After traveling from a galaxy far, far away and battling He Who Must Not Be Named in the dark depths of Mordor, this Air Force Veteran is ready to assemble with Opti’s mightiest recruiters. His origin story starts from a small town in Connecticut where he learned the ability to play multiple instruments. After the sudden death of his gold fish he knew that with “great power, comes with great responsibility” and joined the Air Force. After 6 years in the military he resigned himself in the heat of California. He slowly moved his way up the coast to find his own Batcave, which has led him to Portland, Oregon. Now, with the Master Sword in hand, Robert Cote is ready battle as a skilled trades recruiter in the greater Vancouver area! Excelsior!
Liz was born & raised in the PNW. Her career has always been in sales. She has a passion for helping people, connecting with people, and developing relationships. Liz wanted a new experience and was pleased to have joined the Tacoma Opti Staffing branch as an Executive Recruiter in September of 2018. She loves working in an office with such great people. When she is not working she loves spending time with her sons, traveling, cooking, wine tasting, and shopping.
Megan was born and raised in Seattle, WA and just moved over to Vancouver, WA. She studied Psychology at the University of Washington and was hired here at Opti in October of 2018 as an Operations Recruiter. What Megan loves about Opti is our welcoming environment and how we strive to make people feel welcome and supported. She is looking forward to not only having the opportunity to grow as an individual within this company but to help others feel comfortable and confident as they move forward in their career journey. In her leisure time she enjoys playing indoor soccer (she would not confirm or deny whether she was any good or not), hanging out with friends and taking dance classes…she reportedly likes to get jiggy with it from time to time.
Ron Hansen, CPC, CTS
Ron was recruited into the staffing world in 1992. Originally hired as a Light Industrial Staffing Specialist for Adams and Associates in their N.E. Portland Office. Ron quickly found success in the staffing industry and was asked to move to Bellevue, Washington to manage the temporary division for Adams. Soon after moving to Washington, Ron tackled the task of managing the direct hire division for the Seattle Branch and the temporary division for Bellevue. In 1994, Ron earned the designation Certified Temporary Staffing Specialist ( C.T.S.). In 1997, Ron was promoted to Regional Manager and oversaw the Washington and Alaska territories. This was the same year that he earned the designation Certified Personnel Consultant (C.P.C.). Then in 1999, Ron teamed up with the Avonly Lokan Smith and Mike Houston and founded Opti Staffing Group. Since then the three have worked in every capacity within the company and have grown Opti Staffing to six (6) locations and one of the leading regional firms in the Pacific Northwest.
Michael J. Houston CPC, CTS,
A 30+ year veteran of the recruiting industry, Michael founded Opti Staffing Group with his partners 19 years ago. He found this business the way many people in the industry did…by accident. Michael fell in love with this business because of the impact it makes on people’s lives and in the goals and objectives of the businesses served. His goal is to change the recruitment landscape so that everyone can understand working with a good ethical recruiter and developing a partnership, whether as an individual or business entity, can prove to be one of the most valuable resources at your disposal. Our success is determined by your success.
Avonly Lokan Smith, CPC, CTS
Avonly is the CEO of Opti Staffing Group. Her career in the staffing industry began in the early nineties when she worked for her mother, Shirley Adams who founded Adams & Associates, Inc., one of the largest non-franchise family-owned businesses in the Pacific Northwest. Following her passion for the staffing world, she founded Opti Staffing Group with Ron C. Hansen and Michael J. Houston in 1999. Together they have nourished a successful company that has grown into six (6) locations and is one of the leading regional firms in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.
I was born right here in Tacoma, Washington. My passions are in art, sports, and helping others in any way possible. 5 years ago, I would not have been able to tell you what I wanted to do for a living, but I have always known the feeling I wanted to have while doing it. I knew I wanted to feel impactful; I knew I wanted continuous growth; and I knew I wanted to be a resource for people within my community. Happy to say I have that feeling here at Opti.
I came to this company with a background in Account Management along with creating and sustaining lasting business relationships. I fully intend on combining the skills I’ve learned throughout my career with the tools provided by Opti Staffing to connect great people with great opportunities.
