Lisa Brezonik is continuing her rise at Salo LLC with her promotion to chief executive of the staffing and consulting firm, where she's focusing now on expanding services nationally.
Brezonik joined Salo in 2015 as chief talent officer and was promoted to chief operating officer and president before becoming CEO. Salo matches senior talent in finance and accounting and human resources with clients who need permanent, interim or project-based help.
"Our work is putting people to work," Brezonik said. "And the market keeps giving us more opportunities so it's a lot of fun right now."
That's the case particularly as Salo's business continues rebounding to near pre-pandemic levels, Brezonik said. Clients now are increasingly willing to work with remote consultants. Salo, meanwhile, has been adding to its pool of consultants across the country while also building a remote sales team.
That has set the stage for Salo to expand more quickly than expected to new markets nationally, Brezonik said. Earlier growth plans called for brick-and-mortar locations that no longer are necessary. Salo, which has offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, is hiring in Denver and expanding to the south and southeast as well.
Salo has 500 consultants, all employees, and hopes to increase that total by 30% this year, Brezonik said. Salo also has 100 employees in sales and support.
Salo in recent months also has launched a CEO advisory practice to help with strategy, attracting and retaining talent, and company performance, Brezonik said. The offering builds on Brezonik's previous work, including owning an executive coaching and organizational consulting firm and holding leadership roles at companies including what is now RBC Wealth Management.
Q: Why are Salo's consultants employees of the company?
A: We want people to understand that choosing to be a consultant is choosing to have a career as a consultant. They're getting benefits with us, they're getting (paid time off), they're getting the 401(k). If you're not providing that kind of relationship and those kinds of tools and benefits to your consultants, it's going to be really hard for them to maneuver consulting as a career. We really want to take care of our folks.
Q: What's the purpose of your CEO advisory practice?
A: To work with CEOs and help them with projects around development, around strategy and taking a look overall at how your business is doing. Are you making progress toward your strategy? Do you have the right team? Have you articulated the culture that you want? If so, are you living in that culture. We put together an assessment tool to measure whether that is happening and then give some solutions to clients to figure out how to quickly get there.
Q: What are your other priorities?
A: We're really very focused on thinking about how we're going to continue to get more people to work. Within that we're also thinking about inviting even more people and being more inclusive in that so we continue to work on racial equity, we continue to work on bringing more women into the workplace and doing that internally for the sales and support side as well as on the consulting side as well as finding new clients.
Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is email@example.com.