Tag: News

Capital Region Entrepreneurs Named as 2023 Small Business Person of the Year and Women in Business Champion in Upstate New York

Pictured: US Small Business Administration Upstate New York District Director Bernard J. Paprocki, Women in Business Champion Mary Malone McCarthy, Small Business Person of the Year Trent Griffin-Braaf, and US Small Business Administration Atlantic Regional Administrator Marlene Cintron.

SBA Regional Administrator, Upstate New York District Director awarded local businesses during National Small Business Week

ALBANY, N.Y. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Upstate New York District has awarded its 2023 Small Business Person of the Year Award to Mr. Trent Griffin-Braaf, owner of Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle in Cohoes, NY and its 2023 Women in Business Champion Award to Mary Malone McCarthy to M3 Placement & Partnership in Albany, NY.

SBA Atlantic Regional Administrator Marlene Cintron and SBA Upstate New York District Director Bernard J. Paprocki presented the awards at the SBA Albany Office as part of National Small Business Week. They were joined by U.S. Representative Paul Tonko and Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy.

According to District Director Paprocki, the SBA Upstate New York District selected Trent Griffin-Braaf as Small Business Person of the Year not only for his success creatively pivoting his transportation business during the pandemic but also for his commitment to community service. Griffin-Braaf provides complimentary transportation to those in need and offers guidance to minority and women entrepreneurs.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Griffin-Braaf served a prison sentence and decided to change the direction of his life. He started Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle in 2016 to serve people in the Greater Capital Region who might not otherwise have transportation. For example, the company helps workers get to their nighttime jobs after the bus stops running.

“As a small business owner, more specifically a Black small business owner, I’m happy to do the work in the community that we do. We believe the services we provide around transportation and logistics are important to the communities we aid. We take pride in being able to contribute to the local economy and provide job opportunities,” said Griffin-Braaf. “I personally feel a sense of satisfaction being an asset to our region, understanding in my youth I was more a liability, and now I get to right some of the wrongs I once did.”

Since its founding, Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle has grown from a small office to a 1,500 square foot space with a parking lot. The pandemic interrupted the company’s consistent financial growth when the 2020 shutdown prevented many of Griffin-Braaf’s clients from attending normal activities. But again, Trent found opportunity in adversity and began offering transportation services for food and medical supplies.

Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle also received an SBA Microloan in 2020 from Pursuit to refinance existing debt and fund working capital, helping the business retain employees. SBA Microloans are smaller-size loans provided through SBA funding intermediaries like Pursuit, which offers SBA business loans in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

In 2022, Tech Valley Hospitality Shuttle hired seven more employees and grew revenue 100 percent.

Mary Malone McCarthy was selected as SBA’s Women in Business Champion of the Year for her unwavering commitment to women entrepreneurs. As the founder and Chief Executive Officer of M3 Placement & Partnership, McCarthy has not only grown her own small business through leadership rooted in prioritizing people, but she also generously shares her experiences and personal connections with other woman founders. McCarthy serves as a thought leader in the business community, and her mentorship has been foundational to the success of many other woman-owned businesses.

“It is an honor to be recognized as the SBA Women in Business Champion and celebrate today’s recognition in honor of the many amazing female mentors I have had in my life, both personally and professionally, as well as the exceptional team at M3,” said McCarthy. “M3’s success is based in an unwavering commitment to exceed our clients’ expectations by delivering impactful results around recruiting and retaining top talent. We recognize the high importance of helping companies create a healthy, strong and vibrant workplace, which in turn impacts their ability to attract and retain great talent.  I am immensely grateful and energized by this honor and to have had the opportunity to mentor and celebrate the great success of so many other female leaders.”

McCarthy grew up in a family business and learned the singular importance of caring about people from her father, the CEO of a telecommunications company. She founded her company in 2012 on a people-first foundation, which shines through every aspect of her business and community work.

For example, M3 Placement & Partnership received an SBA COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan and an SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan, which McCarthy used to develop free resources and support services for clients and individuals navigating the challenges of COVID.

Her approach not only allows her to do the right thing but also drives business success. Last year, McCarthy expanded her business from five to 15 employees, grew their service offering and doubled revenue, all while continuing to provide free coaching to entrepreneurs and giving back to her community.

