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MJ Recruiters, LLC in Tiffin, Ohio has accomplished a LOT during its time in Top Echelon’s recruiter network. In a little over 11 years, the firm has made 139 Network placements.

And just recently, MJ Recruiters became the latest Network agency to bill at least $1 million through the Network!

There is now a total of 20 active Network agencies that have reached (and surpassed) the $1 million mark. MJ Recruiters became the 20th firm to do so. All 20 agencies are listed below, along with each firm’s cash-in total.

Maria Hemminger and Joanna Spaun (pictured above) are the owners and partners of MJ Recruiters. They have created a highly efficient and productive system within their firm for making both split placements and non-split placements. Along with Recruitment Coordinator Lisa Reinbolt, they have helped the firm make 13 placements this year alone, more than one per month.

So how has MJ Recruiters done it . . . and how do they still do it? Maria explains below:

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“One million in Top Echelon! I look back and remember when we just wanted to make our first placement in the Network. Bill Quackenbush told me the first week that we joined the Network, ‘If you want to make split placements, then you need to hang out with people who make split placements.” And so we did!

“We participated in our first core group meeting two weeks after joining the Network. Bill was right. We have ‘hung out’ with recruiters ever since, attending core groups and conferences whenever we can and it has paid off BIG for MJ Recruiters . . . one million dollars!

“We have grown our business and fulfilled our client’s needs without adding staff to our office. Thank you, Top Echelon!”

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Thank YOU, Maria and Jo! (And thanks to Bill Quackenbush, too.)

The accomplishments of MJ Recruiters have been well chronicled within the pages of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog. With their talent, experience, and well-honed system, it won’t be long before they join the short list of firms that have billed at least $2 million through our split placement network.

Congratulations to MJ Recruiters and everybody else on the list below!

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$4,216,673—Cameron Craig Group
$2,254,717—Career Brokers, Inc.
$2,205,531—Continental Search and Outplacement, Inc.
$2,002,081—Affinity Executive Search Inc
$1,966,975—Corporate Resources, LLC
$1,827,936—KB Search Team, LLC
$1,724,498—Lou Michaels Associates, Inc.
$1,587,325—Fitzpatrick & Associates
$1,550,104—Markent Personnel
$1,309,309—The Shay Group
$1,291,546—Career Professionals, Inc.
$1,203,325—Professional Recruiting Consultants
$1,174,482—EXEK Recruiters, Ltd.
$1,161,810—Elias Associates, Inc.
$1,109,052—Database Search, Inc.
$1,066,297—The Williams Company
$1,030,436—Wick Jobs (Career Center of Cincinnati)
$1,001,381—MJ Recruiters LLC

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While it remains to be seen if your firm will bill $1 million through Top Echelon Network, it can make more split placements and generate more revenue. If you’re looking to maximize your Network membership, then contact Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS.

You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

Whenever there’s a discussion about the leading recruiters in Top Echelon split fee recruiting network, two names invariably come up:

  1. Trey Cameron of the Cameron Craig Group
  2. Steve Kohn of Affinity Executive Search

For quite a while now, Trey and Steve have been one-two in the Network as far as overall cash-in is concerned. (Although Steve did interrupt Trey’s string of Recruiter of the Month awards in September).

If we had trading cards for Top Echelon Network members, this is what would be on the back of Trey’s card:

  • Started recruiting in 1998
  • Joined Top Echelon Network in 2003
  • Has made 521 Network placements
  • Has billed $3.9 million through the Network

Conversely, this is what the back of Steve’s trading card would look like:

  • Started recruiting in 1989
  • Joined Top Echelon Network in 1994
  • Has made 210 Network placements
  • Has billed $1.7 million through the Network

Once again, these two gentlemen are at the top of our list of the leading recruiters for the month. At this point, there’s no reason to think anybody is going to knock them off their perch. Hopefully, where they lead, others will follow.

So congratulations to Steve, Trey, and the rest of the recruiters who made placements in Top Echelon’s recruiter network during the month of October!

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Leading Recruiters of the Month:

1st Place: Trey Cameron
Agency: Cameron Craig Group
Placements: 12
Commission: $114,857

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2nd Place: Steve Kohn
Agency: Affinity Executive Search
Placements: 6
Commission: $63,804

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3rd Place: Lois Rupkey
Agency: Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc.
Placements: 2
Commission: $25,568

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4th Place: Pamela Ratz DeVille, CPC
Agency: MMS Group
Placements: 2
Commission: $24,289

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5th Place: Melissa Truax
Agency: Premier Health Careers, Inc./Premier Paths
Placements: 2
Commission: $23,500

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If YOU are looking to make more placements with your Top Echelon Network membership, contact Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

Let’s check in with placements in Top Echelon Network, shall we? Split job orders and split candidates precede split placements, and there’s been plenty of all three lately in the Network.

As of the writing of this blog post, these are the pertinent statistics regarding placements made by TE members this year:

  • Placements are up 14.8% on a year-to-date (YTD) basis over 2015.
  • Placements are also up 11.3% on a 12-month rolling (12MR) basis over 2015.

