Todd Sturdivant had worked at Publix Super Markets for a year when the CIO greeted him by name and asked about his work. He was impressed that the top IT leader would take an interest in what he was doing, considering he's just one of hundreds of IT employees.

He says it's that kind of friendly atmosphere that has kept him there for 10 years.

Sturdivant, who moved from a software quality assurance analyst position to his current systems analyst/programmer job, also appreciates the opportunities to advance.

"That's probably my favorite thing about Publix in general and the IT department -- this philosophy to promote from within," he says. "I love the ability to come in and have that sense of 'I own it' and 'I can drive that.' "

Stephanie Jobe, manager of store systems engineering, says the support she gets from colleagues, along with the on-the-job training offered by Publix, has kept her with the company for 18 years. She started as a store clerk and is now manager of store systems engineering.

She says she also likes the fact that Lakeland, Fla.-based company is investing in technology.

"It's never dull. Every day I come in here and it's something different. We get to stay with the latest trends," she says.

Renee Kelly, director of business application delivery, says the whole package -- from the benefits to the technology training -- is what makes people want to work in Publix's IT department. "It's the entire atmosphere," she says. "We're all in it together."