Citrus Heights, California
Myla Ramos, Heather Kocina, and Rayna Pearson, Co-founders
Editor's note: The DREAM BIG award, sponsored by Sam’s Club®, celebrates the success of small businesses and honors their contributions to America's economic growth. The Small Business of the Year, seven regional finalists, and 100 Blue Ribbon winners will be honored on June 14 during America's Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C.
SearchPros, which started in 120 square feet of rental office space, now has a corporate-owned headquarters with 30 recruiters placing thousands of employees in 28 states and 8 countries.
How did the company get started?
Playing out like a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the story of SearchPros started on Christmas Eve 2004. Myla Ramos, Heather Kocina, and Rayna Pearson were on the job at a staffing agency with a roomful of contractors waiting for their paychecks. Late in the day, however, they learned that checks would not be delivered owing to severe weather. Tears were shed in the lobby as reality set in for many—there would be no Christmas.
That’s when Myla, Heather, and Rayna took out their personal checkbooks and started loaning money to complete strangers. But that created another problem: How were the women going to tell their own families that they didn’t have paychecks?
The three women, well versed in staffing and human resources, needed to figure out their next step— and it was a big one. They created a plan to run a business of their own.
Myla says: “We made a decision that night to follow our big dream—start and run a business of our own, be the role models we never had, provide a better life for our families, and contribute to our community.”
SearchPros was launched in January. Renting tiny office space in downtown Sacramento, California, the firm jumped into business with a new motto: “Relationships Built on Success.”
How does SeachPros’ community involvement extend beyond its walls?
“This was never just a job; this is our legacy for our family and community. We didn’t get a paycheck for the first couple of years. Every dollar we received was reinvested back to SeachPros.” — Myla Ramos
SearchPros helps a wide variety of charitable causes and has always been proactive about giving back to the community. The women’s backgrounds have been instrumental in that outreach, as Myla is a first generation immigrant and all three women are the first to graduate college in their families.
The business supports the PCDH19 Alliance to help families affected by epilepsy; sponsored the 2015 St. Johns Program that offers shelter and self-sustainability readiness for women and children; provided resume workshops for job seekers through the Sacramento Area Human Resources Association; “adopted” a village to support typhoon relief to the Philippines; and raised money for the Women’s Empowerment Shelter.
What are the company’s plans for growth?
The business, which had its best year in 2015 and has never lost a client, has its sights on even larger goals. The company wants to hit $100 million in revenue in the next five years and further compete globally.
“2015 far surpassed any goal or vision we ever had for where we would be 10 years ago,” Myla says. “It also taught us to have a bigger vision.”