Scott Simon, President of BetterHire, has earned the reputation as a positive change agent — by finding the Technology, Management, and Sales talent that helps build competitive organizations into industry leaders.
Scott’s clients hire him to find and recruit the kind of people who 1) understand what makes organizations successful, and 2) offer the technical and leadership skills needed to rapidly achieve success through digital development, innovation, and organizational transformation. Scott’s proven formula, The BetterHire Talent Hierarchy, has helped hundreds of organizations recognize — and reap — the value of their most critical hires.
BA: We hear that attracting technical talent is a struggle for many companies. What do you think is the most significant contributor is to this issue?
Scott: Companies are facing challenging digital transformation and new development projects that come with aggressive schedules and expectations. They are under pressure to evolve and innovate, now, not in the future. So, I don’t think there is one biggest contributor; there are several. Business transformation, economic factors, finding talent experienced in the latest technology, and even company culture are impacting the recruitment and hiring of top people. But to be honest, finding the right person to hire – the one who can “run with the ball” – is always going to be tough.
BA: Digital transformation is driving the demand for technical talent. Is it also impacting other areas of the business?
Scott: Customers and business partners are demanding well-orchestrated and delivered customers experiences and higher value. The business transformation wave is impacting every area of business. Successful companies of the future are those that recognize that leaders must have a clear vision of value creation and delivery. They’ll seize talent that can manage the transformation process and also envision the business post-transformation. The addition of this talent is not an addition to a business, as in 1 + 1, but are multipliers. They can bring a multiplication force to a company.
BA: How do you identify this type of talent – the person who isn’t an addition, but a multiplier?
Scott: I think it starts with attitude. Obviously, they must have technical talent and experience, but the attitude and the desire to drive transformation may be more important. You can see this in a sales VP that understands the acceleration of growth can be the result of improved customer acquisition models or a CIO that recognizes that better data analysis could lead to the development of new markets. These people are business transformers, and while technical skills may be the common denominator, it’s their soft skills that give them their competitive advantage.
BA: Those are incredibly valued people, and I’m sure many companies would love to hire this type of person. Why would those people move if they are already in a good position?
Scott: This caliber of talent wants to make an impact. They are looking for opportunities to dramatically change a company’s trajectory. Far along in their career, only challenging positions appeal to them.
BA: Ok let’s say the company finds them. What will keep them from joining us?
Scott: Your best question. Half of the battle is the search and then the other half is making the case for them to join. And usually it’s not the money. The transforming talent you’re looking for has a great sense of alignment. If a company’s culture, strategy, and technology don’t sync up, it’s hard to make the case. But when your candidate can see alignment, you’ve minimized his risk and you’ve increased your chance for success.
Kelly Adams Adams is the cofounder and CEO of Beyond Home Care, a service for elderly and disabled individuals seeking assistance with activities of daily living at home. Beyond Home Care competed in the Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition last fall and finished in the top six in the competition. Adams holds a degree in communications from the University of North Alabama and is a certified advisor working with seniors and caregivers. She is active in her community, including serving as an ambassador for Alexander City Chamber of Commerce and the board of Leadership Lake Martin.
Peggy Bullard Bullard, a Dadeville native, is owner/operator of Little Lambs and Ivy, a state-licensed day care center and pre-kindergarten school since 1997. She also has owned LaKay’s Flowers and Gifts since 2009. She has been active in the Kiwanis Club for many years, having served as president of the Dadeville Kiwanis organization and Kiwanian of the Year in 2003. She is a member of the Kiwanis Leadership Society. Other awards include Business Person of the Year in 2018 and the Eddie Williams Award and the State of Alabama Governors Award sponsored by the Alabama Kiwanis organization. She also has been an avid fundraiser for local schools.
Susan Burrow Burrow is president of Central Alabama Community College. Burrow earned a Ph.D. from Ole Miss, a master’s in nursing and a post-master’s certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner from UAB. Under her leadership, CACC was selected as the first Alabama school to join the national Achieving the Dream College initiative in 2013, leading to a 13 percent increase in student completion rates. Burrow’s community service includes the SAFE Board of Directors in Sylacauga.
