Celebrating thirty years in business is no small feat, especially in the ever-changing staffing industry. Jay and Don Ruggery Jr. know this as well as any business owners, having worked alongside their late father, Don Ruggery Sr. to build a network of successful Spherion temp agency franchises across Pennsylvania. Together, they have written a family story of success that recently culminated in the younger Ruggerys receiving Spherion Staffing & Recruiting’s top honor: 2022 Franchise Owners of the Year. This award recognizes their commitment to their staff, their clients, and their community. 

From one office in 1992…

Don Ruggery Sr. opened his first Spherion franchise in 1992. Jay and Don Jr. joined the family business in 1993 and 1997, respectively, working primarily in sales but filling in for other positions as needed. In the early 2010s, the brothers began transitioning to become franchise owners, with Don Sr. retiring in December 2016. 

Throughout their years of experience, the Ruggerys have found success by focusing on geographic growth and expanding their reach through office acquisitions. They acquired businesses in Erie, Sunbury, and Milton, Pennsylvania, from competitors as well as their DuBois and Lebanon locations from other Spherion franchisees.

Jay and Don Ruggery Jr. 800x250px

…to 14 Pennsylvania-based staffing agencies and a bevy of honors

Winning the Spherion Franchise Owners of the Year award for 2022 means a lot to the Ruggerys, as it's a testament to their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence. They’re continuing the franchise success of their father, who won Spherion’s Owner of the Year Award in the mid-2000s.

Spherion executives and franchisees dressed up on a stage to accept an award

The brothers point to a favorite saying of Sandy Mazur, past Spherion president—“Never stop selling, never stop recruiting”—as one of their motivating tenets for prosperity in the staffing agency business. In addition to the Franchise Owner of the Year award, the Ruggerys clinched several other performance-based honors:

  • Spherion’s Gold Circle Award
  • Spherion President’s Award
  • Multi-Million Dollar Growth Award
  • On-Premise of the Year
  • Reputation 800 Award for excellence in customer engagement

Growing their business has enabled Jay and Don Jr. to connect thousands of local job seekers with needed work opportunities. Their growth has also allowed the duo to expand their own office staff and nurture the professional development of dozens of valued colleagues.

“It has been a huge blessing to see our team grow over the years, and to have our colleagues as invested in our mission as we are,” said Jay. “We would not be where we are today as business owners and community leaders without the help of our dedicated, passionate and driven team members at each office. We are incredibly grateful to our employees and clients who rely on Spherion for their talent and staffing solutions. We are looking forward to an even greater 2023.”

Don Ruggery Jr. shares similar sentiments. “One of the driving factors of our success is that our team knows ‘why’ we do what we do.  Our Why is: ‘We keep our customers working and improve our employees lives.’ Consistently making sure that our customers' needs are met, and meeting those needs with employees who get career opportunities that they may not have had without our help grounds us in making the communities we live-in that much stronger.”

Sharing the fruits of success

For the Ruggery family, success is also about giving back to the communities that have supported them for the past three decades. In April 2022, they celebrated their 30th anniversary by organizing community service events in all of their offices, including a hygiene product collection drive and various in-person service projects. They helped renovate a house for a local soon-to-be-housed family, served lunch at homeless shelters, and supported other human-forward organizations.

But for them, real success is measured by the people they serve, both inside and outside of their company. Don Jr. believes that success comes from asking what people need and thinking about how to get them to the next level. Jay stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with good people, especially in the staffing business, where people are the backbone of the operation. They live by their father’s favorite mantra when it came to his business operations: "There is a job for every person and a person for every job."

Working on the business, not in the business

The Ruggerys like to say that they work on the business, not in the business. While they’re incredible business leaders in their own right, they credit their accomplishments to the recruiters and salespeople who support the day-to-day operations that led the company to where it is today. In a world where businesses come and go, the Ruggerys' story is one of dedication, commitment, and community. Their franchise business is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and a commitment to doing what's right for their staff, their clients, and their communities.

Meet the outstanding staff that propelled Spherion in Pennsylvania to the Franchise Owner of the Year award:

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Amanda Alequin works as a recruiter for Spherion out of the Sunbury office. One of the newest Ruggery team members, Amanda builds relationships with local candidates to find them a good fit for their next job. 

Patrick Anna is Vice President of the Ruggerys’ Spherion network. His responsibilities include payroll, IT support, and heading up operations.

Isaac Brown is a recruiter at Spherion Altoona. He focuses on connecting local job seekers with the right professional opportunities in the area.

Carleigh Ceglar is an accounting and administrative assistant in Bedford. Since March, Carleigh has helped improve the efficiency of payroll and other administrative processes for Spherion

Four headshots of Spherion colleagues

Lois Cheatle is a recruiter based in St. Marys. Lois is one of the newest Ruggery team members but is already on a course to positively impact the connections between job candidates and employers in northwest Pennsylvania.

