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How does somebody “quietly” make 86 placements in Top Echelon Network? How do they also “quietly” earn $850K cash-in through the Network?

I have no idea, but you might want to ask David Wood of The David Wood Company . . . the Recruiter of the Week in Top Echelon Network!

Why is he the Recruiter of the Week? Let me count the ways:

#1—His ridiculous consistency

David Wood, CPC of The David Wood Company

David Wood, CPC

David has been a model of consistency since his firm joined the Network in December of 1994. Over the past 21 years, he has made at least one placement every single year! True, there were a couple of years during the bust when he made only one Network placement, but he’s made multiple placements during all the other years he’s been a member.

#2—His production

Eighty-six placements in 21 years is an average of almost four placements per year in Top Echelon. That’s at least $50K in placement fees annually for an investment of $1,500 per year in Network membership dues. That’s a pretty rockin’ ROI, if you ask me.

#3—His commitment to the Network

David adheres to The Pillar of Active Participation, which is crucial since if you think about it, you can’t enjoy success in the Network if you don’t participate in it. As an importer, he shares his job orders with the rest of the Network and relies on his Trading Partners to help him fill those orders.

#4—His history of trading partner success

David has worked with a number of different trading partners during his over 20 years in the Network. Some are still part of Top Echelon, and some are not. However, David has displayed the ability to successfully work with a variety of recruiters, which bring with them many different personalities and working styles. He’s remained flexible and adaptive in his approach to the Network, and that has paid dividends.

At this point, 100 placements and $1 million cash-in might be a foregone conclusion, and when David Wood reaches those milestones, it will probably be quietly and with little fanfare.

But not if we can help it.

As a write this, Top Echelon placements are up 9.9% over this same time last year. So, first let’s just round that up to . . . an even 10%. There, that feels better.

Is an improving economy the reason for this increase in Network splits? Partly, yes, but it doesn’t explain it all. Sure, more job orders to fill means more placements to make, but that only takes you so far. You still have to make the placements, and as we all know, qualified candidates are often scarce in the current marketplace.

That’s where Top Echelon Network Trading partners enter the picture!

Recruiters are making more placements through Top Echelon because they’re willing to rely on their trading partners to help them fill job orders. And just like the recruiters featured below, they’re extremely pleased when those trading partners come through for them with great candidates—candidates that get placed and generate a fee.

So if you’re looking to make more splits, now and in the future, you should:

  • Share more job orders with the Network and with trading partners.
  • Seek out more trading partners.
  • Form more trading partner relationships.
  • Call Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti.

Drea can get you connected with the right recruiters, so you can have more trading partners and make more placements. Contact Drea at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at

Congratulations to everybody who made split placements this week!

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Nelson Griffin of Griffin Recruitment Group, LLC

Nelson Griffin

Lois Rupkey of Byrnes and Rupkey, Inc.

Lois Rupkey

“It was nice to make a placement with Nelson and his group. He supported us all the way. Hats off to him! We really like it when a TE affiliate searches our jobs!”

Submitted by Lois Rupkey of Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc. regarding her Network split placements with Nelson Griffin of Griffin Recruitment Group, LLC


Fee Percentage—20%

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

— — —

Bill Kubena of Kubena and Associates

Bill Kubena

Sandra Lopez of Joseph Michaels International

Sandra Lopez

“Thanks, Sandra, for the great candidate. As always, it’s been a pleasure working with you. Appreciate all your efforts!”

Submitted by Bill Kubena of Kubena & Associates regarding his Network split placement with Sandra Lopez of Joseph Michaels International


Fee Percentage—25%

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

— — —

Chuck Sissom of Sissom and Associates

Chuck Sissom

Veronica Snyder of Career Professionals, Inc.

Veronica Snyder

“Chuck is a great ‘go to’ guy with HR searches. I called him shortly after receiving the job order, and he shared a top-notch, local candidate who is a great fit fof this job! Thanks, Chuck!”

Submitted by Veronica Snyder of Career Professionals, Inc. regarding her Network split placement with Chuck Sissom of Sissom & Associates

Position Title—HR Manager

Fee Percentage—25%

(Editor’s note: This is the third Network split placement that Snyder and Sissom have made together in Top Echelon.)

We have a Charter Member firm in Top Echelon Network celebrating an anniversary this month! That’s right, Lou Michaels Associates, Inc. joined the Network during the first year of its existence. The official join date was October 10, 1988.

The recruiters of Lou Michaels Associates has made 270 placements in Top Echelon Network during the past 27 years. The president of the firm, Lou Michaels, has made 170 of those placements himself, generating a cash-in total of $1.1 million.

(Lou is only one of two active Charter Members in the Network. Steve Brody of Executive Resource Systems is the other. Lou has made two Network splits this year, and Steve has made three.)

However, when it comes to Network splits, it’s difficult to top Sean Napoles, CPC of Career Brokers, Inc. Sean has made a total of 225 split placements during his tenure in Top Echelon—15 years, to be exact, since Career Brokers joined the Network on October 18, 2000. He’s also cashed in a total of $2 million through the Network.

And those are just two of the agencies celebrating anniversaries this month. See below for the other firms that have reached a milestone.

We want to thank everybody for their commitment to Top Echelon and the investment they’ve made in the Network. Congratulations!

