and Fort Lauderdale’s bustling Flagler Village neighborhood that many call home. This unique pursuit of work/life balance has earned the moniker of “Florida’s feel good factor.”

With balance comes success and career longevity. Almost seven in 10 employees stay five years, and over 80% have been with the company a decade or longer.

For 11 years running, ICON was named a “Top Workplace in Connecticut” and Ad Age magazine awarded ICON “Best Place to Work” honors in 2019.

ICON is precisely the type of employer business leaders hope will call the city home, says Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County’s official public-private partnership for economic development. “We’re excited about the young talent they’ve attracted to our community,” he says. “ICON International is an outstanding addition to Greater Fort Lauderdale.”

“Our associates love their work, and our clients love the results,” adds Dawn Montelione, ICON’s senior vice president of human resources. “As ICON makes our mark on Fort Lauderdale, our associates are enjoying lives worth living.” 

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