Stephen grew up in rural Mississippi, on family farmland. A self-proclaimed “country boy”, he enjoyed all things outdoors with his dad and older brother. His love for play was matched with an equal passion for learning. Stephen excelled at his local private school all the way from kindergarten to graduation, and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi.
There, Stephen found his groove in philosophy, and fell in love with the college experience, and even spent a semester studying abroad in England. After college, he joined “The Fellows Program”, a nine-month post-graduate program in Charlottesville, Virginia so he could better determine which career path to take. He worked part-time at an e-learning company, and ultimately decided to stick around to pursue a higher education at the University of Virginia.
While finishing his masters, Stephen met his wife, Katherine, and the two were married shortly after. His Masters in hand, Stephen landed a job with Thriving Cities, a research company designed to help leaders and local government better understand their environments to know how to best help them.
Able to work remotely, the couple moved to Atlanta, Georgia where Katherine could pursue her bachelors in nursing at Emory University. Stephen continued to travel often, consulting for Thriving Cities.
At the beginning of 2017 he began volunteering on the side with Friends of Refugees, a local organization in the nearby Clarkston community. “I was motivated by political rhetoric,” Stephen says, referring to the heavily publicized debate over refugee policy. During this time, he grew to understand and love the refugee community, igniting a passion to advocate on their behalf.
Meanwhile, in his career, Stephen began to feel like it was time to look around and see what other opportunities might await. Little did he know, a casual connection would lead him to a job right at the intersection of his experience and passions.
“I knew Luke Keller from church, so I reached out and asked, ‘Do you know anyone hiring?’ and he said, ‘Hey—we’re hiring!’”
It was summer 2017, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Luke and his business partner, Chris Chancey, had experienced rapid growth at their unique recruiting business staffing local companies with refugee workers. Stephen interviewed at and was originally offered a job as Account Manager at Amplio Recruiting.
“I had done account management in the e-learning company I worked for, and operations at a non-profit. I love research—but I also enjoy working with people [and] I believe in the mission of helping immigrants and refugees get jobs.”
“I’m literally working with people all day every day,” he says. “I won’t romanticize the work—it’s hard.” But every temporary frustration, he says, is outweighed by his passion for staffing Atlanta companies with the Refugee Workforce.
“We’re placing people. We’re placing women—Syrian women. It’s awesome. One, they’re Syrian. Two, they’re women. Three, they don’t speak good English. They don’t have cars, yet they’re flourishing at their jobs. A shift manager came in and said his productivity was up 80%. It was blowing his mind.”
“How do you know if you’re selling a good service?” Stephen asks, “When you have month-over-month loyalty from customers. I’ve been working with some of the same companies for over a year now and love seeing the impact our employees are having for our clients over time.”
“Stephen has brought a focus on processes and details,” CEO, Chris Chancey, shares. “His goofy sense of humor keeps us all laughing! We can’t imagine our team without him.”
Stephen and the talented team of Amplio are eager to connect you with the most fluent and well-educated members of the refugee community. If you’re feeling the pinch of labor shortages, or in need of increased efficiency and dependability at your workplace, visit our website to learn more about hiring the Refugee Workforce at www.ampliorecruiting.com.