SBA Upstate New York District Director Bernard J. Paprocki commended Griffin-Braaf and McCarthy for their small business success and dedication to their communities. “Our two winners today exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit we need for our region’s economic growth and resilience. Their commitment to running businesses rooted in their personal values has fostered success and growth of their own businesses and made an impact throughout the ecosystem and beyond,” he said. “Trent and Mary Malone have provided valuable mentorship to other minority and women entrepreneurs, helping them to start and grow new business and add even more jobs to the Capital Region. Their service and contributions to not only their fellow entrepreneurs but also to the entire community are what made their nominations stand out among the many we received this year.”

“I am thrilled to be in Albany to celebrate National Small Business Week and honor our award winners Trent Griffin-Braaf and Mary Malone McCarthy. The SBA is meeting small businesses where they are and this event allowed our best and brightest Upstate entrepreneurs to understand that this administration is investing in their businesses as they propel themselves and the nation forward,” said SBA Atlantic Regional Administrator Marlene Cintron, who oversees SBA in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Upstate New York’s 2023 Small Business Person of the Year was selected from nominees across the district’s 34 counties. SBA Upstate New York provides small business owners with access to business counseling, capital, federal contracting programs and disaster assistance.

The Small Business Person of the Year Award is part of National Small Business Week, held this year from April 30 through May 6.


About National Small Business Week

For nearly 60 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.  As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov

M3 Placement and Partnership is excited to announce the formation of its New Advisory Board

ALBANY, NY, MAY 2023—M3 Placement & Partnership, a leading provider of talent acquisition and strategic H.R. consulting services, announced the formation of its new Advisory Board, comprised of top leaders from some of the most recognized firms nationally.   The new Advisory Board will provide strategic expertise and guidance as M3 Placement & Partnership continues to expand and evolve.

Talent acquisition, particularly recruiting and retaining top talent has seen accelerated growth over the past two years with a high demand for a blended services model to address systemic issues within an organization. M3’s ability to support the multiple facets of talent acquisition through outsourced recruitment, strategy and executive search has been transformational for the many clients they serve.

Members of the newly formed Advisory Board represent a diverse group of business and industry experience.  Advisory Board members include:

  • Tara J. Agen:  HP Global Head and Vice President of Marketing Effectiveness, Strategic Planning, Operations, Marketing Technology.
  • Jim Carrick: Founder and past CEO of Polaris Library Systems, LPA Software Solutions and CommSource.  Current board member, Technology Leader, and Business Development advisor.
  • Harriet Harty: ADT, Executive Vice President, and Chief Administration Officer where she is responsible for Human Resources, Real Estate & Facilities, Corporate Security, Employee Health & Safety Compliance, and Business Continuity.
  • Donna Hughes, JD:  Hughes Solutions LLC, Founder and CEO previous CHRO for Emblem Health.
  • Blair Jones:  Semler Brossy, Managing Director. 30 years of experience in executive compensation consulting, primarily advising public company boards but also private and pre-IPO companies. Blair has extensive experience across the healthcare, retail, consumer products, automotive, and aerospace industries. She has deep expertise in advising boards on company transitions, significant investor concerns, and an expanding human capital management mandate.
  • Paul Moskowitz: Sysco. Retired Executive Vice President, Human Resources. Board and Member Advisor. Business Leader and Corporate Officer with deep experience in human capital strategies for the achievement of business goals.

In creating M3’s Advisory board, Mary Malone McCarthy, founder and CEO has said “We are taking the next step in M3’s long-term growth strategy while remaining steadfast to our commitment for an exceptional client experience. Members of our M3 Placement & Partnership Advisory Board are leaders in their industries, and we are confident they will make a significant contribution to M3’s current and future success.  I am very excited about this next chapter for M3 and grateful for the service and commitment of our advisory board members.”

To learn more about M3 Placement and Partnership and its advisory board, visit www.M3placement.com.

M3 Placement and Partnership is a trusted partner in talent acquisition and executive searches and a guide in tackling the strategic human resource needs of companies of all sizes. At M3, we are on a mission to find better talent for the organizations we work with. We believe when superior talent is placed in key leadership roles, change is created to impact organizations and lives for the better, and that creates a better world.

