SmartPak CEO named one of the country’s best bosses by Fortune Small Business

Paal Gisholt of SmartPak in Plymouth to be featured in October issue

PLYMOUTH, MA (Oct. 2, 2006) — Winning Workplaces announces Paal Gisholt, President and CEO of SmartPak based in Plymouth, as one of this year's Best Bosses. He is one of 18 Best Bosses selected nationally - dedicated, passionate, and driven business leaders representing such diverse fields as investment management, animal health products, web hosting and legal services.

The winners were announced at the Winning Workplaces conference and celebration in Chicago on Sept. 27 to mark the fourth annual Best Bosses competition. The winners were evaluated on the personal statement of the leader, and employee and customer satisfaction ratings and interviews. A related story will appear in the October 2006 issue of FORTUNE Small Business with the full list of winners available online at and

A key theme among this year's Best Bosses – fully involving their employees in the success of the organization by offering extensive training, generous benefits, open-book management and direct ownership. "The Best Bosses understand the connection between employee engagement and the bottom line," says Mary Corbitt Clark, executive director of Winning Workplaces.

"As I learned more about Winning Workplaces, it became evident that this award really recognizes a group's achievement in building a winning culture," said Gisholt. "Since we started SmartPak six years ago, we've placed tremendous importance on empowering individuals to make an impact while having fun along the way. I am incredibly proud of our team and the positive work environment we have fostered."

SmartPak specializes in high-end, customized nutritional programs for horses and dogs. While primarily a catalog/internet company, they recently opened their first retail store in Natick, MA Gisholt founded SmartPak with his wife, Becky Minard, in 1999, and now employees close to 100 employees with customers in all fifty states.

This year's winners were selected through a nomination and application process that evaluated employee satisfaction, benefits, investment in training and the leader's personal vision. The finalists were screened by a panel of judges that included Winning Workplaces management team and board members, small business owners and workplace consulting experts.

The entire class of Best Bosses for 2006:

About Winning Workplaces
Winning Workplaces is an Evanston, IL-based not-for-profit, whose mission is to help the leaders of small and midsize organizations create great workplaces. Founded in 2001, Winning Workplaces serves as a clearinghouse of information on workplace best practices via a website and a monthly e-newsletter; recognizes outstanding leaders of small organizations through the Best Bosses collaboration with FORTUNE Small Business magazine; provides seminars and workshops on workplace-related topics; helps organizations assess their workplaces through employee surveys and other feedback tools.

About FORTUNE Small Business
FSB: FORTUNE Small Business is the premier magazine for – and about – small business owners. FSB is published by Time Inc. and is distributed 10 times a year through a partnership with American Express, reaching 1 million owners, partners and top managers of leading companies with fewer than 100 employees. Each issue provides hard-hitting, informative, inspiring coverage of the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. economy. Time Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner.

About SmartPak Equine
SmartPak Equine was founded in 1999 with the purpose of simplifying the administration of nutritional supplements and medications to horses. The patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system has been adopted by thousands of barns and horse owners across the country, who value knowing that their supplements will be fed correctly. It has been embraced by riders from all disciplines and all levels, including seven Olympic medalists. In addition to the SmartPak supplement system, the company offers a broad line of horse health and rider items, dog supplies, and equine and canine pharmacy items sold through the company’s catalog and Web site. In 2006, SmartPak was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing private companies for the second straight year and is the only equine company ever named to the list. The company has also been honored with a Best Bosses award presented by Fortune Small Business and Winning Workplaces. SmartPak also operates a retail store in Natick, MA. For more information, visit