Jerry Maria

25 years ago I had an experience that changed my life, my family’s life and subsequently, I think, the lives of many others.  I was an experienced mechanical engineer with a Master’s Degree and was working as a consultant at the time when I received a call from a recruiter.  They wanted to know if I was interested in a position in Bar Harbor, ME as a mechanic at a shipyard.  It wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, although it didn’t happen every day either.  But it got me thinking, “If I’m an engineer, and recruiters don’t understand what I do, then how can they find me a job?”  It was an idea that didn’t leave me and after much consideration, I made the decision to start my own company.  To specialize in helping technical professionals find the work they are trained to do and our clients the specialized skilled people they need to thrive.

25 years ago, when we started the business, the personal computer and databases were just beginning to take hold.  We had them in the office before some of our clients even did and, among other things, I used it to build ATR’s first consultant database.  As we all know, technology has moved forward at light speed and today we avail ourselves of the most up to date tools to manage so much of the business, but I look back fondly on ATR’s first embrace of technology to run a better, more efficient company.  25 years ago, the staffing industry as a whole was much, much different too with a smaller footprint and impact on our national economy.  It’s been interesting watching it change and grow, along with ATR.

25 years ago I don’t think my wife Maria, the cofounder of ATR, and I could have envisioned today.  We started with a staff of 2 (us!) and have now grown to be a midsize staffing firm.  Our first year we placed 5 consultants; last year that number grew to more than 1,900.  We’ve put people in more than 28,000 positions over the last several years and our consultants have worked more than 12 million hours.  We’ve been fortunate in that ATR has allowed us to expand our personal commitment to charitable endeavors and the company has donated more than $700,000 dollars to support organizations in the communities we live and work in.  We are privileged to lead a successful company; 25% of all new businesses fail after just 1 year and 77% don’t make it past 10 years. 

ATR is not successful because of the efforts of the two of us though.  Without the many talented and dedicated individuals who have worked with us throughout the past 25 years, we would never have achieved such success.  We are blessed to work with colleagues that feel like an extended family.  We are lucky that many of them have been with us for years and also lucky that new, talented people continue to join the company, and, we hope, stick around for many years to come.  This past weekend we celebrated the company’s anniversary together with a party in San Francisco, and Maria and I were able to express a small portion of our gratitude to everyone at ATR who has helped to reach this milestone.  I want to reiterate that here (thank you again!) and also extend my thanks to our clients and to the many consultants we’ve worked with.  Thank you everyone!

I truly believe that while some jobs may seem more prestigious, the work we do here at ATR is critically important, vital to the wellbeing of our nation, our local communities and the people we place.  Putting people to work is one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences and it has been my privilege to be in this business.  I’m proud of what ATR has accomplished in its first 25 years and excited about what the future holds.

Jerry Brenholz
President and CEO
ATR International



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