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Sr. Vice Present, Sheila Greco Associates (SGA);
Board Member & Committee Chair (Current) at Habitat for Humanity
TESTIMONIAL: “SGA ExecutiveTracker provides me the opportunity to search a wide range of industries and executives within one system. The functionality is simple, but the results are robust. Tracker supports my recruiting efforts greatly, providing potential candidates, referrals, company profiles, corporate structures of leadership, and Bio’s that give me an overview of the persons career. I researched similar tools and chose SGA ExecutiveTracker, because it’s best at providing the in-depth information that I need to successfully recruit at all levels and functions within the organization.”– Annette Greene, Director of Executive Recruiting
Working with SGA since 2004, Peter has focused on the creation and launch of the SGA ExecutiveTracker product as well as the continuing growth of the SGA ExecutiveTracker division. His experience includes driving significant revenue growth as President of idEXEC, an online business intelligence service, under both Thomson Financial and infoUSA, and the founding of Tactical Business Concepts LLC to assist Subscription-based Content & Software-as-a-Service providers with new product development and business growth. He was a key team member in the sale of idEXEC to Thomson Financial, as well as the subsequent sale of idEXEC to infoUSA.
Peter launched, and continues to manage, the ExecutiveTracker product & division, including marketing, sales management, strategic alliances. SGA provides clients with proprietary business intelligence, executive profiles, & company research through its ExecutiveTracker online subscription-based tool, custom research projects, as well as through content partnerships Peter developed with Lexis/Nexis, Sendouts, & Salesforce.com.
Peter is a Board of Directors Member and Fundraising Committee Chair at Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County NJ, and is the NJ Executive Networking Group Moderator for NETSHARE.
SGA http://www.sheilagreco.com specializes in custom research and subscription based online content and tools for HR, Executive Search and Sales professionals.
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Peter: Dave thanks for inviting me to be interviewed on SixDegrees. I think you are providing us a great opportunity to connect on a more personal level with all the people we work with or hope to work with out there in the industry.
I live on what’s now known after a NY Times article 2 years ago as the “New Jersey Gold Coast”, right across the Hudson River overlooking Manhattan. Hard to believe 30 years ago it was all industrial buildings, shipyards, and factories over here, now mainly high rise apartments and condos!
I have a wonderful 6 year old daughter who just lights up a room when she walks in. I have to say, as you know from personal experience too Dave, fatherhood has been one of the greatest developments in my life. Kids can really show you how to approach every situation as an adventure and positive experience, because it’s all new to them. I certainly learn as much from Alexis as she learns from me.
Six Degrees: What do you outside of your day to day professional activities?
Peter: I’m on the Board of Directors as well as Chair of the Fundraising Committee at Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County here in NJ. It’s a terrific organization that provides affordable housing for families in need. Two things I really like about Habitat are that we help families help themselves. It’s not given to them, they make payments into an interest free mortgage. Also most of the work we do is all here in our own communities, so we get to see the result of our good works of Habitat and improving our own neighborhoods all around Bergen County. It’s pretty satisfying.
For fun, I have had motorcycles and trail bikes since I was a kid growing up riding the trails in Massachusetts. Now for pure fun I like to ride my motorcycle in the country. You really can reach a kind of Zen-like experience riding up there. Riding in the city is a great way to get around Manhattan and it’s very easy to find a parking space, but dodging yellow cabs on 6th Avenue on a Harley isn’t exactly as relaxing as a ride by the lakes in Harriman State Park!
I plan to mix my hobby and my charity work, we’re planning the first Habitat Bergen Bike Run Fundraiser for September 2009.
Six Degrees: How did you get started in the staffing industry?
