Key people at CTR Group have had to learn their way as well as earn their way up its corporate ladder.
The staffing company’s president, Eric Dignan, began as a part-time bookkeeper a year after CTR was founded, and its vice president, Sina Calupitan, was initially hired as a temporary receptionist when she was 17 years old. “Humble beginnings and still humble,” says Arnold Boyd, CEO and founder, who started the staffing company 30 years ago. This staff longevity extends to his IT manager, Ed Weider, and Linda Feller, the company’s office administrator, who have been with CTR for more than 20 years.
Starting his business out of his home in Lee Hall, Boyd is proud that CTR has been at its current location in Oyster Point for more than 28 years, mostly because of the business activity on the Peninsula, although it has a regional and national scope.
Boyd, however, was alone in the beginning. Later he was able to include a team of computer savvy people on payroll, and before electronic files existed, he would meet with clients directly, sifting through files in search of the perfect candidates for the job. Then he’d pack the resumes into the trunk of his car.
“When I was in front of a client and heard, ‘We need this or that,’ I would just say ‘Excuse me,’ go to my trunk, if I didn’t already have it in my folder and say, ‘You mean like this?’” Boyd says with a smile while displaying a resume.
Boyd’s success in the very beginning resulted in his “doing his homework” and knowing what the client company was seeking. In those days, companies were primarily interested in hiring technical and skilled trade workers. When the need for shipyard workers increased, CTR expanded to meet that need and has continued to expand.
Today, CTR provides recruitment services for a variety of industries, including marine to medical, energy, government, professional and technical service staffing, which is its expertise.
Jefferson Lab (formerly CEBAF) is CTR’s first and longest customer. For 30 years, the laboratory had been using CTR’s recruiting services to hire physicists, engineers, designers and skilled trades. One reason Boyd initially wanted to work with Jefferson Lab was because it offered extensive employment opportunities for CTR in one place. So, rather than going from company to company in an attempt to sell temporary staffing in very small groups, Boyd pursued filling the needs for Jefferson Lab.
Boyd says the staffing industry can be quite competitive. His company competes with others who specialize in niche industries, such as exclusively servicing shipyards or medical staffing, for example.
Boyd learned early in his career that producing and performing quality service is more significant than focusing on sales because it brings in referrals. He previously worked for four other staffing companies before starting his own.
“Eric Dignan has been instrumental in building our company,” Boyd says. “He has been a steadying and positive influence. Eric is the consummate customer service guy. He focuses on quality, which has built our reputation and customer loyalty. Sina is the glue that keeps us together administratively. She is also our social chairperson and she makes sure we have fun along the way. Both of these people are examples of what work ethic can accomplish.”
CTR’s goal includes expanding to other markets, says Boyd. He’d like to continue its present mission while maintaining awareness of advancements in technology and adapting to industry changes as they occur.
When he is not working, Boyd enjoys spending time with his 18-year-old grandson, a history buff who hopes to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps upon graduation from the University of Chicago. Boyd also enjoys reading history and sometimes watching old movies. One of his favorites is The Lion in Winter, the 1968 history-drama about King Henry II. He is currently reading The Hacking of the American Mind, by Robert H. Lustig. He also enjoys fishing near his home on the river in Gloucester County.
CTR Group is known by the companies it keeps, and according to Boyd, the way to get satisfied customers and keep them is by doing what you say you will do.
“Integrity has always been our guiding principle. That’s the key to our success,” Boyd says.
To THE POINT:
Address: 11843 Canon Blvd., Ste. C, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Arnold Boyd, CEO and founder