Chicago-Based Clayco Named Among Fast Company’s 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators

CHICAGO – August 2, 2021 – Clayco, a full-service, turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build and construction firm headquartered in Chicago has been named to Fast Company’s 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators list, the publication announced today. This marks the third year Fast Company has recognized organizations around the world that most effectively empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent whole new ways of doing business.

“We are honored to be on Fast Company’s 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators list and to be ranked among a group of pioneering companies across industries,” said Bob Clark, Clayco Executive Chairman and Founder. “At Clayco, we have found that our practice breeds innovation that drives the industry beyond the bounds of tradition. Since our founding, we have sought to hire the brightest and most innovative individuals, creating a culture in which ALL are given the space to thrive.”

In 2020, Clayco encouraged Project Superintendent Kile Nuehring to dedicate time and resources to invent a safety system aiming to drastically reduce worksite falls—the leading cause of death among construction workers. Kile’s efforts resulted in the Fall Arrest Acknowledgement System (FAAS) which can be built into new machines coming off the line and retrofitted into existing boom and scissor lifts. Kile was recently issued a nonprovisional utility patent for FAAS and, to begin distribution, is working to install the system on all scissor lifts used on Clayco jobsites.

“I’m honored to have been given the space to innovate within my profession—especially concerning something that has the potential to save lives,” Nuehring said. “Clayco has really let me run with my idea and shown me a lot of support. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together and grateful for the support my colleagues here have shown me.”

Since Clayco’s inception, Bob Clark has put innovation at the forefront of all projects, internal initiatives and Clayco’s fundamental mission of empowering communities. Having recently served as design-builder for Pfizer’s new R&D laboratory in Chesterfield, MO and for Fulton East, the nation’s first office building designed for a post-COVID-19 environment, Clayco stays well-informed on trends across a wide variety of markets and niche industries. Through supporting a sizeable research and development budget equally split between information technology and applied/practiced technology, Clayco looks for ways to align its own practices with world class companies outside of the construction industry.

“We are proud to be named to Fast Company’s 2021 Best Workplaces for Innovators list and to cultivate a company culture in which innovation takes places across all levels and in all departments,” said Russ Burns, Clayco President and CEO. “We look forward to continuing to innovate within the industry to better serve our communities and clients.”

Developed in collaboration with Accenture, the Best Workplaces for Innovators list ranks 100 winners from a variety of industries, including computer science, biotech, consumer packaged goods, nonprofit, education, financial services, cybersecurity, and engineering. Working together, Fast Company editors and Accenture researchers scored nearly 1,500 applications, and a panel of eight eminent judges reviewed and endorsed the top 100 companies. The 2021 awards feature workplaces from around the world with several of the honorees based outside the U.S.

“These leaders and teams created cultures of innovation and sustained them, even as remote work extended into 2021,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “This newest list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators honors those organizations that found ways to collaborate and invent despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, ensuring employees were at the forefront.”

The Best Workplaces for Innovators is one of Fast Company’s most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators issue (September 2021) is now available online and will be available on newsstands nationwide beginning August 17.

About Clayco

Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, and construction firm that safely delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With $3.8 billion in revenue for 2020, Clayco specializes in the “art and science of building,” providing fast track, efficient solutions for industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential related building projects. For more information visit

About Fast Company
Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethonomics (ethical economics), leadership, and design. Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company and inspire readers and users to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with its sister publication Inc. Stephanie Mehta is editor-in-chief.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 482,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at