Peter: Actually Dave I never have been a recruiter, although I have been a hiring manager for most of my career. On the candidate generation side I have been very focused on the related field of “business intelligence” since I moved to NYC in ’94. I started that part of my career in sales at a small product division of Knight Ridder’s Business Info Services called Finex, which at the time was a part of KR along with Lexis Nexis. We were a business information company specializing in Executive Profiles and Company information. Recruiting firms and Sales organizations used us, they both were very interested in contacting the right executives at U.S and Global firms. The product was generating less than a $1mil when I started. I then worked my way up to leading the sales team and then President of the company, brought the product online, and along the way we grew the company to about $6mil and renamed it idEXEC. We sold it twice, so I was President under three different parent companies including Thomson Financial and then infoUSA/infoGroup. After 9 total years at idEXEC including three years of growth under infoUSA/infoGroup I left to do my own thing.
I then setup a consulting LLC to work alongside clients in long-term engagements called Tactical Business Concepts. http://www.tacticalbc.net That’s how I connected with Sheila Greco and SGA (Sheila Greco Associates) four years ago.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Peter: Well when it comes to answering both of the above questions I really look to Sheila as the main influence on me. Her taking me in to help bring SGA into the online data world and start the ExecutiveTracker business was the reason I got more deeply involved with the Recruiting marketplace, and she is also the one responsible for teaching me about the internals of the Recruiting industry. It’s been a great relationship because as we work together we draw on similar experiences, we both are entrepreneurial and have been in the driver’s seat for multi-million dollar companies, but from different industries, the recruiting world and online information. That provides a great… and sometimes crazy… environment where we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and moving quickly to launch new ideas.
I not only admire Sheila’s creativity and energy in growing a great business and building a great team at SGA, but I have also learned a lot from Sheila on work-life balance. I have a lot of respect for her focus on her family. She is always there for her son Joey while meeting the demands of running the SGA business. Needless to say Sheila has a LOT of energy to accomplish all that. Anyone that has ever met her can confirm that opinion! Sheila’s has built a great team that she can trust to help run the business including Joe Morse, Mary Maines and Tere Masters, just to name a few. People tend to stay with Sheila. At four years with SGA I’m actually the “new guy” among the group I mentioned!
Six Degrees: Tell us more about your position, responsibilities, and size of your organization:
Peter: ExecutiveTrackerPro is a product line that’s integrated into the full range of services provided by SGA http://www.sheilagreco.com that support the recruiting process. SGA’s specialty is finding “passive candidates”. It’s that full range of services that is our greatest strength because we not only have an online passive candidate database, which is unique because it is telephone verified, but we also specialize in the custom research, name generation, and Traditional Research that fills in the gaps not addressed by all the online products out there.
It’s funny Sheila and I joke often about my job description. While officially I help lead the Tracker division, including product management, marketing, sales, and strategic alliances such as Lexis/Nexis, Sendouts, or salesforce.com, I really get involved in more than that. Whenever anyone asks my job description I usually say my job description is “Sheila let’s me know whatever we need to accomplish and then I go figure out a way to get it done”. I’m only half joking since one day I may be evaluating the terms of a client contract, while the next day I may be giving a product demo, creating a marketing email, or dealing with a user interface design issue. In an entrepreneurial environment you become even more goal oriented and a little less focused on an official job description. What’s great about that environment is the diversity, you’re working on technology, sales, customer service, marketing. That keeps things very interesting. It’s always great to be interested and still learning something new every day. I especially enjoy the constant contact with our clients, and telling new people about our service.
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies’ recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
Peter: Well Maggie Yen Smith at Heidrick and Jim O’Malley at Huron as executive recruiters, and I’ll go outside of “recruiting” to mention George Bradt at PrimeGenesis in executive on-boarding, and Mark Berger at Swat on the use of technology and online search tools for candidate name generation… These have been folks that have certainly made an impression on me. They have earned a high profile for themselves as thought leaders in this industry. You’re really getting a name for yourself out there too Dave, leading the charge as an evangelist for the application of social networking tools to the recruiting and search process
(B) In what aspects are they superior?