Any way you slice it, placements are up in the Top Echelon recruiting network. And when placements increase, so do the number of happy recruiters who want to share their happiness with the rest of the Network. How do they share? By complimenting their trading partners, of course!

In other words, they want to express their praise for a split job well done.

As you can see by the comments below, the recruiters involved in these split placements are pleased with their trading partners for a number of reasons. Those reasons include the candidates that they provided, their help during the placement process, and their split job order and split candidate prowess.

So if you want to praise your trading partners, include your compliments with your Completed Placement Forms. But act fast. Placements (and compliments) are piling up quickly.

If you’re a newer member and you want to find trading partners and make more placements, then contract Director of Network Operations Drea Codispoti, CPC/CERS. You can do so by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

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Jeff Ploeger of Ploeger Recruiting Services

Jeff Ploeger

Greg Downs, CPC of Downs Associates

Greg Downs, CPC

“Greg and I just started working together in 2016. We’ve had some good success stories and hope for more in the future!”

Submitted by Jeff Ploeger of Ploeger Recruiting Services regarding his Network split placement with Greg Downs, CPC of Downs Associates

Position Title—EHS MANAGER

Fee Percentage—20%

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

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Dan Trudeau of The PRA Group, Inc.

Dan Trudeau

Justin Bidwell of Bidwell and Associates, LLC

Justin Bidwell

“We had two openings for this position and Justin gave me the candidates to fill both. Working with him has been a very positive experience and I’m looking forward to more placements together.”

Submitted by Dan Trudeau of The PRA Group, Inc. regarding his Network split placement with Justin Bidwell of Bidwell & Associates, LLC

Position Title—ECAD PCB Designer

Fee Percentage—22.5%

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

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Robert Alexander of Systems Technology International, Inc.

Robert Alexander

Lois Rupkey of Byrnes and Rupkey, Inc.

Lois Rupkey

“Bob is great! He looks at our jobs and matches the talent to them! I really like to work with Bob!”

Submitted by Lois Rupkey of Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc. regarding her Network split placement with Robert Alexander of Systems Technology International, Inc.


Fee Percentage—20%

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

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Kristy Staggs of Byrnes and Rupkey, Inc.

Kristy Staggs

Stephanie Jakubik of Bertram and Associates, Inc.

Stephanie Jakubik

“Thank you SO much, Stephanie, for the great candidate! We had a chance to make two splits together, and I’m glad one of the two worked out!”

Submitted by Kristy Staggs of Byrnes & Rupkey, Inc. regarding her Network split placement with Stephanie Jakubik of Bertram & Associates, Inc.


Fee Percentage—20%

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

It’s our biggest Network anniversary celebration yet! (And huge doughnuts are a GREAT way to celebrate!)

There are a couple of reasons why this is the case:

  1. There are 11 recruiting firms celebrating a Network anniversary this month.
  2. Four of those firms are celebrating an anniversary of 20 years or longer!

In fact, let’s break this down even further. (Actually, we’ll break down the second reason listed above even further.) Below are the length of the anniversaries that are 20 years or longer:

  • 20 years (AutoPro Technical Recruiting)
  • 22 years (NewCareers)
  • 26 years (AMPS, Inc.)
  • 27 years (Atlantic Resource Group)

Although you might not recognize the firm names immediately, you might recognize some of the recruiters associated with those firms. We’re talking about names like Joe Papa, Terry Rhodes, and Bob Millman—all veritable legends in our recruiter network.

We’re also talking about scores of years in the recruiting industry, hundreds of placements made from Top Echelon Network’s database of candidates for recruitment, and thousands of placements made overall. And that doesn’t even include the other recognizable names celebrating a Network anniversary this month, names like Wayne Nunnelee, Ann Boland, and Bob Wylan.

That’s why this month is our biggest Network anniversary celebration ever! Congratulations to everybody!

(Editor’s note: Top Echelon recognizes firms celebrating five, 10, 15, and 20-year Network anniversaries, plus any firm celebrating an anniversary in excess of 20 years.)

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27-Year Anniversary

Atlantic Resource Group in Glen Allen, Virginia
Staff Members: Debbie Dowdy, Derek Jernigan, and Bob Styer
Agency Join Date: November 16, 1989
Placements: 84

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26-Year Anniversary

AMPS, Inc. in Liverpool, New York
Staff Members: Joseph F. Papa, CPC/CTS; Kathy Papa; and Krystal Harmon-Burton
Agency Join Date: November 6, 1990
Placements: 72

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22-Year Anniversary

NewCareers in Harrisonburg, Virginia
Staff Members: Terry Rhodes and Mary Beth Rhodes
Agency Join Date: November 22, 1994
Placements: 143

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20-Year Anniversary

AutoPro Technical Recruiting in Oak Park, Michigan
Staff Members: Bob Millman
Agency Join Date: November 21, 1996
Placements: 98

