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Company Overview

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 economy.

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 more than 600 franchises in the United States, Canada, and South Africa. The staffing company generated $2.3 billion in sales in 2012.

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."