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Meet Karla Hertzog of Innovative Employee Solutions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karla Hertzog.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Our family-owned business was started by my Father in Denver Colorado in 1956 as a permanent placement agency. A few years later he started the temporary staffing business which grew to be the largest in Denver. I was in college majoring in Social Welfare and decided to take a different path in life. I left college to get married and joined my Dad’s business in Denver as a receptionist.

Two years later my Dad transferred me to start the San Diego branch at 22 years old. I went from Branch Manager to President from 1974 to 1985. We grew the San Diego branch, Temporary Office Personnel Services (TOPS) to be the largest in San Diego. In 1998 I built the business up to a size that it was good to sell it and I sold the San Diego branch that year. I kept one Payrolling Account out of the sale that I have had since 1977 and kept 5 staff members to service them. Those 5 staff members grew the payrolling business to be what it is today, an international company with $80 million in sales. I began working part-time and continued to serve on the non-profit boards that I enjoyed. Now that I am semi-retired I have enjoyed the benefit of being involved as a “mentor” to the business while being able to pursue my personal interests and travel.

I was a single working Mother of two daughters during most of my career. My eldest daughter followed in my footsteps and works in the family business as well. My daughters were understanding and supportive of my long work hours and extensive travel for my Trade Association work as they were growing up. I am very proud of both of them and grateful for their love and support. I am one lucky woman!!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Growing a business is full of ups and downs. I have been in business in San Diego since 1974 and gone through several recessions. One of the toughest things and major challenges I have faced during these recessions was laying off staff members and downsizing my company. I would have to say that handling the staff issues and keeping costs down to make a profit are the two most challenging things I do. Decreased margins in our industry is a tough thing to manage as the cost of business goes up and the competitive nature of our business drives prices down.

Also, in the early days of my career, an obstacle I faced that wasn’t easy was finding banks that would do business with a woman. Fortunately, those days are over for the most part and I have a bank that believes in Innovative.

The ups are what keeps us going!! Watching the staff’s skill sets grow and watching the profits grow is rewarding!! Providing a positive and enriching place for people to work gives me satisfaction and when we make a profit, everyone benefits!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Innovative Employee Solutions – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Innovative Employee Solutions is a company that handles contractor payroll and benefits for businesses internationally, either by being the Employer of Record or processing 1099’s. Starting with one client in 1977, who is still with us, we have grown to provide this service to hundreds of companies, large and small. I am proud of the fact that our clients can trust us with their payrolling and benefits administration, knowing they can always depend on our customer service.

Our company has a unique culture that makes Innovative Employee Solutions a fun and enriching place to work. We emphasize training and advancement from within, community involvement, work-life balance all the while having fun in the workplace.

We are also a family-owned company and I think that has set us apart from others. We take the reputation, integrity, and growth of the company very seriously.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am semi-retired and serve as an advisor to the Leadership Team and the President of IES. I don’t anticipate any big changes in my life, however, I am watching our business change with the demands and economics of our client base. Businesses today want to move quickly and we are meeting that need for growth and changes in our technology and service.

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