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15-Year Anniversary

Nunnelee & Associates, Inc. in Oakland, Mississippi
Staff Members: Wayne Nunnelee
Agency Join Date: November 14, 2001
Placements: 51

Technology Recruiting Solutions in Houston, Texas
Staff Members: Amy Dunn
Agency Join Date: November 14, 2001
Placements: 29

The Boland Group in Baltimore, Maryland
Staff Members: Ann Boland
Agency Join Date: November 14, 2001
Placements: 48

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10-Year Anniversary

R.A. Wylan & Company, Inc. in Leawood, Kansas
Staff Members: Bob Wylan
Agency Join Date: November 29, 2006
Placements: 24

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5-Year Anniversary

Acloche Executive Search in Columbus, Ohio
Staff Members: Bruce Mendenhall, Angie Courtright, and Jarad Swint
Agency Join Date: November 3, 2011
Placements: 9

Global Talent Resources Corporation in North Canton, Ohio
Staff Members: Glenn Richards, Robert Dixon, Holly Weber, Ashley Smith, and Stacy Daves
Agency Join Date: November 10, 2011
Placements: 6

R. Baker & Associates in Fort Mills, South Carolina
Staff Members: Michael Baker and Reed Baker
Agency Join Date: November 21, 2011
Placements: 2

I confess: we want you to do more than just check out these new Top Echelon Network recruiting agencies.

We want you to make split placements with them!

Okay, so it won’t be possible for everybody to make splits with the agencies below. But I know for a fact that newer members are currently making splits with more tenured members.

We’re talking about members that have joined within the past few months. Not only have they made splits with other members, but they also have several candidates still in play.

New agencies for making split placements

For quite a while, we published the names of new member firms in The Pinnacle newsletter. Of course, that was back when the newsletter was delivered in hard copy format. As you can see, that is no longer the case. (The Internet changed everything, didn’t it?)

We recently decided to once again publish the names of new Top Echelon Network recruiting agencies. Why? Because we want to give these firms as much exposure as we can within the recruiting network. We know that there are split placements to be made, and we want to help them get made!

So once again, we encourage you to look through the list below. If appropriate, reach out to some of these firms. Introduce yourself, welcome them to the Network, and ask about their biggest need.

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Date joined: November 2
Location: Manhattan, New York
Industries:  General
Agency members: Mike Zaremski, David Franklin, and Chris Botte

— — —

Date joined: November 8
Location: Medford, New Jersey
Industries: Information Technology
Agency members: Dan Casey

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Date joined:
November 8
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Industries:  General
Agency members: Kelli Merlino

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Date joined: November 9
Location: Syracuse, New York
Industries: General
Agency members: Tom Daly

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Date joined: November 14
Location: Hamilton, Kentucky
Industries:  Government Civil Service, Department of Defense, Aerospace, Automotive, Plastics, Medical Manufacturing, and Healthcare
Agency members: Jim Berger

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Date joined: November 14
Location: Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Industries: General
Agency members: Paul Freeney

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If you’re among the new agencies that recently joined our exclusive recruiter network and want help, then please contact me. If you’re an established member and want help, please do the same.

You can contact me by calling 330.455.1433, x156 or by sending an email to

They say that age is just a number. They’re right, it is. (Whoever they are.) What really matters, though, is how big the number is.

But forget about how old you are for just a moment. After all, we have. We just want to know at what age you started your journey in this fabulous profession of recruiting.

As all of you know, nobody goes to college and majors in recruiting. Becoming a recruiter just “sort of happens” somehow . . . which is also a subject for another blog post.

For this particular post, we posed the following question in the Members’ Area as part of a recent poll:

At what age did you start in the recruiting business?


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

  • In my 20s — 43.7%
  • In my 30s— 28.2%
  • In my 40s— 19.7%
  • In my 50s — 8.5%
  • Later — 0.0%

Age like a fine wine (then drink one)

Okay, even though just about all recruiters don’t become one right out of college, many in the recruiting network still started young. That’s because 43.7% of poll participants started in the business in their 20s.

Which means, of course, that 56.3% of participants did NOT start in the business in their 20s! (Who said math is hard?)

In fact, 28.2% indicated that they started in their 30s, and another 19.7% chose “In my 40s” as their answer. Put those two percentages together, and you have 47.9%.

That means percentage-wise, more Network members started in the business in their 30s and 40s combined than started in their 20s. That just goes to show, once again, that age is not a determining factor for success in this profession.

Speaking of which, another 8.5% of the recruiters in our poll started in the recruiting business while in their 50s. When it comes to shifting gears and starting a new career, recruiting is NOT a bad way to go.

No matter what age you start in the profession, though, the goal is the same: become better at what you do and bill more. Recruiting does not play favorites; it can be brutal. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 55, it will run you over without so much as a “howdy-do.”

Youth is NOT a leading indicator of success in this profession. Determination, perseverance, talent, and the desire to continually improve are.

It’s not really about when you start. It’s more about where you finish.