2021 best workplaces honoree

3 minute read

A Letter from Our CEO

We're so excited to finally announce that we were recognized on Inc's Best Workplaces of 2021 list. Trust & Will CEO, Cody Barbo, shows his gratitude.

Cody Barbo

Cody Barbo, @codybarbo

Founder & CEO, Trust & Will

I am so proud to announce that Trust & Will was recognized as one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces in 2021. Each year, Inc. awards independent companies that stand out for having excellent company cultures. We are proud to share that we achieved a 97.15 for our Best Place to Work Score as rated by our employees. In addition:  

  • Trust & Will is one of 12 San Diego companies included in this year's list

  • We are the only San Diego company in the Lean & Mean category (under $5MM in revenue)

  • We are the only San Diego company in the Micro category (10-49 employees)

  • We are the only San Diego company in the On The Rise category (0-4 years in business)

I’ve hired over a hundred people over the last decade as a three-time company founder. At Trust & Will, I know that we’ve created something really special. In ten years from now, what I’m going to look back on and feel most proud of is the employee experience and culture that we’ve built. The fact that this recognition was awarded to us based on our team’s feedback makes me incredibly grateful and I feel so lucky that I get to work with such smart, talented people every day.

At Trust & Will, you never know what kind of fun the day or week will throw at you. For example, our daily Trust & Will Slack sign-ons. Each morning, we come up with a different theme — like “what’s your favorite food” or “best 90s throw-back song”. Everyone in the company will respond to the theme with their answer or a fun GIF on Slack as their way of starting the day. With most everyone working remotely, it’s a great way to kick off each work day with some humor while getting to know one another even better.

Family is one of our company’s core values, and it’s very visible at Trust & Will. We all make an effort to know everyone’s spouses or kids, we celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, and even our furrier members of the family’s birthdays. We’ve created a fun and intimate culture where we’ve come to understand each of our quirky nuances very well. It’s what makes us unique, authentic, and most importantly, a family-first team.

We’re currently spread across six different states, which presents an opportunity to get creative in how we celebrate and thank one another. Our weekly gratitude exercise has been especially rewarding. Each week, we come together and share our genuine gratitude for another person on a team. Whether you shout out a teammate for helping you overcome a challenge or thank someone for working on a project together, the exercise serves a purpose in that it’s intentional. You’ll hear and learn things about others you normally wouldn’t, which brings everyone closer. We even kick off every board meeting with the gratitude exercise. 

Another achievement I’m proud of is the growth tracks and opportunities we’re able to offer to our team members. Many individuals have started as a team of one and are now leading teams as large as ten. And we’re seeing that growth happen in just one or two years in some cases! I love that we’re able to offer this magnitude of growth for our team members. It’s always a priority for me to see that we are offering a rewarding experience here at Trust & Will. 

I believe our company’s purpose drives our team towar BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), to impact the lives of millions of families and help them better plan for the future. Whenever we get a chance to take a step back, we know that we’re helping real families, and we see that reflected in our industry leading 5 star member experience. It’s incredibly fulfilling and is a legacy that our team members can feel truly proud of. 

With all that said, I can’t express enough how amazing and exciting it is that we have received this award from Inc. It’s a great feeling to know that we’ve been recognized as one of the best workplaces in the country, based on Trust & Will’s employee feedback. If anything, I see this recognition as a challenge and call to action. We have to think of how we can elevate our experience and culture? How can we improve and do even better? How can we make sure that our employees continue to have a five-star experience (even a six-star experience)? How can we do this in a way that isn’t forced, and follows a natural evolution? Revisiting our vision, mission, and values regularly as a team will be essential, so that we remain true to our core beliefs. We’re already on a great path, and I’m excited to see what is in store for our company.


Cody Barbo


Subscribe to our newsletter for expert estate planning tips, trends and industry news.

    • Trust Pilot
    • Pledge 1%
    • Certified B Corporation
    • Better Business Bureau Accredited