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M3 Placement and Partnership named a finalist in CenterState CEO 2023 Business of the Year Awards

CenterState CEO announced finalists for its 2023 Business of the Year awards. The awards celebrate member companies and organizations for their outstanding success and the role they play in strengthening the region. These companies and organizations have achieved significant growth, exemplified business leadership and have gone above and beyond in their commitment to our community. Finalists were selected from a highly competitive pool of nominations.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Digital Hyve, National Grid US and Oswego Health.

MORE THAN 50 EMPLOYEES: Air Innovations, King + King Architects and Mower Agency.

FEWER THAN 50 EMPLOYEES: American Fashion Network, Chimera Integrations and M3 Placement and Partnership.

NONPROFIT: Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, On Point For College and Symphoria.

MINORITY-OWNED (In Partnership with the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance): Collins Barber & Beauty Shop LLC, JHP Industrial Supplies Co. and Melody’s.

Read more, here: http://bit.ly/3ZqVxbz

M3 Welcomes Jackie Walters as Director of Operations

M3 is pleased to welcome Jackie Walters to the role of Director of Operations. Jackie will lead the effort in supporting the company’s rapid growth, while caring for clients, the team, and the M3 brand.     

“I’m honored and proud to join M3” said Walters.  “Mary Malone and the M3 team have done an amazing job growing the business and staying true to their mission of finding the best talent for the organizations they work with.  I’m excited to start this next chapter of my career and look forward to working with the team to continue making a positive impact on people and organizations in our community.”  

“A highly respected collaborator and community leader, Jackie has proven expertise in establishing strong relationships and managing growth” said Mary Malone McCarthy, Founder and CEO of M3 Placement and Partnership.  “As M3 continues to expand we understood the importance of building our leadership team to assure we continue delivering a high touch and exceptional client experience.  Jackie’s experience combined with a determination to excel in our industry was a perfect fit and we are thrilled to welcome her to the M3 team.”

Jackie most recently served as the Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce where she was a driver of growth through increased memberships and exposure, and managed all operations, logistics, and networking for the organization.  An innovator of new programs and initiatives, she is uniquely experienced in understanding the fundamental needs of business owners while wearing multiple hats as a high-level administrator.  She is a graduate of Clarkson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering, and held various engineering roles before serving as Chamber Director.  She and her family live in Clinton, NY. 

Why You Need Quality Candidates (not Quantity) to Meet Your 2022 Growth Objectives

When your company is executing on a plan to achieve aggressive growth goals, you’re sure to hit some obstacles along the way. In the unprecedented tight labor market that we’re experiencing right now, talent acquisition may be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome.

If you hope to achieve the ambitious objectives you’ve set for 2022, you need to think differently about how to attract the talent it takes to grow and thrive. One mindset that’s essential to leave behind is the idea that quantity is important when you’re evaluating job candidates.

When a Focus on Candidate Quantity is Harmful, Not Helpful  

For years, many search firms made a living pushing the idea that more is better when it comes to presenting candidates to employers. Some search firm contracts were even structured that way, promising to deliver a minimum number of candidates for each open position. The larger the search firm’s database of potential candidates, the more valuable they purport to be.

It’s what we at M3 refer to as the “spaghetti at the wall” approach: If you throw enough candidates at a company, something is likely to stick.

The problem is, it may not be the right candidate.

You might assume that if you have a stack of resumes from a company that’s been hired to help you fill a role, there must be a viable candidate in there. But that’s not necessarily the case. When you hire the best person out of the bunch—not the strongest fit for the job—you can run into a host of problems.

  • You might feel forced to choose a candidate who only fits the core requirements in your job description—and that’s not sufficient to ensure a good fit and a successful long-term outcome for either party.
  • You might sacrifice factors that are critical in matching the right person to the position, such as emotional intelligence or alignment with your culture. Let’s say you need to hire an engineer who will have to collaborate cross functionality to achieve his job objectives. If you only focus on finding someone with a great command of the technical aspects of the job and don’t assess their emotional intelligence, the odds of a successful experience will be low.
  • You might end up settling for a match that looks good on the surface but won’t work out long term. For example, a leader who has a track record of success heading up departments that are already working as well-oiled machines won’t necessarily succeed in an environment that is in a rebuild mode.

