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Meet Our Staff

SPS staff in the news

in Meet Our Staff, News and Features

A couple of our staff are media, um, floozies and they have gotten more than their share of coverage in the local media this month.   Michael Kraft, who cultivates a-good-guy-not-quite-a-do-gooder persona, got attention for rescuing his dog: (See photo below. The complete article is here: http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20160305/FEATURES/160309932). Michael has a new blog post up on the Lost Coast Outpost’s LocoJobs page on dressing for success: https://lostcoastoutpost.com/jobs/ He was also on the KHSU Home Page show promoting the Food Summit a couple of weeks ago.   Tomas Chavez wrote a column for the Times Standard’s Business Sense column about interviewing processes in times of low unemployment (employers need to be better and more creative than in times of higher unemployment), which you can find here: http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20160319/BUSINESS/160319852  And in a cruel twist pf fate, Tomas will almost certainly be fined by his fellow Rotarians of Arcata Sunrise for being covered in the paper while performing his duties as (wait for it) a...

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Meet our Staff: Tomas Chavez

in Meet Our Staff, News and Features

Michael Kraft I’ve been a fan of Tomas Chavez for about 8 years now, when he was pretty new at Sequoia Personnel, and I was pretty new in the county. We met as two of the founding officers of the first Humboldt chapter of Business Networking International, or BNI. Well before I came to work here at Sequoia in 2013, I tagged him as one of the county’s up and coming business leaders. If Sequoia was a car, Tomas would be the engine. He powers and inspires the rest of us. He handles the majority of permanent placements, as well as temporary contract employees in office environments. He works passionately, and tirelessly on behalf of both sets of our clients: the employer looking for the right person and the job-seeker looking for their next, and best, job. Tomas is involved with various community endeavors. He is a member of the Arcata Sunrise Rotary. Earlier this year, he was named Ambassador of the Year by the Eureka Chamber of Commerce, and he will chair the ambassador group for the coming year. Tomas grew up in the high desert east of Los Angeles. Like many, he came to Humboldt to study at HSU and decided to stay. Tomas is married to Heidi Chavez. They have a son, Cruz, and live in McKinleyville. If you want to experience the very best customer service in Humboldt’s personnel industry, get in touch with Tomas at 445-9641 or...

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Meet our Staff: Debi Callahan

in Meet Our Staff, News and Features

Meet Debi Callahan, our newest human resource specialist/consultant. Debi has 36 years of experience in Human Resources management in Humboldt County. Her career began in the corporate environment and she quickly moved to the management level at a division of Green Diamond Resource Company in Humboldt County, working in both manufacturing and logging operations.   Debi has comprehensive experience working with employee policies, labor relations, employee relations, and employment law compliance With Debi as a part of our team, you   can rely on SPS for your HR consulting needs, including HR policies development, legal compliance, staff development and more. When she isn’t working, Debi loves spending time with family. She recently delighted in taking her grandchildren to Disneyland. Join Debi on March 18th as a co-presenter at the Ingomar Club in the first of a series of sessions on best human resource practices. Contact Michael Kraft at kraft@sequoiapersonnel.com for more information on this event.  ...

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Meet our Staff: Katy Hampton

in Meet Our Staff, News and Features

Katy Hampton first joined Sequoia Personnel in 2005. After a hiatus caused by the awful economic downturn of 2008/2009, when she worked for SPS part-time at times, she returned to the company full time in 2011. And things look good. “I don’t think we’ve ever been this busy in December,” she says. She credits Kris Jason’s work in growing Sequoia’s labor markets, especially in construction, along with general good work by the company’s staff and better overall economic times. Katy serves as the company’s full-charge bookkeeper. Among other tasks, Katy processes a payroll for a cast that changes, by definition, every week. When asked what that’s like, she replies “like herding kittens.” It surprises her how many people are not concerned about getting their timecards in and, therefore, getting paid. She estimates that she will produce something like 300 W-2 forms for people who worked for SPS at some point in 2014. Katy values the family-oriented culture of Sequoia Personnel Services. It starts with owner Liana Simpson and extends to the entire group. As part of that, Katy’s daughter Lacie now works for the company. But her favorite aspect of working for Sequoia is watching people succeed…watching them come in as a person with no job to, a couple of months later, having a great job and loving it. Asked what someone who met her would never guess, she says she “spends hours and hours playing Nintendo.” Katy also enjoys hanging out with husband Tom, her four kids and three grandchildren, all of whom are local to...

