Greenwood Village, CO
Industry: Staffing & Recruiting
When Mary Clark began working at Lakeshore Staffing, after 10 years in sales and account management in the fashion industry, she never envisioned owning the firm. However, she quickly fell in love with staffing and recruiting and her sales and account management experience, coupled with her human resources experience, was a perfect match to assume a leadership role.
“I began my career with Lakeshore as an account executive and was quickly promoted to Market Director in Denver,” said Clark. “After five years of successfully running the Lakeshore Staffing business, I was approached with an opportunity to buy the company.”
And, that’s what she did in 2017 after partnering with two other leaders – Natalie Van Roekel and Lindsay Nossaman. They rebranded the company as Lakeshore Talent and are WBENC certified as a women-owned business.
“In the two and a half years since acquiring the company, we have grown revenue by 25% to $15 million and plan to reach $25 million in the next 5 years,” said Clark.
The mission of Lakeshore Talent is to improve lives by building teams and advancing careers. Clark is an integral part of this mission. “It is rewarding work and everyone on the team is united in their passion to help candidates advance their careers or find their dream job while helping clients find the right talent to build their teams and achieve their goals,” she said.
Although she didn’t acquire the company officially until 2017, Clark has been leading Lakeshore since 2011. In an industry where turnover is high, Lakeshore’s average tenure is 7 years. Approximately 70% of the firm’s business is from loyal, repeat clients who have been doing business with the company for years. Clark’s staff attributes these successes to her leadership, adding that “Mary always keeps the goals and vision of the company in mind while also making the team a priority. She is dedicated not only to company growth, but also in maintaining a fun, unique and positive work culture.”
For Clark, leadership is about helping employees thrive and do their best work. “Building trust is the key,” she said. “I have found that courage, empathy and humility are the traits that have enabled me to lead and inspire a team.”
Clark believes that you have to have the courage to make the tough decisions and deliver honest, constructive feedback with empathy to connect with your team and let them know that you care. As a result, Lakeshore Talent has been named as the Denver Business Journal’s list of Top Staffing Companies annually and the DBJ List of Top Women Owned Companies.
“I intend to continue learning and growing by surrounding myself with people who have different strengths and perspectives than my own,” said Clark.
For her continued dedication as a leader and commitment to the industry, Clark has earned a spot as a Titan 100.
Greatest Leadership Lesson Learned:
Leadership is about helping employees thrive and do their best work. Building trust is the key. I have found that courage, empathy and humility are the traits that have enabled me to lead and inspire a team.
Prior to moving to Colorado in 2002, Mary lived and worked in NYC for 10 years. Her first job out of college was in Marketing at the book publishing giant Random House. From there, she found success in the Fashion Industry working for companies such as Lacoste, Joseph Abboud and the iconic label, Armani. Mary left NYC and the Fashion Industry to move to Colorado and raise a family.