Keith Kniepkamp of Chesterfield, MO is the newest Express Employment Professionals franchise owner, and he brings with him a strong background in human resources and management.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in finance from Southern Illinois University, Keith worked as a recruiter for Wottowa and Associates. His career advanced to take HR management positions at Meridian Automotive, Ingersoll Rand, Baser Electric, and Public Safety Equipment, Inc.
“Keith has a very diverse business and management background. He has experience in recruiting, talent management, and sales,” said Dan Gunderson, Regional Franchising Executive of Express. “He is customer oriented and is looking to build and develop his business with a combination of human resources and sales experience. That is a perfect combination for the staffing industry.”
Keith is excited to also get the opportunity to work with his daughter Alison in his Express franchise. She has the customer service abilities to fill the Staffing Consultant role.
Keith and his wife Sue are active in their local church, St. Mark, and he also volunteers with the St. Mark Food Pantry. He is an active member of the local Society of Human Resource Management chapter.
Do Keith’s story inspire you to help make a positive difference in your own community by providing quality staffing solutions? For more information on owning your own Express franchise, visit ExpressFranchising.com. Each year Express Employment Professionals is recognized as a leader in the franchising and staffing industries, including being named one of the top in the franchising industry and the fastest growing staffing franchise in America by Entrepreneur magazine. Our rich 31-year history is steeped in the values of hard work and helping people. Learn more about Express, from our humble beginnings to our current-day success.
Congratulations to Eric Ronning on the purchase of the Express Employment Professionals Chanhassen, MN, office.
Eric, a certified financial planner, recently sold his shares in financial advisory company which he co-founded more than eight years ago. Before serving as president of that company, Eric worked in sales and marketing for financial service companies.
“With more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing in both B2B and B2C, Eric has successfully owned and operated a financial services company for the past 8 ½ years,” said Fred Muse, former Senior Director of Franchising for Express. “He will be a great fit for Express with an impressive background in finance, strategic planning, insurance, and investments. He knows and respects the bottom line and knows how to sell and control costs. Eric has the energy and desire to grow the business, build on the existing team, and help others at the same time.”
Eric and his wife Katherine have been happily married for 20 years and together they have three children. Eric helps coach their children in hockey and together they enjoy watching them play lacrosse and other sports and activities. Eric also gives back to his community by serving on the board of the Zoom House, a Minneapolis based non-profit that helps the homeless with transitional housing.
Does this story of a successful entrepreneur who has become an Express franchisee inspire you to help make a positive difference in your own community by providing quality staffing solutions? If so, take a look at a day in the life of an Express Franchisee. Each year Express Employment Professionals is recognized as a leader in the franchising and staffing industries. This includes being named one of the top in the franchising industry and the fastest growing staffing franchise in North America by Entrepreneur Magazine. Our rich 31-year history is steeped in the values of hard work and helping people. If you would like to learn more about becoming an Express Franchisee please visit, ExpressFranchising.com.
With 30 years of management experience in Silicon Valley working for some of the world’s most successful companies, Joe McClendon of Menlo Park, CA, is ready to use his expertise to help job seekers and clients as the newest Express Employment Professionals franchisee.
Joe has a military background, earning his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and serving five years as a U.S. Army field artillery officer. He earned his master’s degree in quality assurance from San Jose State University.
His work with such firms as Cisco Systems, Applied Materials, and Lockheed Martin led him to become an expert in building and leading teams, as well as managing projects and developing new services. For the past 15 years, Joe worked in customer service with Cisco Systems and was involved in the recruiting and hiring process within his department.
“Joe really enjoys being involved in the human resources field and recruiting quality applicants,” said Dan Gunderson, Regional Franchising Executive for Express. “He has many contacts in the Bay Area and believes this will help develop new relationships going forward to build his business.”
Joe said he was impressed with the overall support structure at Express after completing his validation calls with current franchisees. He is excited to be part of the culture of Express and the networking opportunities with other owners.
“Joe is a family man who speaks often about his wife and their daughters,” Gunderson said. “He will be a good fit for Express as a new franchisee in the Bay Area.”
Joe serves as a USO Volunteer at San Francisco International Airport and was the event coordinator for the 2014 Army-Stanford Football Tailgate Party. He lives with his wife Celeste in San Jose. They have two daughters who live in Santa Barbara – one in college and a recent college graduate.
