PLATTSBURGH — Sometimes when things change, they pretty much stay the same.
A desire for more free time has led Hope Coryer to step down as president and chief executive officer at ETS, where she will remain involved as a corporate director and management consultant.
“I’ve been trying to find an exit strategy for a number of years,” she said. “I like still being involved.”
Her daughter, Debbie Cleary, has taken over as president and chief executive officer of the staffing and employment business.
“I’m excited about it. I see a huge potential for ETS,” Cleary said.
Cleary joined the firm in 2001 and soon was in charge of general operations and finances.
Coryer’s son, David Coryer, continues in his role as director of staffing services. He joined the company in 2004.
“It’s an amazing legacy to have your children be able to take over after you slow down a little,” he said.
Cleary’s husband, Dan Albert, joined the team as chief financial officer and director of operations earlier this year, to allow Cleary to focus on her new responsibilities.
“Having Dan be part of our team brings a vision of accounting and finance that a lot of companies would be envious to have,” David said.
Hope started ETS in 1982 and initially operated out of the basement of her home. The second member of the team, recruiter Del Rock, came on board in 1988.
There are presently 11 employees.
“I think we’ve laid a good foundation for our business to grow,” Hope said.
Cleary said it is even more important to help their clients’ companies succeed and grow.
200 ON PAYROLL
ETS generated about 1,900 IRS W2 forms last year. It has a minimum of 200 people on the payroll every week, Coryer said, and between 75 to 100 of those people have moved from temporary to full-time employment each of the last few years.
David said they see an opportunity for dynamic growth in the area for the next 20 to 30 years. That is being driven by initiatives such as Vision 2040, one goal of which was to bring 3,000 new families to the North Country by 2040.
Hope said there is more of a sense of collaboration on the economic-development front than when she first started.
The regional focus on sectors such as the mass-transit industry — with the recent successes of Nova Bus and Bombardier — has been a big part of the story. Employee growth has come at those companies and at the others that located here to support them.
ETS has always focused on keeping its employees happy. Coryer said she was busy with her children when she started, so she realizes the need for a flexible work schedule.
“Part of being a business leader and taking part in the success of a business community is taking care of your employees,” Albert said.
That almost automatically makes them take better care of their customers, Coryer said.
The change allows ETS to remain a certified woman-owned business enterprise.
David said he is sure his sister has the drive and determination to help the company follow in his mother’s footsteps for another 30 years.
Yet, it all started with one person.
“The building blocks my mother laid over 30 years are allowing us to really take off,” Cleary said.
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