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Okay, so Regular Registration for the 2016 National Convention is over. But that’s no cause for alarm. Or concern. Or some other third emotion.

You can still sign up for the convention, just at the Late Registration price. Even at that (slightly elevated) price, attending the National Convention is worth the price of admission. That’s because there is plenty of value being offered to attendees.

That’s because recruiters who attend TE conferences and conventions make split placements together!

Make split placements, rinse, repeat

Take, for instance, two of the recruiters featured below—David M. Sgro, CPC of True North Consultants, Inc. and Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC:

  • Dave has made 85 Network placements.
  • Angela has made 88 Network placements.
  • They’re both regular attendees of Top Echelon events.
  • They’ve met each other at these events.
  • They’ve made split placements together (four, to be exact).

There are currently 113 Network members registered for the National Convention, which is next month in Las Vegas. Recruiters will meet in Vegas. They’ll network. They’ll make split placements with one another.

So check your calendar (and clear it, if need be.) Then plan to join us at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino. Because the National Convention is not a cause for alarm or concern . . . it’s a cause for fun and business development!

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Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC

Angela Marasco

David M. Sgro, CPC of True North Consultants, Inc.

David M. Sgro, CPC

“Angela, thank you for another great candidate! You do a great job of qualifying and screening candidates for me! Thanks again! See you in Vegas!”

Submitted by David M. Sgro, CPC of True North Consultants, Inc. regarding her Network split placement with Angela Marasco of A. Marasco Recruiting, LLC


Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the fourth Network split placement that Sgro and Marasco have made together in Top Echelon.)

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Ron Sunshine of Ron Sunshine Associates, LLC

Ron Sunshine

Bob Millman of AutoPro Technical Recruiting

Bob Millman

“Bob did a great job in helping me with this search. He went out of his way to hone in on the ‘must haves’ and grasp a total understanding of my client needs. Thanks, Bob!”

Submitted by Ron Sunshine of Ron Sunshine Associates, LLC regarding his Network split placement with Bob Millman of AutoPro Technical Recruiting


Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the second Network split placement that Sunshine and Millman have made together in Top Echelon.)

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Ed Keil, CPC of Reliance Recruiting

Ed Keil, CPC

Ray Fehrenbach, CPC of Southern Recruiters

Ray Fehrenbach, CPC

“Ray was a fantastic partner. He sent me two candidates, one of which seemed like the perfect match. Ray was supportive throughout the process and saw it through to the end. Thanks, Ray!”

Submitted by Ed Keil of Reliance Recruiting, LLC regarding his Network split placement with Ray Fehrenbach, CPC of Southern Recruiters

Position Title—HR MANAGER

Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the first Network split placement that Keil and Fehrenbach have made together in Top Echelon.)

We recently asked Top Echelon Network members how long they’ve been recruiters. They answered us. So now we’re back with another question: how long have Network members been . . . members?

Once again, Network members are the best source of discovering this information! True to form, we posted a poll question in the Members’ Area and then stepped back to allow the answering frenzy to ensue. That question was as follows:

How long have you been in the Network?


The choice of answers that were provided is listed below, along with the percentage of recruiters that selected each one:

  • Five (5) years or less — 33.0%
  • Between 6 and 10 years — 23.3%
  • Between 11 and 15 years — 16.5%
  • Between 16 and 20 years — 8.7%
  • Between 21 and 25 years — 13.6%
  • Over 25 years — 4.9%


The most popular answer in our poll was “five (5) years or less” at 33%, and 23.3% of poll respondents chose “between 6 and 10 years” as their answer. By applying some quick and easy math, we can tell that over half of the Network members participating in our poll (56.3%) have been members for less than 10 years.

The numbers begin to tail off after that, though, with 16.5% selecting “between 11 and 15 years” and 8.7% choosing “between 16 and 20 years.” However, the numbers surge back up, as 13.6% of poll participants have been Network members “between 21 and 25 years.”

In fact, another 4.9% have been in the Network “over 25 years.” Now THAT is a serious commitment.

Analysis and Conclusion:

While there are plenty of newer Network members in Top Echelon, which is great, there are also many tenured Network recruiters, as well. As might be expected, there are more of the former than there are of the latter, but that has always been the case throughout Top Echelon’s nearly 30-year existence.

One thing to keep in mind: even if a recruiter has been in the Network for five years or less, that does not mean they’ve only been in the recruiting profession for a short time. After all, recruiters join the Network at all stages of their career. Industry veterans apply for membership and join TE all the time, and that’s just fine and dandy with us.

That’s because we want the best and most experienced recruiters to become Top Echelon Network members—it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the profession for five years or 25 years.

Okay, let me take care of business first.

Regular Registration for the 2016 National Convention is now over, but you can still sign up! (Although it IS the Late Registration period now. So shame on you.)

Sounds pretty ominous, doesn’t it? Well, then let me lighten the mood with fun list that includes all of my favorite memories from Top Echelon conventions past!