— — —

27-Year Anniversary

Lou Michaels Associates, Inc. in Battle Creek, Michigan
Staff Members: Lou Michaels and Carri Johnson
Agency Join Date: October 10, 1988

— — —

22-Year Anniversary

Bailey Personnel Consultants in Rochester, New York
Staff Members: Eleanor R. Levy; Jarie Doberstein, CPC/CTS; and Sandra Pettrone
Agency Join Date: October 21, 1993

Gundrum & Associates, Inc. in Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Staff Members: Dan Gundrum and Mark Gundrum
Agency Join Date: October 28, 1993

— — —

21-Year Anniversary

Stickle & Associates in Asheboro, North Carolina
Staff Members: Mark Stickle and Robert Stickle
Agency Join Date: October 27, 1994

— — —

15-Year Anniversaries

Career Brokers, Inc. in Dallas, Texas
Staff Members: Sean Napoles, CPC
Agency Join Date: October 18, 2000

— — —

10-Year Anniversary

Jim Crumpley & Associates in Springfield, Missouri
Staff Members: Jim Crumpley
Agency Join Date: October 12, 2005

Kingfish Technology, LLC in Annapolis, Maryland
Staff Members: Jeff Gilbert
Agency Join Date: October 12, 2005

American Career Search, Inc. in Stowe, Vermont
Staff Members: Dwight Fortenberry and Steve Strickland
Agency Join Date: October 13, 2005

The Provident Search Group in West Poland, Maine
Staff Members: Coleen Balogh-Walther
Agency Join Date: October 31, 2005

— — —

5-Year Anniversaries

Joe Miglizzi of Perspective
Staff Members: Joe Miglizzi, CPC
Agency Join Date: October 26, 2010

Not only do we have a new format for our Recruiter of the Month Award, but we also have some new faces in the race for our recruiting awards!

For the month of September, those faces are Jennifer Graham of Cambridge Consulting and Jean Imbler-Jansen of Strategic HR Solutions. As you can see below, Jennifer and Jean finished third and fourth, respectively in the Recruiter of the Month standings.

(It should come as no surprise that perennial top producer Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group won the award again, but his margin of victory was smaller than in previous months.)

Since The Pinnacle is now located in a separate blog than the one that’s on the outside of the Top Echelon website, we’re expanding the information that we typically include with the announcement of this award.

That information includes the following (and is included below):

  • The top five (5) recruiters in the Network for the month
  • The number of split placements those recruiters made during the month
  • The dollar amount of commission that the recruiters earned as a result of those split placements

So congratulations to Trey, Jennifer, and Jean for the placements they made and the revenue they generated for their firms. When you consider that the monthly fee for Network membership is $125 per month, they received quite a return on their investment!

Below are the complete standings for Recruiter of the Month in Top Echelon Network for the month of September:

— — —

Recruiters of the Month:

1st Place: Trey Cameron
Agency: Cameron Craig Group
Placements: 6
Commission: $52,487

2nd Place: Steve Copeland
Agency: Albert Energy LLC / fulltimeGiGS
Placements: 3
Commission: $28,153

3rd Place: Jennifer Graham
Agency: Cambridge Consulting
Placements: 3
Commission: $27,260

4th Place: Jean Imbler-Jansen
Agency: Strategic HR Solutions
Placements: 3
Commission: $24,322

5th Place: Steve Kohn
Agency: Affinity Executive Search
Placements: 2
Commission: $24,087

— — —

Top Echelon determines the monthly and quarterly winners of its recruiting awards based upon two criteria, which are listed below in order of importance:

1.) The number of split placements made
2.) The amount of “cash-in” dollars earned as a result of those split placements

This explains why, when multiple recruiters are tied with the same number of split placements during a given month or quarter, the recruiter with the largest “cash-in” total for their placements is deemed the winner.

Okay, last week we touched upon participation in Top Echelon Network, specifically how many days each week that recruiters login to the Members’ Area.

This week, we’re staying with the same Pillar of Active Participation. In our latest poll, we asked members about the daily activities on their desks and how much of those activities are related in some way to Top Echelon Network.

Here’s how we phrased this particular poll question:

How much of your workday includes Network-related activities?


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

  • Less than 10% — 35.6%
  • 10% to 20% — 23.8%
  • 20% to 30% — 18.8%
  • 30% to 40% — 4.0%
  • 40% to 50% — 5.2%
  • Over 50% — 12.9%


Keep in mind that many recruiters use the Network and its resources as a supplement to their recruiting desk and firm overall, so the results of this poll are not too surprising.

As you can see, the majority of poll participants (59.4%) have workdays comprised 20% or less of Network-related activities. The percentages continue to drop across the spectrum until you reach the answer “Over 50%”). It’s there that you see a spike.

Nearly 13% of respondents chose “Over 50%” as their answer. Due to the constraints of this poll, there’s no way to know exactly how much over 50% that is. A more in-depth survey would be needed to gather that information. (Which means you may see a more in-depth survey in the future . . . just sayin’.)


Every member recruiting firm and individual recruiter uses Top Echelon Network in a different way. Not only do they use the Network to varying degrees and in varying amounts, but they also use it in different manners.

What’s most important, though, is that recruiters utilize the resources of the Network in a way that makes the most sense and the most money for them.

That’s why it’s crucial for members determine what way that is, so they can begin to reap the full benefits of membership in Top Echelon Network. Not everybody is going to make hundreds of placements through Top Echelon, but not every recruiter’s business model is designed for such an outcome.

If you have questions about how YOU can optimize your membership in Top Echelon Network and use it in a way that makes the most sense for you, contact Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS at 330.455.1433, x156 or via email at