Chris Busby Busby oversees community development for the Chambers County Development Authority and also manages communications and public relations. He is a Chambers County native, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in 2004. He is a graduate of Class I of the Alabama Leadership Initiative, with additional economic development credentials from Auburn University and the University of Alabama. He serves on the Chambers County Board of Education and the boards of Valley Haven School and the Chambers County Museum. He is also active in the Economic Development Association of Alabama and on the Alabama Association of School Board’s Advocacy Committee.
Chad Calhoun Calhoun is president of Classic Homes, Russell Lands’ construction company. After graduating from Auburn University’s Building Science program in 1998, Calhoun worked for Brice Building Co. in Birmingham where he was awarded the state Project Manager of the Year by the Alabama Subcontractor’s Association in 2005. He joined Russell Lands in 2006. Calhoun is also chairman of the Russell Lands Architectural Review Committee. Calhoun is president elect for the Alexander City Rotary Club, chairman of Gateway to Education board, board member of Lake Martin Auburn Club, 2008 Leadership Lake Martin class member and Alabama Homebuilders Association member.
Michael Carter Carter is owner/operator of Southside Collision Center in Dadeville. He serves on the Tallapoosa County Board of Education and is in his fourth year as president of the Lake Martin Area Chamber of Commerce. He attended Central Alabama Community College and graduated from Jacksonville State University. He has had a 25-year career in real estate.
Thomas Coley Jr. Coley is a five-term Tallapoosa County commissioner, having served as chairman six times. He is a fifth-generation native of Alexander City.A University of Alabama graduate, he is the UniServ director for the Alabama Education Association in Bullock, Mason, Russell and Tallapoosa counties. Past president of the National Association of Black County Officials, he has held leadership roles in the National Organization of Black Officials, the National Association of Counties, the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama, Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance, the Committee of 100 for the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries’ Center for Rural Alabama, Lake Martin Area Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, and is a Leadership Alabama alum. He nowserves onthe Alabama Historical Commission, the Alabama Black Heritage Council, the Alabama Heritage Foundation and the Alexander City Area Chamber of Commerce board.
Ed Collari Collari is president and CEO of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Ohio State University. Upon graduation, he spent five years as the play-by-play voice of the Winston-Salem Dash in the Chicago White Sox organization. Turning to advertising and returning to Birmingham, he was marketing director and assistant general manager of The Summit in Birmingham for Bayer Properties. He currently serves on several boards in the Alexander City and Lake Martin community.
Ashley Crane Crane is the executive director for the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, she worked at Southern Union State Community College. Crane is a graduate of Southern Union and Auburn University, with a master’s from Troy University.
Sandra Calloway Crim Crim is a native of Chambers County, where she has established a career with the city of Valley Police Department. A graduate of Troy State University, she has been a patrol officer in Valley and a Chambers County School Resource Officer, secretary of the Alabama Association of School Resource Officers, a Rape Aggression Defense Instructor, and a member of the National Association of School Resource Officers and the Governors SAFE Council Regional Support Team. She also works with the City of Valley Junior Police Academy and Valley Housing Authority.
Bruce Emfinger Emfinger is vice president, commercial and consumer loans, at AuburnBank’s Valley branch. He also is president and chairman of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Public Education Foundation. He is chairman of the Valley Housing Authority, an advisory board member of the Chambers County Career Technical Center and a graduate of Auburn University.
Jonathan Herston Herston is executive director of the Circle of Care Center for Families, which offers family life services for some 2,000 families a year. He is also the pastor of Hopewell United Methodist Church, which recently celebrated its 175th anniversary. A graduate of Valley High School and a Southern Union alum, he has an undergraduate degree from LaGrange College and master’s degrees from Emory and Troy universities. He has been instrumental in bringing sliding scale mental health services to the greater Valley area.