An Express franchise could be your opportunity to control your future and create your desired work/life balance. Explore ownership possibilities at ExpressFranchising.com.
Ken and Kristal Baker of Bremerton, WA, are ready to utilize their years of management and leadership training to help connect job seekers and companies together as they take over the Bremerton Express Employment Professionals office.
Kristal has a long history of sales and sales team management in the hair care product distribution industry, and her face-to-face sales and customer service expertise has created a history of proven success.
Ken has more than 18 years experience in leading people, and his senior management background has afforded him the opportunity to participate in all aspects of business development. From mergers and acquisitions to strategic growth initiatives and offshore buying management, he is the perfect complement to his wife’s skills.
Together, Ken and Kristal will take an already successful Express franchise to the next level.
“Ken and Kristal Baker are outstanding,” said Fred Muse, Senior Director of Franchising for Express. “Ken is the inside complement to Kristal, coming from a successful director of manufacturing background and will be a great match for owning and operating the business with Kristal.”
In addition to their combined business backgrounds, the Bakers also take a leadership stance in their community. Ken completed the Pursuit of Excellence Personal Development courses in their entirety, and found the experiential learning techniques, coupled with deep inter-personal work, to be highly effective and motivating. He enjoyed the experience so much that he became a volunteer counselor and eventually led several groups through experiential exercises.
Kristal is a member of VaWa Sisterhood, an organization that uses theatre arts to raise awareness and money for sexual assault victims. She is also a member of the Justice and Soul Foundation, which builds cosmetology schools and salons in areas rampant with sex trafficking and abduction of young girls. In addition, Kristal is a member of the Context Association and serves by promoting programs and volunteering as a coach.
Congratulations to Ken and Kristal Baker on the purchase of the Bremerton office. An Express franchise could be your opportunity to control your future and create your desired work/life balance. Explore ownership possibilities at ExpressFranchising.com.
Successful franchise owners come from all walks of life. There is no magic combination of experiences and skills that guarantee a franchisee will be a superstar. But, there are some backgrounds that lend themselves to the franchise environment and staffing industry. One industry in particular that Express Employment Professionals has noticed people exploring a new way to work is medical sales.
If you think about it, the correlation makes sense. To be successful in pharmaceutical or medical device sales, a person has to know how to relate to customers, match products to the client’s needs, and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. And that’s exactly what it takes to be a successful staffing franchise owner.
Omaha, NE Express franchise owner, Bernie Inbody, was in pharmaceutical and medical device sales for years before being introduced to Express by a colleague. Bernie took a close look at the opportunity of franchising with Express. “I liked the fact that it is a true sales business. I’ve been in outside sales for 14 years and it seemed to be a transferable skill,” Bernie said. “It’s also a business my wife could get involved with and thrive.”
When Jerry Hickey, Kansas City Northland, MO Express franchise owner, was first contacted by a recruiter, he and his wife weren’t familiar with the industry. “But, we were open to learning more about it,” Jerry said. “The more we learned, it seemed that there were many transferable skills Jill and I possessed that might make Express a good fit.” In fact, Jerry was amazed at the amount of similarities between staffing consulting and the medical sales industry. “Most field personnel in pharmaceutical sales start as sales reps, which is basically a lot of cold calling,” Jerry said. “This experience really helps prep you for going out and selling staffing services.”
Jerry and Bernie believe that their time in the medical sales industry taught them the skills they needed to be successful franchise owners and staffing providers. One of the most important lessons Bernie learned was that sales really come down to your relationship with the client. “You must constantly look to sell ‘yourself’ as you are the primary product they are buying,” Bernie explained. “Do what you say you will do. Take an interest in them and their business. Find a way to make life easier for them.”
Jerry discovered something similar. “In pharmaceutical sales, you learn how to develop long term relationships and how to handle difficult customers,” Jerry said. “All of which are crucial to success at Express.” In addition, Jerry found that the management skills he gained as a sales manager helped prepare him for the operational side of owning a franchise. “I learned the importance of hiring the right people and how hiring right makes all the difference,” Jerry explained. “I also learned how to manage in a way that empowers people to act on their own and be accountable for the results.”
Make the Transition
Just like Bernie and Jerry, you could enjoy the benefits of franchise ownership. If you have experience in pharmaceutical or medical device sales, and you’re interested in taking your career to another level, visit ExpressFranchising.com. You can even see what a day in the life of a staffing franchise owner looks like.