Introducing Our First Three HOF Members!

“Top Echelon’s 95 Epic Days of Summer” is underway, and we have the first three inductees in the Top Echelon Hall of Fame!

The first one should come as no surprise: Steve Brody of Executive Resource Systems, the only Charter Member who is still a member of the Network. Steve joined Top Echelon at its inception on March 8, 1988—when Top Echelon was known as National Interchange Service (NIS).

The other two inductees should not surprise you either: Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group and Al Daum of Alan N. Daum & Associates. Both are long-time members and both have been Top Producers during their time in the Network.

Below are the official induction announcements for Steve, Michael, and Al. Congratulations to all three for their accomplishments and their induction into the Top Echelon Hall of Fame!

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ONE AND ONLY: It’s now officially summer and we’re starting the season with a bang by announcing the first inductee into the Top Echelon Hall of Fame: Steve Brody of Executive Resource Systems! Steve is the last active Charter Member of the Network, which means he joined back in 1988, when Top Echelon was known as Nationwide Interchange Service (NIS). Here’s what Steve has to say about his Network membership:

Steve Brody of Executive Resource Systems

Steve Brody

“I consider it an honor and a privilege to be a Charter Member of Top Echelon. The Network has been a major part of my life over the last 35 years, socially, educationally, and financially. I consider many of the staff and member recruiters as friends and valued colleagues. I’ve learned many viable skills from the online and in-person recruiter training sessions, and a high percentage of my future retirement savings would not be there if not for the 140+ split placements the Network has enabled me to participate in.

“I recall when the Network was called the Nationwide Interchange Service, which was free to join. They mailed me hundreds of hard copy worthless paper resumes every month. They are no longer free, and now I have to sift through hundreds of worthless resumes every day. However, it is well worth it for all of the ‘diamonds in the rough’ bullseye candidates and resulting split placements.

“Founder Mike Kappel, President Mark Demaree, ‘Head Geek’ Todd Bossler, Matthew Deutsch, River K, Tyler Harrell, and many other TE staff have been wonderful to work with over the years. However, I want to give a special shout-out to Drea Codispoti, CPC, CERS, who has come through so many times for me. Whether proactively putting me in touch with other recruiters, mediating the occasional misunderstanding, or organizing and running various programs and conferences, he has been an invaluable resource to both myself and Top Echelon. His level of patience and understanding, drive, intelligence, creativity, and passion for the recruiting industry crowns him as the ‘top echelon of Top Echelon’!”

And all these years later, Steve is still running a highly productive recruiting desk. So congratulations to Steve Brody for being inducted into the Top Echelon Hall of Fame!

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STUCK AT THE TOP: While Michael Stuck has been a member of Top Echelon Network for nearly 20 years, it’s only been during the past few years that he made a change to the way in which he used his Network membership. And that change has made a tremendous difference.

Michael Stuck of Gables Search Group

Michael Stuck

“For the first 14 years of my membership in TE, I had been primarily an importer,” said Michael. “I honestly thought I could contribute more on the exporter side of things, so I made a radical shift to focus more on TE members’ open jobs in 2019. Once I made this shift, I reached out to a lot of TE members to find out which jobs were their top two or three jobs to focus on rather than all of their jobs. I still do this today, sending out emails a couple of times a month asking for the best jobs to focus on, and it helps, especially with some partners having over 25 jobs or more at one time.”

Michael’s new approach paid dividends, as he was named Recruiter of the Year in Top Echelon Network three years in a row (2021-2023). In the process, he reached the 500-placement plateau within the Network. In fact, during the month of June in 2022, Michael finalized 29 TE split placements in a 30-day span.

At the center of Michael’s success, though, is building and cultivating relationships with other Network members.

“I am still building new relationships today with members who have been around as long as I have, but we really never chatted before,” he said. “During these calls, we don’t always talk about recruiting on the phone. We often talk about each other’s families, where they like to travel, what they do for fun, and current events. Email is good, too, but to really get to know a trading partner, you should learn more about them as a person and [attending a] conference or [picking up the] phone works best.”

Michael has been and continues to be a staunch advocate of his Network membership, even talking about the Network with clients and candidates to communicate the power and leverage that it affords him.

“I talk about Top Echelon to all of my clients when I am selling the client on using my firm for recruiting and how I have access to over a thousand recruiters,” he said. “It’s the same with candidates. I speak about the thousands of jobs we have because of Top Echelon. I also treat every Top Echelon trading partner like my own clients, and to make the Network a big part of my recruiting desk, I share every single job order I receive from a client with the Network. Also, I make it a habit every single day to recruit for TE members’ jobs in addition to my own. So the Network is a huge part of my recruiting desk.”

Congratulations to Michael Stuck for being a 2024 inductee into the Top Echelon Hall of Fame!

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SPIRIT OF TE: The only thing that Al Daum of Alan N. Daum & Associates might like more than #recruiting is the Ohio State Buckeyes football team.

Al Daum of Alan N. Daum and Associates, Inc.

Al Daum

Al has been a recruiter—and a fan of the Buckeyes—for as long as he can remember. He started recruiting in 1976, meaning that he remembers names such as Woody Hays, Archie Griffin, and Art Schlichter. After starting his own recruiting firm in 1986, Al eventually joined Top Echelon Network in 1999, where he made a name for himself as a Top Producer.

Perhaps no #recruiter in the history of Top Echelon has embraced the Network’s “But For Rule” like Al Daum. In Bernard Frechtman’s “Employment Agency Law,” the “But For Rule” is defined as “But For the particular act, would the employer have hired the applicant?” Here is a version which is more encompassing: “But For what particular piece of information caused interest and/or actions?”

“A lot of my splits that I’ve made with other #recruiters have come from them sending me people who were already in my database that I just hadn’t gotten to,” said Al. “And as a single-person operation, I have not minded at all splitting those fees. It’s nice to know that somebody is working through my database for me!”

Like many Top Producers, Al is an advocate of attending Top Echelon recruiter networking events like TE Connect (previously known as the National Convention and Fall Conference). And Al makes sure to take full advantage of all the benefits that networking affords, both from a placement standpoint and also from a knowledge point of view.

“Obviously, at networking events, you can meet other recruiters, strike up a relationship, and make splits,” he said. “But in a broader sense, being able to pick the brings of other Top Echelon recruiters has been fantastic, aside from the placements. If I had been all by myself in a little cocoon, I wouldn’t know half the things I’ve learned by being a TE member.”

So for his 100 TE placements, his loyalty to the “But For Rule,” and his commitment to networking, we congratulate Al Daum for being a 2024 inductee into the Top Echelon Hall of Fame!

(Almost forgot: OH . . . IO!)

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Be sure to check The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog–as well as Top Echelon’s official LinkedIn account–for future announcements regarding 2024 inductees into Top Echelon’s Hall of Fame!

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