Your Haas Network
Renee Hardy, MBA 88
Founder, Armstrong Joiner
When Renee Hardy, MBA 88, started her own executive search firm Armstrong Joiner in 1999, the timing was less than perfect. The dot-com bust in 2000 caused recruiting budgets to shrink, lay-offs rather than hires were the order of the day. Instead of closing down her business, Hardy invested in technology infrastructure that not only allows her to manage talent more efficiently but also gives her the mobility to work with clients across the US and worldwide. This innovative use of technology expanded her customer base and allowed her company to prosper in lean times.
"The investment in technology had positioned us to grow," says Hardy whose passions are improving peoples' lives and businesses' productivity. Working in executive recruiting is a perfect way to combine the two: "It allowed me to really make a difference in my clients' businesses and to help individuals along their career path."
Hardy's interest in the personal side of business is not new: She studied sociology at Cleveland State University before coming to Haas. Renee, whose business partner is her husband of 21 years, Michael Gaston, specializes in recruiting finance and accounting managers, strategic candidate sourcing as well as talent management consulting for clients like Verizon, Kaiser Permanente, and Wells Fargo.
Giving back to the community is a big part of Hardy's life. She donates time and profits to charities such as the Northern California Boys to Men Group Home which provides social services and support for at-risk young men between the ages of 13 and 18.
Finding new solutions to business problems during her MBA prepared Hardy well for her career: "I draw almost daily on the principles I learned at Berkeley about how to position, price, and promote my services."