Wendy is the founder of Kent Employment Solutions.
It all started with a phone and a stack of index cards. Armed with company names, rejection notes from past employees, and marching orders from my manager to make 25 cold calls each day and ask for business, I was both scared, and intrigued, by the new and emerging industry I had stumbled upon.
That was 1991. I had taken took the job because everyone seemed nice and the office was professional — and because, lets face it: I have always loved talking on the phone, a skill I’ve been honing since I was 13 years old, when my parents gave me a phone with my own number –perhaps it was an omen! I had no idea at the time that this would become my life long career and passion. I started out unsure but after making my first placement, I never looked back!
I’ve watched my industry change dramatically over the years; it’s often hard to keep up which is why it’s so interesting and exciting, and have had the good fortune to meet 100’s of wonderful people along the way who have helped guide and evolve my path. I could not have found a better fit!
In January of 2010 I took all my work experiences in recruiting/staffing, coaching and outplacement consulting and formed my own company, Kent Employment Solutions. It’s been a wild ride full of ups and downs and lots of lessons learned.
Today, we are thriving as a business and have enjoyed both the challenges and rewards of being entrepreneurs. I take each candidate’s career very seriously and know how hard it is to make a change, I’ve been there.
I welcome inquiries and introductions; every person I meet makes me better professionally.
Wendy is the Co-Chair of the Portland Human Resource Management Association Recruiting & Selection Special Interest Group. She facilitates a number of annual learning events designed to assist recruiters in honing their craft.
Wendy is also one of the founders of the Portland Strategic HR Group. This group was created to provide a forum for strategic HR leaders to share knowledge and discuss primary HR topics. All participants have a local area focus and represent a variety of industries.
Wendy attended New York University and holds a Bachelor of Art & Sciences with a major in sociology and a minor in history. Her hobbies include yoga, cycling, swim aerobics and playing with her dog Lucy, the company mascot!
David is the co-founder of Kent Employment Solutions. I serve as the operational leader and the backbone of the company. I have a long history of entrepreneurial success, first running my own contracting business for many years and now as the minority owner of Kent Employment Solutions. I am known for my deep knowledge of Portland and my lifelong experience conducting business in the local market. I’m a native Oregonian and I have supported Wendy Kent in her career from the very beginning, often assisting behind the scenes and providing sound advice to her and the organization. I enjoy cycling, yoga, horticulture, and taking care of our mascot Lucy!
Ashley is the Sales & Recruiting Director. As the daughter of an entrepreneur mother and master salesman father, I suppose I was determined to make my mark on the world from an early age. My first job was in kindergarten, when I co-founded a family business with my mom and my sister. Each Saturday morning, we would rise and shine to sell cookies, muffins and brownies at our local Farmer’s Market. We made money and, more importantly, we learned life lessons. My parents always said, “Half the money goes straight to the college fund and the other half is fun money.” I had no shame in stopping every shopper. Who could resist a kindergartner schlepping cookies? One cookie at a time, I developed valuable marketing, sales, and customer service skills, which eventually put me on the path to my recruiting career.
I found my love for recruiting when I worked at Linfield College, where I visited high schools and college fairs in the western states to recruit the brightest and the best to come to McMinnville and become a Wildcat. I realized I had a knack for seeing “the match” between the right student and the right college. It’s the same match I look for today with our clients and candidates. My goal is to always find the true long term fit and the “happy place” for both parties. I’ve been in the recruiting industry for 13 years and I still get excited each day.
I joined Kent Employment Solutions in 2014. When the opportunity came my way, I relied on a personal mantra, “The congo line only goes around once, so you better jump in!” And so I did, with two feet. Each day my work is rewarding and challenging, and I get to laugh often—true, deep belly laughs. Just like the perfect cookie recipe, there’s a true creative art to recruiting and, I’m lucky to hone the craft daily with every connection I make.
Ashley is proud to be a native Oregonian. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Puget Sound. In her spare time, you can find Ashley spending time with her husband, son and beloved pug. She enjoys riding horses, playing tennis and traveling anywhere and everywhere but she has a soft spot for Puerto Vallarta!
Michelle is our recruiting affiliate via her firm Aria Consulting, LLC.
I am eclectic and action oriented and I believe that a sense of humor, empathy, and flexibility are more crucial to organizational success than skills, education, and experience and are far to often overlooked. To be an effective People leader it’s essential to possess a sense of humor, empathy, a passion for learning, and a little quirk never hurt. Yes, I said quirk. Aren’t we in the business of people? So our ability to create connections with people is crucial, isn’t it? And people aren’t drawn to and don’t open up to personalities rocks, do they? One of the best things an employee every told me was “You aren’t the typical HR person.” Someone else told me “You really surprise me. You aren’t a regular HR person.” Woo, hoo! This to me was an amazing compliment and a wake up call for our profession. What fun is it to be typical? What innovation comes form staying the course? Who wants to be regular anyway?
Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Linfield College. In her spare time Michelle enjoys singing in choir, travel, wine, reading and spending time with her 4 legged children.
Lucy Kent is the company mascot and the most fearless of the group. Adopted at four months from the Oregon Humane Society Lucy is known as the office clown. Lucy’s extensive vocabulary is impressive to those who have not met her, she brings joy to all those who see her riding happily with David as his co-pilot in the car. Lucy’s breed is unknown, but whatever she is we know she is very special!