A difficult labor market is certainly a challenge for employers, but it shouldn’t get in the way of finding and hiring quality candidates. In fact, with turnover at alarmingly high levels, it’s even more important than ever to ensure you’re evaluating the best quality candidates. The better the candidate quality, the more likely the new hire will stay, perform at a high level, enjoy a positive work experience, and contribute to your growth objectives.

How the Right Search Partner Can Bring You Quality Candidates

High-growth companies can’t afford to make the wrong hires—whether it’s hiring a poor match for the job requirements or your culture, or candidates who didn’t realize exactly what they were getting into. That’s where the right search firm can help.

A search firm whose focus is candidate quality, not quantity, invests in a long-term relationship with your company. They become intimately familiar with your business, including your goals, challenges, and culture. And they become a partner who is equally committed to seeing you achieve your aggressive growth objectives. When those elements are in place, throwing quantity at the wall is replaced by a consultative approach that seeks to find the right fit for both the company and the candidate and achieve the best long-term outcome. 

What are the hallmarks of a search firm that’s committed to and skilled at presenting the best quality candidates for a position?

  • They seek to understand and align with your company mission, vision, and values. 
  • They take a long-term, relationship approach to working with you, not a short-term, transactional view.
  • They get to know the person behind the resume, including their personal story and how this individual will (or won’t) fit within your culture. When new hires don’t work out, about 70 percent of the time it’s because of a lack of cultural fit.
  • They do the heavy lifting for you, including the thorough, thoughtful homework it requires to find and present only the best fits.
  • They ask your hiring manager the right probing questions to understand your need beyond the core job description. For example: What pain points is your business facing which this new employee will have to work within or tackle? Is your private equity or venture capital ownership creating especially high expectations for growth? If you tell me a year later that this candidate turned out to be a great hire, what criteria will you base that on?
  • They ask potential candidates equally probing questions as part of the vetting process. For example: What are your short-term and long-term professional goals? Do you have experience leading a team in a hybrid live/virtual work environment?
  • They encourage their clients to use behavioral-based interviewing techniques to assess a candidate’s emotional intelligence, which is increasingly critical for many positions, especially those that will manage remote workers.

Choosing a search firm should be an immersive experience, one in which you walk away feeling like the company understands and connects with your brand and your story. If you’re trusting an external firm to find the individual contributors and leaders who will enable you to achieve the growth you envision, it needs to be a company that can convey your story just as vibrantly and accurately as your own CEO.

M3 takes a different approach to talent acquisition and executive search than most—one that results in better outcomes for employers and candidates alike. We become your partner, immersing ourselves in your business holistically so we can help you attract and retain the talent it takes to succeed as a high-growth business.

Start Planning Today

Contact M3 today to schedule an initial consultation!

Employee retention: Do you have a good forecast on how your company will weather the storm of the Great Resignation?

The statistics are powerful- according to a recent report out from CNBC, roughly 1 in 3 workers are now considering leaving their job. The estimated cost of a valued employee leaving your organization is estimated to be one and one half times their salary.  The dollars add up not to mention the impact on your customers. At M3, we see the tremendous concern and overwhelming challenges organizations are experiencing recruiting and retaining top talent. Never have we experienced such a radical change in the workforce and the M3 team felt compelled to shift the outlook for struggling leaders, giving them the tools they need to tackle the challenges of these times.   

At a time when a guiding compass is needed most, we’re applying our research and team of experts to create Workforce EQ, a new service that provides companies with a proven method to identify gaps that may lead to talent loss or team burnout. Workforce EQ is a powerful tool that goes beyond resources and surveys, coupling a leader’s care and concern for their team with top HR leaders that will be a key partner in guiding organizations through such challenging times.

Why investing in your employees saves you money over time:

How do we create a plan:

With Workforce EQ clients will have a trusted neutral partner to uncover those areas that are not coming up in engagement surveys and internal meetings.This new service analyzes performance in the key areas that affect recruitment and retention and creates a custom action plan.