Originally from South Carolina, I try to bring southern charm to the North West. I am a huge foodie and I am always looking for new restaurants to try. I have traveled to Italy and Germany and I am looking to fulfill my bucket list of places to visit. My cross-country road trip six years ago brought me to Seattle. I have working experience in the hospitality industry, education sector, and a vast amount of customer service. Opti has been my saving grace after experiencing the unemployment field for a while. One thing I feel that Opti has already given me is the feeling of satisfaction. I feel like a matchmaker when I find the perfect fit between a company and a candidate. I love giving back and I feel that I am doing that through Opti Staffing!
In West Philadelphia born and raised.
On the playground is where she spent most of her days…no wait that’s the Fresh Prince.
Sam grew up on the North Shore of Chicago, spending most of her time on the Lacrosse field. Shortly into high school, Sam moved to the Pacific Northwest and couldn’t have been happier with her new surroundings. Soon after she graduated from high school, Sam decided to travel the world but stopped in Cabo San Lucas, and made it a home for herself. After two years hustling and bustling as a vacation ownership sales woman, she decided to return to her favorite rainy and lusciously-green, transplanted roots of Vancouver, Washington. Now she is killing it as an Admin Assistant and loving every minute of it!
Miranda Walz is an Executive Recruiter with a desire to change lives. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but at age 18 (two days after her high school graduation) she jumped in her car and moved to Los Angeles. She dabbled in LA for about 8 years, attending the University of Southern California and pursuing her modeling and acting career. Realizing home was where the heart was, and being that she was expecting her first child, Miranda made her way back to the “Good, Old Northwest.” Miranda loves being a recruiter, and is very passionate about creating new opportunities for others. She’s enticed by challenges, and excited to grow and embrace the Opti way!
After 10 years in Texas Nathan decided that it was time to come home. Thankfully, Opti was there to welcome him with open arms when he arrived. He expected Xtratuffs and Carharts, but suits and ties are way more his style.
Working as an Operations recruiter lets Nathan do his favorite thing, have interesting conversations with interesting people and businesses. Being able to find work for people who are looking for it, and find the right people for businesses who need them has been extremely rewarding. Success is built off of connecting the exception and original businesses and individuals of Alaska.
He learned to walk on the ferry to Unalaska, and grew up on that beautiful Aleutian island. Now that he’s back in the Land of the Midnight Sun he tries to spend as much time as he can hiking and getting out in the beautiful wilderness.
Maureen grew up in the small town of Kimberton outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating high school, she had incredible opportunities to travel, work and surf in Costa Rica, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and Thailand for several years as a Divemaster/Scuba Instructor and in the hospitality industry. She eventually moved on to working on private yachts before moving to Alaska in the late summer of 2017 and quickly settled in as an Operations Recruiter at Opti Staffing Group. The daughter of two entrepreneurs, Maureen sincerely understands how invaluable an excellent employee is to an employer. She loves the thrill of making the connection between companies and candidates all over Alaska and helping all parties involved become the best they can be.
Nathan Ely CPC, CTS
Nathan is a native of Indiana and honors graduate of Purdue University. Life took him to Oregon 14 years ago seeking a change from the flatness of the Midwest. 12 years ago he started at Opti as a skilled trades recruiter, and for the last 8 years he has headed our loss control department. He focuses on keeping our contract employees safe on the job and making sure Opti is being compliant with any and all employment laws and regulations.
“What I love about our industry is that no two days are ever the same. Opti has made its mark on our industry by being different and focusing on changing the lives of our candidates and clients we represent those candidates to.”
Saulius “Saul” Petroliunas CPC, CTS
Growing up in Chicago, IL and then graduating from Purdue University, life took Saul out to the Pacific Northwest. Now, 14 years have passed, and over 13 of those years he’s had the opportunity to be a part of Opti Staffing Group. Saul believes that the the ultimate fortune is to have found a company and group of owners who understand that the ripple that we make can transcend into something much, much bigger. With this footprint as a constant goal, he’s successfully sat every desk offered; had the privilege of running one of Opti Staffing’s successful branches; and in his current role, mentor tremendous individuals who share the same passion for what it is that we do – CHANGE LIVES! In no other industry do we have the opportunity to impact so many people in a positive way. Our clients, our candidates, and all of us at Opti. Our success is determined by your success.
As a native Oregonian, Jesse came to Opti with a strong background in Outside and Inside Sales, a focus on new business development and Account Management. His passion for building meaningful relationships with clients and candidates is what fuels his dedication and success as a Direct Hire Executive Recruiter. “There’s not a more rewarding experience than creating an amazing opportunity, building on this, and facilitating the success of both a candidate finding a great career, and a solid company bringing on someone who they’re truly excited about.” When Jesse isn’t Opti focused, he enjoys rock climbing, fly fishing, playing music and exploring the outdoors with his lovely wife and his one year old Golden Retriever.
