Strength of the Year: Individualization
July 8, 2020
Podcast: Coaching
July 20, 2020

Little did we know at the time, but our relationship with Endangered Species Chocolate began in 2005, five years prior to the founding of Purple Ink in 2010. When I was the Director of HR for Katz, Sapper & Miller, I also worked with our clients to assist them in placing candidates for accounting roles, like CFOs, controllers, accounting managers, and more. The owner of Endangered Species, a small food production company, contacted me to request assistance in hiring a controller. After meeting Curt Vander Meer, I immediately recommended him for this role, and before I knew they had even interviewed him, he was hired!

Curt quickly rose to the CFO, President, and now CEO role at Endangered Species, and he remembered his positive experience with me when he was the candidate. He returned the favor and reached out to me in 2013 to see how we might help this growing Indianapolis manufacturing client.

I also had connections to Endangered Species’ CFO, Carl Dodds, who leads all accounting and HR operations. The company isn’t large enough to have its own human resources staff, but Carl knows enough to know when he needs outside assistance and has contacted us several times for help or advice.

Our Client’s Situation

In one of our most successful recruiting assignments with Endangered Species, they were in need of a Director of Operations. Curt liked our pricing model for recruiting; billing by the hour and providing the specific assistance they need instead of billing a large contingency fee.

Our Solution

After meeting with Curt, I understood his need for a leader who could make decisions, yet also someone who could work alongside their team on the shop floor. Curt said the right candidate must command respect of employees, boost morale, and also train others…and it would be ideal if they had a background in food manufacturing. That’s not the kind of candidate you see every day, but I was confident we could find someone that fit the bill.

The Result

Using our years of experience in recruiting and our vast network of potential candidates, we were able to find a candidate that fulfilled all Curt’s qualifications. The Director of Operations we placed, Brent Robinson, is still a key leader for them seven years later.

During our seven year relationship with Endangered Species, we’ve helped their team with recruiting, developing an employee manual, coaching through some difficult employee situations, and outplacement. It’s been fun to be a small part of their success, and, of course, we love to visit them just to smell and taste their chocolates! Almonds, sea salt + dark chocolate is my favorite! Check out all of their delicious choices here.

If you’re interested in having HR assistance – on or off site – for your organization, reach out to Purple Ink, or to me directly, for more information. We love to work with organizations like Endangered Species who value their employees and solid human resource processes.

JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis is the Founder of Purple Ink, author of several books in the JoyPowered® series, and co-host of The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast. She has a passion for helping organizations and individuals discover their talents, do more of what they do well through her speaking and training, and find joy in their work.

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