June 28, 2022

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Damar Services emphasizes supportive work culture to become a Top Workplace

Damar Services is rated one of Indianapolis’ top workplaces for large businesses in 2022 by Energage’s annual Top Workplaces employee survey.

It takes a special kind of person to work at Damar Services.

Someone who’s patient, mature, selfless and resilient. Someone who loves to help others overcome challenges.

“If you have the ability to put other people’s needs in front of your own, and that’s something that you find joy and you rejoice in, you’re going to have a wonderful time at Damar,” Dr. Jim Dalton, president and CEO of Damar Services.

See all the winners: Here are your 2022 Top Workplaces winners in Central Indiana

Damar Services, which supports people of all ages with developmental, behavioral and intellectual disabilities, is rated one of Indianapolis’ top workplaces for large businesses in 2022 by Energage’s annual Top Workplaces employee survey.

The company was founded in 1967 by Theodore and Beverly Farkas, who wanted more services and programs for their two children with developmental disabilities, David and Martha. Their names combined inspired the company’s name and the organization has since provided services for thousands of Hoosiers.

Founded in 1967, Damar Services was was recently named one of Central Indiana's top workplaces.

Founded in 1967, Damar Services was was recently named one of Central Indiana’s top workplaces.

The company offers mental health care, medical services, residential support, living services, education and more. It’s a “mission-driven” workplace, fueled by the organization’s values of helping their clients achieve and grow.

This support extends to their employees as well.

“It’s a culture of family, togetherness,” Sam Moya, vice president of children’s residential services at Damar, said. “We are all in it together.”

This is Damar Services’ first year making the Top Workplaces list, which has been a personal goal for Dalton, he said.

“We’ve worked really, really hard to be able to qualify, for our employees to respond in such positive ways about us,” he said.

Tammy Shockey, a one-on-one behavioral specialist who has been at Damar for almost 13 years, said it’s like her second home.

“There’s so much love and compassion …not just with the children, but with my coworkers,” she said. “Every day is different, but the goal always remains the same, and that’s what’s best for the child (or) client here at Damar.”

When Shockey got into a car crash, she had to take several months off work and go on short-term disability. She said she felt supported by Damar’s insurance policies and has never felt like her job was threatened while she recuperated.

“No matter what, if you’re a good employee and you love your job, they’re just going to be here for you,” she said.

Damar Services offers a competitive benefits package, including bonuses, expansive medical insurance, tuition assistance, vacation time, health and fitness perks.

But supporting employees goes beyond what’s included in their contracts.

With the recent influx of high gas prices, the company gave qualifying employees $100 gas cards to ease the burden. They plan to continue doing so, at least for the next few months.

“Those are the things that we do to meet the need of our employees to make them feel like they’re engaged, to feel like we are supporting them,” Moya said. “So that they see that, you know, we hear them. We are reading (the) mood out there.”

They also expanded work-from-home eligibility, so employees who may not have gotten a gas card could still reduce expenses.

“We’re going to try to help as much as we can,” Dalton said. “We’re all proud of that and try to really stay responsive to the needs of our employees.”

Moya said Damar is a good fit for him and his family.

“I feel like whatever I’m doing, and whatever the organizational culture that I’m in, makes me feel comfortable, makes me very happy, makes me fulfilled and therefore, I don’t have to second-guess why I’m here,” Moya said.

Bottom line

  • Founded: 1967

  • Description: Nonprofit offering service for people with developmental, behavioral and intellectual disabilities.

  • Central Indiana locations: 7

  • Number of employees: 950

Contact IndyStar trending reporter Claire Rafford at [email protected] or on Twitter @clairerafford.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IndyStar Top Workplaces 2022: Damar Services