When I started my career at Opti Staffing I had no idea what “HR” stood for, yet I was excited about the prospect to learn new skills while also dominating a new and challenging industry. Growing up on Kodiak island gave me knowledge of a truly Alaskan lifestyle, yet after 20 years of thriving in that environment it was time to see what the rest of Alaska had to offer. I had been living in Anchorage for one year before finding this company, and the determination linked with a desire to provide excellent service I saw in this Anchorage office made it clear to me that this is where I belong and where I can thrive. I am excited to see where this company can take me and how I am developing into a key part of the Skilled Trades branch of this AMAZING Anchorage office! I enjoy building strong and lasting relationships with all types of people and am excited for the relationships we are developing here in our office!
In 2006 I began my career with Opti Staffing Group in Anchorage, Alaska. Throughout the years I have enjoyed representing Opti as an Operations Recruiter, Skilled Trades Recruiter, and eventually Branch Manager of our Tacoma location. With the amazing tools and resources Opti provides to its recruiters I have been able to successfully place highly skilled candidates into temporary/contract/ and permanent positions in a wide variety of industries. Through my career I have met many great people and have had the pleasure of creating and offering life changing opportunities to Alaska & Washington’s top-notch candidates.
My name is Meghan.
I was born in California but raised in Lake Oswego, OR and love living in the great Pacific Northwest. When I’m not working at the best staffing company, you will find me coaching youth cheer or watching football with my family, Go Steelers! I’ve been with Opti since late October 2017. I love the atmosphere and learning new things on what it takes to be a great admin. I look forward on assisting you with any questions you might have.
“After his failed attempt at becoming a supermodel because of his perfectly chiseled jawline, Gabriel worked in Construction as an HVAC Tech for almost 5 years. He then realized that he desired something much more out of life and himself for that matter, and stumbled upon the recruiting industry by accident. Gabriel is currently seeking to disrupt the recruiting industry in the Vancouver Area, as he believes that there is nothing more rewarding than finding someone the perfect job, and finding a company the perfect person.“ I really love what I do. My favorite thing is to be a RELIABLE resource for people in the Vancouver area. Something people can anchor to and trust that Opti will be the company that assists them in making the next move in their life. Finding a new position can already be nerve-racking, and I am here to put people’s minds at ease while they make that transition.”
“Terrell spent most of his life as a San Diego, CA resident. Football took him to UC Berkeley where he was a student athlete graduating as a Sociology Major. Following his dream to continue sports, he spent a few seasons on the practice squad with the San Francisco 49ers, then played 3 years professionally in Bologna, Italy. He then moved back to San Diego and spent 6 years there working in the online marketing trade. A little over a year ago he wanted to create change for his family and decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and landed in Vancouver, WA where he now calls home. He started with Opti Staffing Group in March of 2016 and has not looked back.“Opti Staffing has been the backbone to helping create a solid foundation for me and my family. The people that I have met have been extremely influential in helping me to be successful in this new industry. I would not want to be working anywhere else.”
Kendra O’Bryant, CPC, CTS
“Originally from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Kendra joined the Opti family in September of 2013 as an Executive Recruiter in the Northeast Portland office. Kendra worked diligently to create lasting relationships with both clients and candidates. Her passion for people eventually earned her the opportunity to recruit nationally for clients from California to Georgia. In April of 2016, Kendra was promoted into the Branch Management role in Vancouver, Washington.
“We come to work and have the ability to change lives, improve the businesses in our communities and have fun! Each day is an adventure, and I take pride in being able to contribute to a greater good that creates such a positive change for others. Not only have we grown as an organization, but I have also been fortunate enough to be able to pursue my passions and develop myself professionally. I consider myself lucky to be a part of the Opti family!”
Tanya McMorran is an Administrative Assistant for Opti Staffing Group in Seattle, WA. She recently graduated with a certificate in Medical Billing and Coding from DeVry University. Within the next year she plans on becoming an RHIT in the medical field. Tanya has been with Opti for a little under a year. When she isn’t at work; she loves spending time with her boyfriend and three-legged kitty Miss Moose. She also enjoys cooking, baking cakes, reading, crocheting, and painting things for her friends and family. On a hot summer day you will definitely find her at a Mariners game cheering for her team! Tanya currently resides in Milton, WA.
