Q: Please tell us about your background, including where you’re from and what led you to join Forge, as well as what you were doing before your current role.
A:Raised in the small town of South Haven, MI, I graduated high school in 2012 and moved to Grand Rapids to attend college. During my last year in high school, I started working in the hospitality industry as a front desk attendant. I realized that I had a positive and strong drive for customer service, and I used that skill to find a position at a hotel in Grand Rapids as I worked my way through college. During my employment at the hotel, I realized that I wanted to move forward in my profession and started searching for a job that would give me the opportunity to exhibit my customer service skills while also finding satisfaction in helping people. I found an open job opportunity at Forge in 2014 as a part-time service coordinator, so I applied and submitted my resume.
Q: Please describe your career trajectory leading up to your current position at Forge, highlighting any major milestones or turning points.
A: I began my career at Forge in April of 2014 as a part-time service coordinator. I was then offered the opportunity to be a full-time employee as an on-site coordinator working at one of our client locations. My job duties changed from recruitment to becoming the liaison between the employees we had placed at that client location and our Forge office. During my time at the client location, I began expanding my knowledge of HR. I became a sponge and quickly grasped many different aspects of HR. I found my calling for HR because I was getting the satisfaction of providing exemplary customer service as well as helping the employees within the organization. I was then offered a role at Forge as HR Generalist. They created the position for me as a way of showing how much they cared about my growth while also acknowledging my skills and contribution that I could bring to Forge. Since my start at Forge in 2014, I have worked my way up the ladder, from part-time service coordinator to on-site coordinator, to HR generalist, to assistant manager of HR, to manager of HR.
Q: Memorable Experiences and Projects: What are some memorable experiences or projects at Forge that you are particularly proud of, and why?
A: I’ve had countless memorable experiences and noteworthy projects during my employment at Forge. One particular highlight that stands out in my mind was the implementation of different employee benefits and updates to our handbook, as well as HR technology that helps us recognize the importance of fostering a healthy and balanced work environment. I collaborated with many members of the organization to create a positive and welcoming HR department. This is memorable because I have been around to witness the positive impact of these efforts, as employees flourished both personally and professionally, which has been truly gratifying. This landmark always reminds me of my passion for promoting employee well-being but also of my dedication to advancing the HR function within the organization.
Q: Impact and Distinctiveness of Forge: How would you describe Forge’s impact for its clients, on its industry or community, and what do you believe sets it apart from competitors?
A: Forge takes pride in offering exceptional customer service to all its clients. For over 25 years, Forge has built a positive reputation for itself by ensuring that clients are always treated with respect and a charismatic personality. We go above and beyond to provide the best quality of employees to our clients because we understand the importance of having the right employees for a position. We love interacting with the communities that host our business; we are often found at job fairs and community outreach programs. We have a program called Forge Cares, where we take the initiative and search for programs that give back to families and people in the community. We also offer volunteer days to our employees, where they are compensated anytime they volunteer or help the community on Forge’s behalf. Forge strongly believes in giving back to the communities that have given us a home and a place to grow our business and show the members of the community that together, we can all succeed.
Q: Company Culture and Employee Support: In what ways does Forge support its employees’ professional development and personal well-being?
A: Our company is proud to have a welcoming, hardworking, fun, and enthusiastic culture! Our offices are consistently looking for new and innovative ways to keep our employees engaged in fun activities while also working diligently to provide the best service to customers and service associates. You can walk into any Forge office and will immediately be greeted with a smile from one of our many service coordinators. We love hearing from our employees that they have fun at work; it’s one of our golden rules, and we truly live by those words. If you ask most of our managers and members of our executive committee, they would all tell you that their careers at Forge started as service coordinators. We offer opportunities to motivated and driven employees who wish to excel in their careers and help Forge become a leader in the industry. Our goal is to nurture talented individuals and help them achieve their professional as well as personal goals. Our leadership development program gives our employees a path to management and prepares them for their new role within the company.
Q: Personal Reflections: Reflecting on your time at Forge, what have been the most significant lessons or insights you’ve gained?
A: My time at Forge has been a life-changing experience. I have created great bonds and relationships along my journey. I never would have expected for my life to evolve into what it currently is, and I have Forge and its amazing people to thank for it. I began working here at the age of 20, and 10 years later, this company has given me the opportunity to better myself not only as a professional in the industry but also as a human being and a man. I have learned that by having the right people in the right positions, you can achieve any goal that is set. That by having fun and treating others how you want to be treated, you can adopt a healthy company culture.