Peter: I think if you look at these people I mentioned it all comes down to a combination ot the qualities I admire, which are that they have great technical mastery and the skills to get the job done, but also those intangible personal qualities and positive outlook that engender confidence in them and just make it more effective and fun to work with these folks.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Peter: Right now it has to be the economy. Clients are going to take a harder look at budgets and are more fiscally conservative in times of economic uncertainty. These are challenging times but also I view it as a time of opportunity for us at SGA. When you have been in this business since 1989 delivering consistently high quality results for clients like SGA, that track record will go a long way towards reassuring your current and new clients that they are doing the right thing investing their budget dollars with you. We are stronger as a partner in their search process vs. a lot of other firms that are unproven, may not deliver the best results, or may not have the depth to make it through the next economic cycle. As a client you don’t want to sign a contract with someone that may not be around to complete it.
Six Degrees: What venues has SGA sponsored or attended?
Peter: We’ve maintained a very consistent conference and event presence at SGA, including some of our own in-house produces events. We have sponsored AESC, Kennedy, IACPR, SHRM, OnRec events, just to name a few in the past year, and have had Sheila or others on the team speak at several of those.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
Peter: My goal is to continue helping Sheila and the team grow SGA. To get there we just need to keep doing what we’re doing through the current macroeconomic challenges, providing high levels of service to our clients, and delivering maximum value. Our clients most often call us when they are under pressure and don’t have time for mistakes. Clients need to know we are like a part of their virtual team, where they can just pick up the phone and know things will get done right the first time.
And in the longer term who knows, maybe I’ll combine my volunteer work with a job and end up running a not for profit charity someday.
“Peter has proven to be a real team player and leader at Sheila Greco Associates. He is involved in both a sales and project management role and is outstanding in both. Hats off to your successes and may there be many more with us. Sheila Greco” March 23, 2008
Sheila Greco, President, Sheila Greco Associates, a woman owned business
“Peter was instrumental in bringing a business opportunity between our two companies to fruition. He is a solid negotiator and brought about a win-win situation for both parties.” January 11, 2008
Jonathan Hoy, Strategic Alliance Manager, LexisNexis
“I’ve known Peter since 1992, and we’ve worked together in several capacities since then - at the same company, and as business partners for our own respective companies. I trust Peter’s judgment, and I rely on his counsel for business development, and lead generation matters. I own a public relations agency called “For Immediate Release PR”. We work with approximately a dozen clients who range from start-ups to mid-sized companies. Each client is interested in lead generation and business development, and Peter provides the counsel we need to help our clients reach their goals. Peter’s insight is based on more than 20 years of real-world experience. He communicates with clients, partners, and colleagues in a clear and concise manner, and his counsel always seems to work out, once it is acted upon. Peter is a tremendous asset to FIR’s clients, and to FIR’s staff, and he’s a valued friend and colleague to me personally. If you would like to discuss Peter’s contributions to FIR in further detail, I welcome you to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org” January 13, 2008
Todd Keefe, President and Founder, For Immediate Release
“In my dealings with Peter I found him to be a very professional senior executive who was intimately involved with the details of his division and its marketplace. Peter was also very receptive to the strategy of working with other divisions within infoUSA to grow corporate revenues and was well respected by the corporate executive committee, his peers and direct reports. I highly recommend him for a leadership position.” January 11, 2008
Chris Lundgren, SVP, Donnelley Marketing
“SGA ExecutiveTracker has been indispensable to our practice because of the quality of contacts and the reliable information it provides. As a management consultant, I’ve used many executive contact sources over the last 17 years, and SGA’s data is superior to most, if not all other competitive offerings. I’m hooked on SGA ExecutiveTracker, and I use it every day.”
Trisha McGovern, Partner
“I have been surveying my colleagues about SGA Tracker-it is a unanimous hit!”
Karen Hall, Senior Associate
“SGA ExecutiveTracker is where I start with every new search. It’s an incredibly valuable tool for me”
Mark Misiurewicz - President, Tax Integrity LLC