Michelle hails from the great state of Alaska. That being said she is resourceful, friendly, expedient, and has a great sense of humor. Her career history has always been in sales and therefore has a specialty for connecting with people, developing relationships, and being on point with her clients! She can talk to anybody and find a common ground. These are the traits that make her a great recruiter and give her the ability to successfully connect client and candidate for a long lasting placement. When Michelle isn’t changing lives she enjoys spending time with her family attending her boys’ football, basketball, lacrosse, even the occasional airsoft game along with hiking, biking, and cooking.
I am born and raised in Seattle, and have never lived anywhere else. My wife and I live in Bellevue, which is a perfect location for us. We live near all of our friends and family, and love taking advantage of all that the Northwest has to offer. Like the rest of my family, I graduated from the University of Washington, and am a huge Huskies fan. In my free time, I coach high school basketball, which is a passion of mine. I love helping kids develop both on and off the court, and it is so amazing to see my former players as they get older and grow into young adults. Since graduating from college, I have had a number of jobs, but none that I really loved – until I started at Opti. This amazing culture that has been established is what I’ve been looking for. I love being able to help so many people every day – the satisfaction that comes from making that perfect fit drives me to work every day. I work with the best team, and I love coming to work and learning more every day.
“Christian grew up in Chicago, and left in 2008 to continue a career in the printing industry. He started with Opti Staffing Group in 2012 as a Skilled Trades Recruiter. When he is not making connections with clients and candidates, he enjoys downhill skiing, fly fishing and old Volkswagens. He graduated from Northern Michigan University with a History degree. “What I love most about working at Opti Staffing Group is the impact that we have people. Whether it is helping someone improve their resume, or giving them some interview tips, it all helps build your community. Nothing is better than making the call to a candidate to offer his or her dream job. Seeing that person grown into a management role and becoming a client is extremely satisfying.”
After two years of community college, Sam didn’t know what to do with himself educationally, so he took a year to work and wound up doing phone-based customer service. When he went back to school, he kept working, moving from doing customer service on phone payments to doing customer service for Powell’s Books, which was much more fun. As he got closer to finishing, he figured out what he really wanted to do was sales. He applied to be a recruiter at another staffing firm during that process, and casually mentioned that to his godfather, who turned out to be an Opti client, and referred him to Katie. He met with Katie, and then with Greg, and two weeks later started work on the SE Trades desk. Sam loves what he does because it makes such a profound difference in people’s lives and every day is a new and different challenge. There’s never a dull moment here.
Nathan Houston, CPC, CTS
Nathan Houston has been with us for almost 10 years and from the very beginning has been stalwart in his approach and development. He has been a top producer as a Recruiter and has led our Lake Oswego Team since 2012. The highlights and achievements are too many to list with records, #1 offices led, President’s Club member, and as someone that bleeds success. His energy is contagious, and his ability as a Sales person is unrivaled. Recently, he has moved into a regional management position with his focus being our South Territory of Lake Oswego, Northeast Portland and Vancouver.
“I have been with Opti Staffing for almost 10 years now and I love it! The relationships we have the opportunity to develop with both candidates and customers is truly something special. We impact people’s lives daily and that is incredible. We put people first and that will always be the motto. We don’t try and make our customers or candidates fit in to our box, we fit in to yours. That business philosophy is part of what makes it so great to work here at Opti. We specialize in finding people careers, not just another job. We are passionate about what we do and you will feel that when you step foot in any of our offices. Give us a call or come by our office so you can hear or see that passion first hand!”
My name is Amber O’Donnell and I am a born and raised Oregonian. I love the northwest, it allows me to spend my time camping and riding off road vehicles. I am an only child and come from a small family. I have two children, 21 & 14 and am a grandmother of 2 granddaughters. Most of all I love to make people laugh, it makes my day to put a smile on someone’s face. Being an operations Recruiter at Opti Staffing is very rewarding and never gets old! Helping people is something I love to do.
I began my career with Opti Staffing Group in November of 2015 when I was interviewing for a temporary position. As fate would have it our Vice President overheard my interview and thought I would make a great Recruiter. I happily applied for the internal position and the rest is history! I wake up each morning with the goal to positively change someone’s life before my day is over. My previous employment experience was in the Debt Collections field, so there is nothing more rewarding than going from taking food off of people’s table to helping put food back on people’s table. I strive hard to learn all of my client’s and candidate’s goals, then becoming a valuable resource to help them achieve those goals, even if it doesn’t directly benefit my goals. As I approach reaching my 2 year mark with Opti, I am confident that I can be a great consultant for each and every client & candidate that I build a partnership with.
