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: Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’m married and have five amazing sons and five grandchildren. I attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, where I studied business communications. Prior to Forge, I worked in the fitness industry for six years and for muscular dystrophy for three years. I wanted to get back into sales and work hands-on with people. I interviewed at three staffing companies. Forge was my top pick because I was so impressed with the owners and how hands-on they were with the company. They were so genuine during the interview process. Fortunately, they liked me too, and here I am today, almost 30 years later. I was hired in 1995 as a staffing consultant (outside sales). In 2001, I was promoted to Director of Sales, and then in 2022, I was promoted to my current role as Executive Director of Sales and Operations.
Q: Please describe your career trajectory leading up to your current position at Forge, highlighting any major milestones, turning points, or memorable experiences.
A: Some of the most memorable experiences for me are watching so many individuals get hired into our client companies and then promoted to higher positions to help support their families. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of an organization that helps make a difference in the lives of so many people in our community.
Q: How would you describe Forge’s impact on its clients, on its industry, or community, and what do you believe sets it apart from competitors?
A: From the beginning, Forge has always held a huge respect for both clients and our contingent workforce. Forge office hours were expanded to meet both client and worker needs. Our focus from the start has always been light industrial staffing. We didn’t want to be a jack of all trades. Our focus allows us to stand apart from most of our competitors because of our dedication to the industry. We truly care about our clients and employees, and we go above and beyond to show them that it’s not just business. We are deeply involved with our communities, and each year we work with several organizations to help raise money for those in need.
Q: In what ways does Forge support its employees’ professional development and personal well-being?
A: Our company’s mission statement is ‘Follow the Golden Rule.’ Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, work with passion, work with discipline, and have fun. We offer tuition reimbursement for our internal employees and have on-going in-house training available for all employees. We also allow seven sick/personal days with an allowance to roll three days over to the next year, as well as vacation time and holiday pay. Directors are hands-on and travel to all markets to work with and build relationships with our employees so they can get to know us and feel comfortable growing at Forge. We post open positions to give growth opportunities to all employees.
Q: Reflecting on your time at Forge, what have been the most significant lessons or insights you’ve gained?
A: Working in the staffing industry has taught me patience and a new understanding of all walks of life. Many of the employees we send to work are just starting out in the world and need training and coaching on simple things that I take for granted. It’s rewarding to help people get a job and watch them grow with the client companies we service.