We review your company’s current approach to the following areas:

  • Talent acquisition and retention strategy
  • HR capabilities
  • Leadership development
  • Internal policies and procedures for hybrid, remote, and/or in office work
  • Organizational effectiveness in fulfilling your mission and core values

Workforce EQ helps companies understand their greatest opportunities for improvement and then matches them with an HR expert to tackle these areas, leading to higher levels of recruitment, engagement and retention.

How to start planning today:

Schedule an initial meet and greet with Mary Malone at http://eq.m3placement.com/

Employee Expectations are Changing. Is your Organization Prepared?

COVID-19 has redefined the workplace. Many companies are doubling down on their efforts to adapt and support the changing needs and expectations as the workplace environment continues to evolve.  From hybrid and remote work expectations, to work-life balance, employees and leaders alike have all been fast at work learning what strategies are successful in embracing the changes in today’s working world for success in business.

Nearly 25% of American Workers are planning on looking for a new job once the pandemic is over.  53% say they would switch to an entirely new industry if they could retrain.  What is behind the shift? Top reasons include compensation, work-life balance and limited growth opportunities.  It’s crucial for leaders to remain at the forefront of the changes to continue to attract, retain, and support their top talent.

What can companies do to stay on top of all of these changes?

Listen.  Fully understand the needs, challenges, and desires of team members in order to evaluate the culture.  One on one interviews and peer focus groups are particularly helpful in drawing out themes that cannot be identified by a leader within a company.  Individuals tend to be more open to trusted third party advisors.  Once themes have been identified, they turn into opportunities!

Support.  Training, Development and Coaching are all critical in enhancing personal and professional satisfaction.  That translates into retention.  Turnover is costly, so if support is given on an ongoing basis, your organization is positioned for growth and success.

Strengthen.  Use information, insights and findings to continue to evolve and grow.  Establish processes to take advantage of the opportunities uncovered in the listening stage.  When processes are strong, confidence is high as everyone understands what to expect.

Do you have an expert to guide you through these changes?  Partner with M3 for a program that strengthens your business to thrive in a post-pandemic world. M3 takes a customized approach to address the work environment, policies and dynamics of your organization.  The Workplace Experience Program will equip your leaders with skills that are in demand as employee expectations continue to evolve. Reach out at hello@m3placement.com for program details.

M3 Welcomes New Team Member, Riley Anger

We are pleased to welcome our newest team member, Riley Anger, to the role of Talent Acquisition Associate. Riley comes with a great deal of experience and knowledge from her previous role as Talent Acquisition Specialist with Eklego Workforce Solutions.  In her position at M3, Riley will focus on building and maintaining relationships with clients and coordinating talent placements.  Riley was drawn to M3 after hearing about M3’s mission to change lives.  “It is obvious that M3 partners with great, like minded, community serving organizations, and provides them with excellent care and customer service” said Riley, “and I am looking forward to now being a part of that effort.”  Adding Riley to the team will support M3’s rapid growth and accommodate a number of new business efforts.

Outside of M3, Riley is a talented photographer (check out Riley Justine Photography on Instagram), an experienced barista, and loves to travel.  She also loves to spend time with her rescue pup, Winslow.

Riley we are so glad you are here, the future is bright indeed and we and are excited to see you grow with M3!

Reimagining the Future of the Workplace

Just over one year ago today our personal and professional lives changed forever. Over 500,000 lives have been lost, some businesses prospered while others have been in complete despair.  One commonality among businesses showing resilience through these times is the determination and perseverance to adapt in the circumstances.

M3 Placement and Partnership is pleased to announce a virtual panel event on May 6th, 2021 – Reimagining the Future of the Workplace.  Be a part of the conversation with thought leaders and HR professionals as we focus on solutions for the “new normal” working environment.

Join us on May 6th from 1-3pm EST.  Register here: https://m3placement.com/reimagine/

Virtual Open Career Fair

Join us Wednesday April 14th, 2021 from 1-3pm EST for a Virtual Open Career Fair. M3 Placement & Partnership invites you to explore an
Associate Financial Advisor career opportunity with our client, Strategic Financial Services. Come find out more about a great opportunity by signing up below. Open interviews will be held using Zoom. Please complete the form below to participate in interviews. A member of our hiring team will connect with you on details for attending.

To join Zoom Meeting Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

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