Jamal joined the Opti family in 2015, as a skilled trades recruiter, where he strives to reach his ultimate goal to help others in need and can honestly say that “I am truly happy to work in such an impactful environment with the opportunity to change lives on a daily basis.” Being born and raised in Tacoma, Jamal is honored to “represent such a compassionate, driven company that shares the same vision” all while being in his own backyard.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska- Nowhere else has been home to me! I loved growing up just outside of Anchorage enough to not be involved in the city life too much, yet made sure to prove to be a hardworking individual; My journey brought me to Opti Staffing Group and I must say that it has been such a joy to work for such a progressive company. Each day I do my best to bring a bright sun shining attitude to my office and I hope to provide the help anyone needs to excel. Beyond that, I’m just working on becoming a better person than I was the day before. Really what more can we ask of ourselves? Well, I think that’s about it for now. Stay classy, my friends.
Reed Hatch, CPC, CTS
Reed Hatch grew up in a small town originally and moved to Alaska in late 2011. His background is primarily sales, as well as management, and he has a degree in accounting. Reed started with Opti in 2012 and still holds the record for sales on and Operations desk in a week, month and year. He moved into Management in 2014, and as the leader of our Alaska branch has carried that torch of success to this day. Reed is one of the most energetic and creative people that we have on our team. He has an uncanny ability to motivate staff through a unique blend of contests and games and unwavering activity and results. Reed, as much as anyone, goes above and beyond for his staff and for the organization through his leadership, but also opens up his home and gives anything he can back to his people. Any contest- he’s all in as is his team. Whether it be a 3-time winner in Tribal, the lip sync competitions, or his closet of costumes for different events, Reed inspires his team to be different and to be great. With his focus spreading outwardly to includeAnchorage, Tacoma, and Seattle, we are looking forward to his next chapter as Regional Manager of our northern territories.
“I have been with Opti Staffing since 2012, and have found it to be one of the most truly rewarding careers I have ever been a part of. The ability to help some of Alaska’s most influential corporations find their next great employee, while at the same time helping some of the most promising candidates find their next great career.”
Sequoyah Scholz has been with Opti for almost 3 years and is now taking over the reins of our Anchorage location as Branch Manager. Sequoyah was the 2018 Executive Recruiter of the Year, and also a 2018 inductee into Opti Staffing Group’s Presidents Club. She is consistently a top marketer and efficiency dominator, with the awards to prove it.
Sequoyah is a lifelong Alaskan who takes strong pride in her hometown and heritage. She has a strong background and knowledge of the customer service and retail management world having spent 5 years with a large retail company as an Operations Manager. She started her career with Opti Staffing Group as an Executive Recruiter, specializing in permanent staffing at mid, upper and executive levels. Working across all industries. She takes an active approach to recruiting and puts high value in having exclusive and long-term relationships with both candidates and clients. We are excited to add her talents and ideas to our Management team and are looking forward to her putting her stamp as the newest leader of our Alaska team!
Kerry Honan moved here in 2016 from Colorado with her faithful hound Georgia. After traveling around the globe to South Korea, Europe and Scotland, she is fulfilling a lifelong dream to live in Alaska. She has a degree in film and quoting movies is one of her favorite pastimes. “I am very excited to be working here at Opti Staffing. Everything about working here from the environment to the people drive me to succeed and the do the best I possibly can for my candidates.”
Molly Meek is a Skilled Trades Recruiter with Opti Staffing Group. In this role, Molly looks for talent to better the businesses in Anchorage and the surrounding areas. Recently, Molly has moved to the Seattle, WA area to continue her career as a Skilled Trades Recruiter in our Seattle branch. Molly has more than 10 years of direct experience in customer relations. She also has a background in the trades industry as a commercial fisherwoman out of Kodiak Alaska, back in 2011. Drawing on many years experience in customer service, marketing and management; Molly now focuses mainly on client relations and problem solving. Molly prides herself on her philanthropic characteristics in her day to day life as well as in her professional life, as she worked directly with the Colorado Firefighter’s Calendar raising money for the Colorado Children’s Hospital Burn Unit.