Don McClellan McClellan has served as executive director for the Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance since 2004. He is a former mayor of Alexander City and a former small business owner. He has been involved in the recruitment of 20 new companies and bringing more than $825 million of investment into Tallapoosa County. McClellan also has served as chairman of the board for the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority and is a member of the State of Alabama’s Regional Workforce Council, Central Alabama Works (Region 5).
Lindsay Meacham Meacham is an Alexander City native, graduating from Benjamin Russell High School and the University of Alabama. She works for Lee Marketing Group as president and managing partner of LMG Advertising Agency. She is a member of the Lake Martin Young Professionals, a board member of the Alexander City Schools Education Foundation and member of the Benjamin Russell High School Career Technical Advisory Board.
James D. Nabors Nabors was elected mayor of Alexander City in 2016. Nabors previously served as the superintendent of the Alexander City Board of Education from 1999 until 2003. Prior to that he was the chief financial officer for Russell Corp., retiring in 1998. He is currently the chairman of the board of Russell Medical Center. Nabors is a 1963 graduate of the University of Alabama and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Carrie Royster Royster is a lifelong resident of Chambers County and a 2003 graduate of Chambers Academy. She is the marketing and events manager at the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, which grew by 69 members in 2017-2018.
Kirby Scales Scales is general manager of Russell Do it Center and Russell Building Supply stores. After attending the University of Alabama and working at King Building Materials in Selma, he joined Russell in 2000. In 2012, Scales was named general manager of all nine Russell Do it Center and Building Supply stores. During his tenure, the company has experienced impressive growth, doubling sales and the size of the employee workforce. He is the recipient of the Golden Hammer award presented by Do it Best Corp.He is involved in coaching youth sports and Outdoor Friends Forever. He is a graduate of Leadership Lake Martin and a member of the Alexander City Lions Club.
Todd Shackett Shackett was named president of Southern Union State Community College in July.Shackett comes to Southern Union from Baxter International, where he most recently served as the director of operational excellence. Shackett is a graduate of Kettering University with master’s degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Shackett also has a certificate in executive management from Stanford University.
Kevin Speaks Speaks is a 2001 Benjamin Russell High School graduate and an Alexander City native. After attending Central Alabama Community College and graduating from Jacksonville State University, where he was a member of both schools’ championship baseball teams, he returned to his hometown to join the financial services industry, and now works in commercial lending in Valley. He is employed at Valley Bank. He is an executive board member of the Lake Martin Young Professionals, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Wildcat Entrepreneur Academy mentor and investor panel member.
John E. Thompson Thompson is a 12-year member of Lake Martin Resource Association, where he is serving as president. He is a member of the board of directors of Cherokee Ridge Trail Association, an advisory group for the Tallapoosa County Extension Service. His passions include battling litter, and he has organized several cleanup drives. He also organized “light up Lake Martin” to place 200 lighted “hazardous area” buoys by 2020. He enjoys tennis, hiking, mountain biking and kayaking, and has been awarded for his community service.
Anthony Wilkinson Wilkinson is the principal of Benjamin Russell High School. He is a graduate of Jacksonville State University with a master’s from the University of Montevallo and a doctorate from Samford University. Under his leadership, BRHS has earned nationwide honors, established eight career academies and set records with 90 percent graduation rates two years in a row. Wilkinson serves on the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce board.
Joe Windle Windle is superintendent of Tallapoosa County Schools. A Tallapoosa County native, he is a graduate of Auburn University and holds a master’s degree from Kansas University, with additional credentials from Columbia University, the Army’s Command and General Staff College and the Air Force War College. Windle served 18 years as commandant at Lyman Ward Military Academy. He also worked for the State Department of Education coaching elementary school principals on implementing the Alabama Reading Initiative. A retired Army colonel, he earned The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He is a member of the Dadeville Kiwanis Club.
The Sanders Trust, a Birmingham-based healthcare real estate development firm, is a finalist in the 2018 Healthcare Real Estate Insights Awards for their Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital project in the Post Acute & Senior Living Facilities Best New Ground-Up Development category.
The Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada has awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the Alabama State Port Authority for its annual financial report.
Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business ranked no. 2, moving up eight spots over last year, in Poets & Quants’ 2019 Best Online MBA Programs ranking.
Big, an advertising agency in Birmingham, earned its first Clio Award for its video for Valvoline titled “Run,” part of the agency’s Valvoline: Never Idle ad campaign.
The Birmingham Zoo has received the Angela Peterson Excellence in Diversity Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for the zoo’s Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative.
Chambers County Development Authority received a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council.
Elyton Hotel, an Autograph Collection by Marriott facility in Birmingham, has received a AAA Four Diamond Award for lodgings across the U.S. and Canada for 2018.
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology earned an Innovation Award from the Association of University Research Parks.
J.R. Prewitt & Associates is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a rebranding as The Prewitt Group.
Parks Rx, a project of Birmingham REACH for Better Health, has received a national SHIFT award for its innovative program promoting exercise as medicine. SHIFT — Shaping How We Invest for Tomorrow — explores issues at the intersection of conservation, outdoor recreation and cultural relevancy.
The University of North Alabama’s Global Online MBA program and the Global Online Executive MBA program were ranked within the top 57 schools in the world by CEO Magazine. In addition, the Global Executive MBA was ranked in the top 90 programs globally.
Wayne J. Griffin Electric Inc., an electrical contractor with a regional office in Pelham, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. The company recently ranked 24th in Engineering News-Record’s 2018 listing of the top 50 national electrical contractors.
Wilkins Miller has been named a Top 400 Firm by Inside Public Accounting.
Avadian Credit Union was named one of 50 Best Credit Unions to Work For in 2018 by Best Companies Group and Credit Union Journal.
B&W Foods Inc., which operates four Piggly Wiggly grocery stores in Tuscaloosa and Northport, won the 2018 Silver Alabama Retailer of the Year Award in Annual Sales More Than $20 Million category.
The Baker Ober Health Law Group at Baker Donelson was ranked third on the American Health Lawyers Association’s AHLA 2018 Top Honors ranking, second on the American Bar Association’s Fifth Annual Regional Law Firm Recognitions listing and sixth on the 2018 Modern Healthcare’s Largest Healthcare Law Firms listing.
Brasfield & Gorrie attained Voluntary Protection Program Star certification at a Tuscon, Arizona site where the general contractor is expanding Raytheon Missile Systems’ corporate headquarters. The certification program is administered by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
Butler Snow was awarded 67 Tier 1 rankings in the Best Law Firms 2019 listing by U.S. News – Best Lawyers.
Chick-fil-A Northport, owned and operated by Ashley Gill, has won the 2018 Gold Retailer of the Year in the $5 Million to $20 Million Annual Sales category.
Four Star Freightliner Inc., with two locations in Alabama, is the recipient of the 2018 Successful Dealer Award by Randall Reilly, a marketing, media and events company with clients in trucking, construction and agriculture industries.
Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart LLP was recognized in eight practice areas by U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2019.
The Huntsville Aquatics Center recently received the 2018 North Alabama AIA Honor Award and the 2017 Facility of the Year award from the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association.
McGlinchey Stafford PLLC was recognized in 41 practice areas by U.S. News-Best Lawyers. The firm’s rankings include a National Tier 2 ranking in Financial Services Regulation Law and a National Tier 3 ranking in Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Banking & Finance.
Resource Management Service LLC, of Birmingham, has established an annual scholarship in the amount of $10,000 in the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences to promote the forestry profession. The scholarship is presented for the student’s junior and senior years.
Shoals Shift was recognized by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in a case study as one of the leading projects in the Appalachian region. Shoals Shift is a collaboration between the University of North Alabama, the Shoals Business Incubator, The Shoals Chamber of Commerce and the Florence Lauderdale Public Library.
Spain Park High School won the North Alabama BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics competition for a third consecutive year.
Torch Technologies was recognized as one of the 2018 Best Small & Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE.
OnlineMasters.com has listed the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as having one of the best online Master of Public Health programs.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey recently recognized the University of North Alabama‘s Disability Support Services for its work.