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Meet our Staff: Michael Kraft

in Meet Our Staff, News and Features

In a job interview nine years ago, someone asked the standard question “what do you want to be doing in five years?” Michael’s answer was “I honestly don’t know…but I want to be doing it here in Humboldt.” (This, he admits, is not entirely how he would coach other job-seekers to answer this question.) A transplant, Michael was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Southern California, and spent five years in Northern Colorado before moving to Humboldt. Among other jobs, he had a 15 year career on the administrative side of higher education with jobs at the director, dean and vice president levels. His longest time in Humboldt was spent at the Small Business Development Center, where he was Executive Director for 7 ½ years. Michael joined Sequoia Personnel Services a year ago. He works on two things: 1) building the company’s new human resource consulting offerings; and, 2) economic and workforce development consulting. “I’m still kinda a nerd,” he says. To prove it, he describes himself as “a species who lives in brackish waters.” In higher education, he worked at the overlap of marketing/student recruitment with the management of academic programs and sheer logistics. At SPS, he has spent the most hands-on time working on various economic and workforce development situations where the private sector and public sector need to work together.” Michael lives on Humboldt Hill with his wife Tish. He enjoys time at the beach–rain or shine–and says he is becoming a reasonably good home brewer. Michael volunteers on various boards, such as recently joining the Ink People Board of Directors, and is involved with both the Arcata and Eureka chambers of commerce. As part of his love affair with Humboldt, three years ago Michael founded the local TEDx initiative, providing a platform for Humboldt’s creative and smart people to present the local twist on TED Talks. He continues to be a co-organizer of the events. Earlier this month, two dozen people took to the stage at College of the Redwoods at TEDx HumboldtBay, presenting to an enthusiastic sell-out crowd of 300 people. Michael would love to engage with you on any of these topics. You can reach him at 707-445-9641 or...

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Meet Sequoia Staff Member Lacie Handley

in Meet Our Staff, News and Features

Lacie Handley is the first person job-seekers meet at Sequoia Personnel Services. She’s the phone answering, front counter greeting, she’s-the-glue team member that every operation needs to keep it all together.  She says the best part of her job is the people she works with. Starting at Sequoia as a temporary employee herself, Lacie completely gets what it is like to be the person looking for a new job. When asked what she most wants people seeking work to know, she responds without hesitation: “We don’t charge the candidates…our services are free to every job seeker!” Born and raised in Humboldt County, Lacie graduated from McKinleyville High. She served in half a dozen SPS temp assignments in her late teens and early 20’s. Somewhere along the line, she starting picking up part-time work in the SPS offices. When long-time employee Charlotte Jackson retired earlier this year, Lacie, like many people who temp for Sequoia, was ready to step into those permanent, full-time shoes. She enjoys her big family, including her fiancée Michael, two sisters and three brothers. Her parents are also here in Humboldt (and mom Katy also works for Sequoia Personnel). Lacie describes her daughter Malia, who just turned three years old, as “my life.” Lacie looks forward to the holiday season with this big group, and she says she hopes for a winter storm that knocks out the power and causes the whole big bunch to huddle around a board game and candles. A big part of her job is to help people navigate the system, answer questions with a smile, handle the paperwork and get appointments with the right people here. If you  know someone who might want to seek a new position, send them in to meet Lacie, and let Sequoia Personnel Services help your friend or colleague find the right job for...

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