It is my great pleasure to share this testimonial regarding the love and respect I have for Stacy (Ethun-Stevens) and the Park Avenue Group. I doubt many children grow up dreaming of becoming an executive recruiter, I know I never saw myself in this wonderful and rewarding career that has allowed me to achieve more professional and financial pinnacles than I ever thought possible! In fact, as a young boy I dreamt of becoming an astronaut and I started my career as an Aerospace Engineer working with Lockheed Martin/NASA. Shortly after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003 I was laid off and I found myself at a professional crossroads. I decided to take my career in a completely different direction when a recruiter who was representing me at the time mentioned that I would be great at recruiting because I had a more unique and extroverted personality than most engineers. I started researching recruiting firms in the Orlando area and rather than taking an easier pathway into the industry by choosing a firm specializing in engineering (I was an engineer, after-all!) I pursued a recruiting position with the most successful and award-winning firm I could find. I found ‘The Park Avenue Group’ and was blown away by how many awards and testimonials (like the one I’m writing now) they had. I was also very impressed with the resume of the President/Founder (Stacy) who is one of the most accomplished and respected recruiters in the world. Stacy had taken the real-world industry experience of being a commercial banker for 20 years to build one of the most successful commercial banking recruiting firms in the world and I wanted to be a part of that. I managed to score an interview with her after sending my resume and calling a dozen times to convince her I had the talents she needed. She brought me in for an intense interview process and took me through the ringer to see how I would respond. I passed all the tests leading up to my final 1-on-1 with her which ended in this question – “You have the excellent communication skills, confidence, and intelligence to succeed in this industry but I’m still not convinced. You have no consultative sales background, no recruiting experience, and zero commercial banking knowledge. Why should I hire you?”
I looked Stacy straight in the eyes and replied without hesitation:
“Because I’m a winner and will do whatever it takes to always come out on top. If you bring me onboard and invest the time and resources into personally mentoring & teaching me what you know I guarantee that I will become the best recruiter you’ve ever had”
That strong, confident response got me the job and Stacy followed up her promise by taking me under her wing and personally teaching me everything she knew about the business. I soaked up all this knowledge like a sponge and I’m proud to declare that I backed up my bold prediction by becoming the most successful recruiter she’d ever trained! I held this distinction for nearly 4-years achieving ‘Pacesetter’ status several times and enjoyed wonderful, all-expenses paid trips to Hawaii and Cancun as rewards. I left the firm after the recession hit in 2008 and the commercial banks imploded but I never lost my passion for recruiting and I always knew one day I would return to the industry. Sure enough, as we dug ourselves out of the pits of economic despair back in 2013 I found myself pulled back into recruiting and am blessed to earned a position as Vice-President of a highly successful firm specializing in…. engineering! LOL, funny how everything always circles back to the beginning in life!
To this day I owe a significant debt of gratitude to Stacy for all the success I’ve had in recruiting as a result of the personal mentoring she provided me. Our recruiting practices function in completely different industries independent of each other which has allowed us to continue to share best practices with one another without any competitive boundaries and it’s been wonderful keeping in touch with Stacy all these years later! I’m proud to call her my mentor, my friend, and the most talented recruiting professional I know and would gladly recommend her to anyone without hesitation!