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Express office, Lunch and Learn Prior to moving to Asheville in 2006, Gary had spent most of his career in sales and Human Resources with large corporations, two of which were Fortune 50 firms. After attending UNC Asheville, Gary’s oldest daughter decided to stay. With the birth of their first grandchild, and a request from his company to transfer, Gary and his wife decided he should leave the corporate world behind, and together, they would create something of their own in Asheville. When they moved here, the local Express franchise had been operating since 1997. Gary had met the owner through a networking event and decided to contact him about a job. As it turned out, the owner was interested in selling the business, and following a due-diligence period Gary took over ownership of the Asheville Express franchise in April 2007. Gary was able to lure his younger daughter, Meredith, to Asheville to potentially become part of the business. Following a process where the current Express team interviewed Meredith, she was hired in 2007 and became co-owner in 2014. While this is a true family business, Meredith runs the day-to-day operations and according to Gary, is the “oil that keeps the engine running.” Gary explains, “When Express started out, much of the focus was on industrial jobs, the hospitality sector, and more transaction-based work. Prior to 2007, the job market was candidate driven. When the recession hit in 2008, everything changed and it became more company driven, with lots of people, but not so much work.”

Over the years, a shift occurred in how Express interacted with its clients. They wanted to be the employer of choice and partner with companies, not be just another staffing vendor. For their Associates, they wanted them to reach out to the staffing team and ask for advice; they wanted to support them more broadly. Express focused on having a broader vision of the market … to grow something of value. This meant a move in direction to the healthcare industry and the professional and business services sector, not surprisingly the two areas that are at the top of the current job market growth. To help make the best decisions, both for their Associates and clients, Express offers a variety of services. For its Associates, they offer training resources, development opportunities and other programs to assist them with building the skills necessary to be successful. They also try to keep them engaged and working … the Associates, after all, are their employees. At Express, 250 300 people get a paycheck every week, with an average pay rate of $14 an hour, and they are happy when Associates are hired by Express client companies. As for supporting their clients, Express works closely with businesses to assess their needs, and then match qualified Associates who will succeed at meeting those needs. They also offer a variety of resources designed for businesses and business leaders. These include live seminars, leadership webinars and videos, white papers, and many more tools. Continued on page 60 Winter 2017 | Fine Homes & Design 59

Fine Homes & Design Winter 2017  
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