To set the stage, Top Echelon has traditionally held two big events for its Network members: a National Convention in the spring and a Fall Conference in . . . well, the fall. (We’re nothing if not logical.) For the purposes of this blog post, namely because of next month’s event, I’m only going to focus on the convention.

Below are my top seven National Convention memories in Top Echelon (in no particular order other than chronological):

#1—The Limousine Scavenger Hunt in 2004

This was my very first National Convention (I joined TE in 2003). Like this year’s convention, it was also held in Las Vegas, and what a convention it was. This was the second time we held a scavenger hunt of this nature, and I understand it, the first one had to be experienced to be believed. This one was quite entertaining, as well. I especially enjoyed when Todd Bossler tried to convince the passengers of every limousine arriving at the Bahama Breeze that they were the first ones there . . . even when they were last. The good news is that nobody was arrested. At least not that we’re aware of.

#2—Line dancing in 2005

The Wild Horse Saloon is a famous part of the night life in Nashville, Tenn., the site of the 2005 National Convention. The main part of the convention was held in the Gaylord Opryland Resort, which is the size of a small city. Basically, it’s a small city combined with a mall. It’s a mall-city. Anyway, we headed off-site to the Wild Horse for a night of food, fun, and dancing . . . line dancing, specifically. Top memories: hitting my head on a low-hanging television set (how short are people in Tennessee?), somehow knowing all of the lyrics to “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” and watching a Network recruiter literally chase our bus down the street when it was time to leave.

#3—Karaoke in 2006

Our 2006 National Convention was held at the Disney World resort in Orlando. The Gala Event involved dinner at a retro establishment by the name of “8 TRAXX.” And how could we possibly hold such an event without some karaoke? One of the reasons I’m especially fond of this convention is it was the last one I attended with my good friend Toby Thomas, who left Top Echelon to become a pastor. (He’s pictured in the wig-wearing photo above). Top memories: karaoke selections by Network recruiters that included “Super Freak’ by Rick James and “Big Balls” by AC/DC. Drinks were drunk, wigs were passed, fun was had.

#4—The NASCAR ride-along in 2007

This convention was held at the height of economic growth and hiring activity in the country. In other words, it was right before the Great Recession started. So we celebrated the good times by taking Network recruiters to Charlotte Motor Speedway. As part of that trip, those recruiters had the opportunity to participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. That’s right, you got to ride in a NASCAR vehicle around the oval at speeds approaching 200 miles per hour. What I remember most? The feeling of my spine actually pressing against the back of my body and pinning me to the passenger seat.

#5—Riding a mechanical bull in 2008

For our 2008 National Convention, we headed to Texas, specifically Dallas. The recession didn’t start until later that year, so the good times continued to roll. As a result, the convention included a stop at Billy Bob’s Texas, the World’s Largest Honky Tonk. (I’m inclined to take their word for it.) Not only was there mechanical bull riding, but there was also a TE Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament and an area where you could watch REAL bull riding. Top memories: Todd Bossler wearing his giant foam Texas Rangers hat, a game recruiters played during the Icebreaker Reception upon which I’d rather not elaborate, and two female school teachers begging me to allow them to ride on the mechanical bull. (Without signing a waiver? Are you kidding? Kappel would kill me!)

#6—Dance party on the beach in 2009

The Great Recession threw everybody a curveball, to say the least, and that was certainly the case with our conferences and conventions. In 2010, we briefly went to a different format, holding six “mini conferences” throughout the country. But we already had our hotel booked for 2009, and you really don’t want to break your contract with a hotel. As you might guess, attendance for this event was lower than in previous years. Recruiters were beat up. They had cut staff. They had cut expectations. They needed to blow off some steam, and that’s exactly what they did. Everybody enjoyed a buffet dinner on the beach in South Carolina in what could only be described as brisk temperatures. But it did not matter. Once night fell and the tunes were spinning, just about everybody hit the dance floor and shook out their frustrations about the present and anxieties about the future.

#7—High-powered go-kart racing in 2014

We went back to Charlotte seven years later. Sadly, this time we were not able to offer the Richard Petty Driving Experience. However, we once again allowed the recruiters to race against each other in high-powered go-karts, and it was just as big of a hit as it was the first time. In fact, there were quite a few “dust-ups” and close calls on the track (including one that involved our keynote speaker for the convention). As a bonus, this time yours truly was able to drive a go-kart, as well. That’s because when Drea Codispoti and I went to the track early to make sure everything was set up, they asked if we would like to test out the karts. Of course, we could hardly turn down their polite request. But please—don’t tell any of the other TE employees. They weren’t able to do that.

Don’t feel bad for them, though, because they’re going to Las Vegas for this convention and I am not. But that’s okay. I am a grizzled veteran of these events, and as you can see, I have fond memories of them.

So now it’s time for you to attend and make fond National Convention memories of your own. Register today and go to Vegas!

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To sign up for the convention with a credit card, login to the Members’ Area. Then locate the convention registration links on the left-hand side of the page. Click on the appropriate links and follow the instructions to submit the correct information.

If you have any questions about the National Convention, please contact go-kart racing Drea at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at