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Vol. 13, No. 29 Week of July 20, 2008
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Petroleum Directory: Opti Staffing helps clients weather economic downturns, a shrinking candidate market

Finding top talent to serve Alaska’s professional, distribution, manufacturing and construction industries is Opti Staffing Group’s strong suit

Opti Staffing Group is a full-service personnel company with offices in Oregon, Washington and Alaska, and with another office opening in Chicago, Ill., this June. Opti performs temporary, contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire placements. The company was founded in Anchorage, Alaska, by three individuals with a combined 35 years in the recruitment/staffing industry. Opti Staffing Group’s president oversees the Alaska operation.

Q. Where is your company located? More than one location?

A: Opti Staffing Group has operations in Anchorage, Alaska; Tacoma and Seattle, Wash.; Lake Oswego and Northeast Portland, Ore.; and we are opening an office in Chicago, Ill., in June.

Q. When was the company founded, who founded it and what was its original name?

A: The company was founded March 30, 2000, as Opti Staffing Group by Avonly Lokan, Ron Hansen and Mike Houston.

Q. Who heads up your company and who is on its senior management team?

A: The president is Avonly Lokan; vice president of sales and marketing is Mike Houston; and our vice president of operations is Ron Hansen.

Q.What is the company’s primary business sector? What services does the company offer?

A: With a distinct focus on long-term placement, Opti has three distinct divisions to best serve the needs of our clients: skilled trades, operations and executive recruiting. We handle customer service, administrative, accounting/finance, management and skilled trades positions. They are provided on contract, contract-to-hire, and on a permanent/direct hire basis.

Q Who are the company’s main clients?

A: We work with clients in a wide variety of industries from manufacturing, distribution, construction and professional services.

Q How many employees does your company have? How many in each of its locations?

A: We have 64 employees: Anchorage 14; Seattle 11; Tacoma 10; Lake Oswego, Ore., 16; North East Portland, 13.

Q Is your company expanding any of its operations and/or locations?

A: Yes. Chicago, Ill.

Q. Is the company changing any of its services?

A: Not at this time. Our primary focus is not on growth of market share or billable hours. It is on working with companies and candidates who realize individual efforts make a difference. Through these efforts consistent long-term growth is assured. We are committed to this and do so with a focus on the quality of service we provide and the realization that individual efforts are at the center of any company’s success, which leads us to our motto of, “Our Success is Determined by Your Success.”

Q. What is your company’s main strength, i.e. its edge over the competition?

A: Opti firmly believes that the candidates we represent are the reason for our success. It is this philosophy that has allowed us to continue to grow and continue to change the lives of our candidates and clients.

Q. What new markets, clients and/or projects did your company attract in the last year?

A: Opti has established partnerships with companies on the North Slope, as well as on the Kenai Peninsula.

Q. Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?

A: As of June 2007, Opti Staffing Group has converted to a cutting-edge system that is contact based and allows Opti to service our clients in a more organized and efficient manner.

Q. What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken?

A: Changing the perception of what drives the staffing profession and moving toward the philosophy that business is not commodity driven and clients and candidates must be at the forefront of everything we do.

Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?

A: Continuing to assist our clients in the identification of top talent, while continuing to help overcome the increasingly shrinking candidate market.

Q: What do you see as future trends or opportunities for your company from, say, political events or long-term weather fluctuations?

A. Many people believe the current situation with the economy can have an adverse effect on business. Opti Staffing Group believes that our service is even more valuable because the investment in employees can help companies sustain their competitive advantage during downturns in the economy. By utilizing Opti, a company can continue to find the top talent quickly, and reduce the amount of time that a position remains open.

Q. Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up?

A: The opening of our Chicago office in June 2008.

Q. What is the average length of time employee’s work for the company? Are you hiring for any positions?

A: We are currently looking for a dynamic individual to join our team as an executive recruiter.

Q. What is your company’s safety record?

A. Excellent. We recently promoted an internal employee and named him director of safety and loss control.

Q. Does your company or its partners or subsidiaries maintain Web sites?

A. Our Web address is

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