Ōnin celebrates success at Chamber ribbon cutting
Karen Masoner, with scissors, branch manager of Onin Staffing in Morristown, and Steve Hasset, center, area manager with Onin, celebrate with Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce ambassadors and Onin staff during the Jan. 23 ribbon cutting that celebrated expansion of the Morristown office.
In addition to the positive stats reported by Ōnin Staffing during the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting held on Jan. 23, the ringing phones and arrival of new clients during the celebration were evidence that business is good.
“What a success story this has been; hats off,” said Randy Debord, 2013 Chamber chairman.
Debord recognized branch manager Karen Masoner for being named the 2012 Captain Ōnin, an award given for individual sales achievement – “She’s the only one in the nation,” Debord told the group of Chamber ambassadors.
“That’s today,” Masoner joked.
Back in 2010, Area Manager Steve Hassett was hired by Ōnin and one of his first assignments was to determine whether the small office Masoner had opened in White Pine should remain open. His recommendation of ‘yes’ was based on a meeting he conducted with Masoner.
“I knew she was right for the job,” Hassett said.
DeBord said of Masoner, “She’s an owner/operator and she works sales,” DeBord said. “She’s right in the trenches.” He consulted a laptop to give a shout-out to the Ōnin financials. “In 2011, there was an increase of 1.4 million in sales. That’s a 300 percent growth. No one gets those kinds of numbers,” he said.
In March 2011, Ōnin Staffing moved its White Pine office to Morristown.
“We’ve been so welcomed by the community,” Masoner said. “Because of our exponential growth in in 2012, we have moved to a larger location and added three new team members to our staff. After explaining that it takes time to effectively train new hires, she said, “We struggled to keep up; we were growing so fast.
Masoner added, “We are so proud to be an integral part of the business community. We want to thank all of our customers for you faith in allowing us to partner with them in finding good qualified employees”
Hassett told the attendees, “Karen’s office is fourth overall in the ranking of all our offices. She wants to be number one.”
“We’re glad you are in our company,” he said to Masoner.
The Ōnin Group is a privately held multi-regional staffing agency serving the Southeast, Mid-south, Midwestern and Southwestern United States. The agency is among the top three percent of domestic staffing companies in sales volume and features the most sophisticated staffing industry technology and hiring practices available today. In spite of its size, the agency has maintained the highly personalized service and partnership mindset indicative of a smaller, less bureaucratic company.
Founded in Dallas, Texas in 1994 by Managing Partner Keith Phillips in borrowed office space, armed with only folding furniture, a phone and a desire to provide for his young family; Ōnin is a Cinderella story. Through the 90s the business grew under the name InStaff Personnel as Keith brought in other partners including The Ōnin Group’s Managing Partner Hugh Thomas. As InStaff grew from 1 to 35 offices in the 1990’s, Hugh drove growth in Alabama and Mississippi and Keith focused on Texas and Arizona. The relationship between Hugh and Keith flourished as Keith’s Texas partners began to move in other directions. In 1999 Keith sold his share of InStaff Texas and held on to eight Ōnin offices with Hugh in the south.
As the now Alabama-based company rounded the corner into the new millennium, it ran around $8 million in gross revenue. Between 2001 and 2007, the agency experienced exponential growth hitting $70 Million in sales in 2007. While many other staffing services have faltered in recent years, experiencing revenue and earnings losses, The Ōnin Group has enjoyed impressive yet responsible growth. According to a company press release, the success is due to leadership building the business organically, by empowering staff and developing strong long-term client relationships.
The company did just over $135 million in sales in 2012 and are debt free. Although growth to this point has been largely organic, the company made a successful acquisition of Mulberry Personnel in North Carolina in November 2007. More recently in 2009, Ōnin executed two earn-out acquisitions in Dallas and then in 2011, purchased Reliable Staffing on the Gulf Coast. Also in 2011, Ōnin stepped off into a joint venture with a boutique staffing firm, Moxy, out of Birmingham.
For more information about Ōnin Staffing, call 865-329-6600 or visit the office at 2704 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy. (near the southbound ramp to Davy Crockett Parkway).
By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer