Express Employment Professionals was created in 1983 by founders Robert A. Funk,
William H. Stoller, and James Gray, from the dissolution of Acme Personnel, a Washington-based
staffing company in which all three were associates. After the death of Acme president
Bill Reiff, the three purchased and operated several franchises of Acme which became
Express Employment Professionals.
In 1983, the partners started making plans to franchise Express Employment Professionals.
The employment company, headquartered in Oklahoma City, struggled during a time
when the oil industry took a devastating downturn. Although local banks and businesses
were failing daily, Express managed to keep afloat. That first year, Express Employment
Professionals was able to generate gross revenues over $2 million despite the depressed
In 1984, due to the bankruptcy of Acme Personnel, the partners acquired the franchise
rights to 30 Acme staffing agencies across the United States. In 1985, when the
first Express employment agency was franchised, the staffing company experienced
phenomenal growth. Within five years, Express Employment Professionals ranked among
the top staffing firms in the United States and was recognized as one of the fastest
growing privately-held companies in the country. In 1990, Funk and Stoller purchased
Gray's shares of the company.
By 1994, Express Employment Professionals had 180 franchised employment agencies
with sales of more than $325 million. In 1999, the staffing company posted $1 billion
in sales, followed by $916 million in 2000 after the sale of its PEO subsidiary.
Today, Express Employment Professionals has nearly 600 franchises in the United
States, Canada, South Africa, and Australia. The staffing company generated $1.8
billion in sales in 2008.
Express Employment Professionals offers a full range of employment solutions for
area businesses and job seekers, including professional search and contract, temporary
and contract staffing, evaluation and direct hire, flexible staffing, and onsite
services. For employers, Express can also provide solutions to HR challenges, including
an HR Hotline, HR compliance audits, employee handbook creation, Organizational
Effectiveness Surveys, onsite client training programs, and affirmative action plans.
Express Employment Professionals’ officers, franchisees, and employees sit
on boards of directors and serve as trustees of such organizations as the International
Franchising Association (IFA), the American Staffing Association (ASA), as well
as state and local organizations. The staffing company has won many honors, including
the coveted Blue Chip Award and nearly 600 national and international awards for
its marketing and advertising programs. Individual honors awarded to staff members
and franchisees within the Express system abound, including Robert Funk's selection
as the 1999 IFA Entrepreneur of the Year.
The mission of Express Employment Professionals, from its staff and founders to
its franchisees, is to reflect a common desire to help people succeed. Robert Funk
says, "For many people who have lost their jobs, often through no fault of
their own, we provide great hope. Our mission is to help people find jobs and our
client companies find good employees, and to help those clients make those jobs
and those employees even better."