It’s always a good day when an employee raises their hand to take on an additional role. Happy to share that Jeff Kipp, a Project Manager/Guide since 2022, has added the title of Director of Business Development for EA. Jeff will be working to strengthen EA’s existing relationships with over 50 clients in the region, as well as cultivate new ones. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Jeff check out his backstory.
Q: You’ve always been all about Cleveland both personally and professionally. Can you tell us how your enthusiasm and advocacy for the city came to be?
A: As a native Northeast Ohioan, I have always had a natural love for Cleveland. My passion for Cleveland’s sports teams and the city’s reputation developed while I was growing up in Solon. My inner foodie and curiosity about neighborhood economies matured after returning from college and living in Lakewood for a few years. My true orientation to urban neighborhoods arrived in my 20’s via the social work field. Armed with a Masters of Social Work from Cleveland State in hand, I was given an amazing opportunity to run a community development nonprofit that coordinated marketing activities for Cleveland’s neighborhoods. It positioned me as a leading advocate for urban living and economic development in city neighborhoods and I have never looked back.
I have lived in two different Old Brooklyn homes with my wife, Tricia, and our daughters – both of whom are in high school and have attended CMSD schools since age three. For the past two-and-a-half decades, I’ve led a variety of marketing efforts on behalf of city neighborhoods and community development organizations, ranging from grassroots promotions to large scale marketing and communications efforts. I consider myself privileged to have represented Cleveland before local, regional, national, and international audiences. As a staffer at EA, I remain dedicated to contributing to the revitalization of our region. On any given day, you’ll find me wearing CLE gear, trying new independent restaurants, and exploring neighborhoods around the region – and I get to share these experiences with our EA job candidates and new hires!
Q: What draws you to the sales side of the talent attraction and retention business?
A: EA thought it was smart to have a team member in a dedicated sales role. To date, our company’s growth and reach has happened due to the significant efforts of EA’s leadership and as a result of each of our staffer’s deep networks and involvement in Greater Cleveland. Additionally, organic growth happens when previous job candidates that EA helped woo to Cleveland/Akron engage us to help them get their own out-of-town recruits to a “YES”. By creating this new exclusively sales-focused position we will be able to ramp up our efforts in reaching deeper into existing client relationships and will also allow us to uncover new companies that can benefit from utilizing our services. I am excited for this opportunity and eager to dive in.
Q: In this (mostly) post-COVID work environment how does utilizing EA services give companies/organizations an added advantage in the recruitment of out of town job candidates and acclimation of new hires and their families?
A: While many companies and institutions are working in a remote or hybrid environment, a need still exists to have top talent living in our region and available for in-person work. As the economy bounces back and companies are returning to pre-COVID hiring levels, it is more important than ever to make the right hire. Job candidates hold a lot of power and are highly sought after. We see individuals moving jobs more frequently than before. EA works to ensure that the candidate’s personal life and professional life match up, thus increasing the odds that they will stay in that job for a longer time and potentially stay with the hiring company across multiple roles. Adding EA to your company’s talent attraction and retention process will not just increase the odds of securing the desired candidate, but it will also help bolster that candidate’s smooth transition to a new job and home city. Happy employees make productive employees, right?
Q: What does success mean to you in your various roles at EA?
A: I’ve known Owner/President, Margy Judd for many years as we traveled in the same civic circles and occasionally served together on committees. EA is a great fit and my professional background allowed me to enhance the company’s knowledge, experience, and contacts in city neighborhoods. The project management work has been very rewarding as I love the interaction with job candidates and thrive off of tasks that involve many moving parts. To date, I’ve worked with over 50 candidates, and have been involved in hosting group tours, and a part of EA’s days consulting with persons who want to start up an EA-like company in their own city. As someone who has worked in economic development for decades, I appreciate that my EA work allows for a closer more interpersonal approach, where I get to work with individuals directly to provide an immediate impact on their potential life-changing decision.
From day one on the job as a Project Manager the response from candidates has been tremendous. On one of my very first jobs, I was told that I have the “coolest job ever!” and to be honest I can’t argue with that. We work to ensure a candidate truly understands and appreciates the detail of work that goes into their orientation. Once that happens, they are usually all-in and eager to spend a day with us. It’s not a sight-seeing tour. We dive deep into neighborhoods and communities, introduce them to community members, and expose them to the lifestyle available in Cleveland that matches what they’re used to or what they’re looking for. I have not yet met a candidate that has experienced a similar service anywhere.
I’d like to see more businesses hire EA for its unique services and unmatched attention to detail when it comes to attracting and retaining sought after professionals. And if that happens, I’m convinced that we will see Northeast Ohio continue to attract top talent which will strengthen our economy and position us all for sustained growth and prosperity. Personally, I’d like to see our local communities – especially urban neighborhoods – experience job growth and investment while welcoming these newcomers with open arms. EA plays an important part in that equation. We see the impact we make every day, and I will consider it a success when I can help lengthen our reach and make that impact larger.
If you have out-of-town recruits or new hires who are skeptical, or have family members unsure about a relocation to Cleveland/Akron, if offering a comprehensive personal get-to-know CLE/AK experience is important to you, and a seamless onboarding to mitigate any retention concerns is top-of-mind reach out to Jeff to learn how Executive Arrangements can help 216.231.9311.