Nina Cotto works as a recruiter out of the York office. A motivated rookie at Spherion, Nina joined the team in September 2022 and is constantly learning new ways to better serve the region’s passive and active job seekers.

Greg Criste works as a regional manager of business development and operations for Spherion in western Pennsylvania. His contributions to the Ruggery team include sourcing and onboarding new employers from the Canonsburg, Connellsville, Greensburg and New Kensington areas.

Dasia Crockett is an Erie-based recruiter. With her focus on establishing relationships with candidates, Daisa has been successfully connecting job seekers with local and regional employment for eight months with Spherion.

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Melanie Dash is the regional manager for business development and operations in the Erie market. Melanie maintains relationships with key Erie-based employers to ensure solid job opportunities for Erie-based job candidates.

Michelle Delo is known for her organizational skills and capability at matching candidates and employers. As a recruiter for Philips on-premise managed staffing since 2020, Michelle is dedicated to working with candidates from a wide range of backgrounds to find them their best job fit.

Kayla Drummond is a recruiter based in the Williamsport office. She is new to the Ruggery team but has quickly adapted to Spherion’s values and processes, and is becoming a staffing leader in the Williamsport area.

Dionicia Flores is a recruiter and on-site manager in York. She works closely with some of our largest clients to ensure Spherion meets their staffing needs in a timely and cost-effective manner. She also helps with staff management by onboarding and creating a supportive, productive environment for new and veteran employees.

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Tammy Hagans has recruited for Spherion since 2021. She works closely with Christopher McCloskey to handle the sizable job seeker population in central Pennsylvania and find them exciting job opportunities in and around State College, Pa. In addition, Tammy oversees Spherion’s staffing and recruiting activity at client on-sites.

Audrey Heagy is a senior recruiter based in Lebanon, Pa. She joined the Ruggery team after Jay and Don Jr. acquired another Spherion branch last year. Audrey excels at placing job seekers in positions that fit their skill sets and goals. She has more than 30 years of recruiting experience.

Sean Henderson is the Director of Professional Services who recruits for direct hire positions across all Ruggery-owned Spherion locations. Sean is a consummate staffing professional who has skillfully filled multiple roles across engineering, human resources, finance, marketing, sales, and executive leadership.

Dave Hopkins is a regional business development and operations manager based in York. His work ensures there is a steady pipeline of quality jobs for local candidates interested in working with Spherion Staffing. Dave will celebrate his 6-year anniversary with Spherion in June.

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Wendy Howk is one of the newest members of the Ruggery team. Since February, she has worked to expand the Bedford office’s footprint among local job seekers, positioning Spherion as a competent partner in their job search.

Cheryl Hurst is a senior recruiter based in Connellsville who will celebrate her 17th anniversary with Spherion this year. Cheryl expertly guides candidate and employer connections based on skill, culture, and mutually beneficial goals.

Kristina Kigan recruits in Spherion’s DuBois market. She joined the Ruggery team in November 2022 and has quickly established herself as a friendly, knowledgeable resource for local job seekers.

Pamela Laskovich works hand in hand with Denise Zilla as the group’s Altoona-based director of human resources. Pamela loves working in the staffing industry and has been a part of the Ruggery professional family since 1997.

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Quetsy Lorate is another outstanding recruiter for the Ruggery staffing network based in York. She recently celebrated four years of matching job seekers with not just any employer, but the right employer for the candidates’ skills and goals.

Mitzi Maher is a senior recruiter in the Altoona office who has worked with Spherion for almost 10 years. During that time she has placed thousands of applicants in jobs that further their careers.

Christopher McCloskey is a recruiter in the Spherion State College office. Along with Tammy Hagans, Christopher successfully connects with a large volume of job seekers to find them excellent employment opportunities in central Pennsylvania. 

Adam Mook began his Spherion career in the Williamsport office and transferred to Sunbury in 2022. Adam handles recruiting and sales activity for Spherion, ensuring that job seekers and clients find the jobs and talent they need.

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Yariely Morales is a bilingual Lebanon-based recruiter. She joined the Ruggery team in 2022. Yariely works hard to reach out to English and Spanish speakers to advertise Spherion’s job opportunities and find the perfect match for each position. 

Amanda Myers is the on-premise manager at Philips in southeastern Pennsylvania. Since 2020, she has managed all Spherion employees at Philips as well as overseen their HR, recruitment, and management activity at the site.

Meagan Myers is a senior recruiter based in Williamsport. She has been part of the Ruggery team since 2014 and excels at candidate attraction and placement.

Austin Nyeste is a recruiter based in Johnstown. He works to raise awareness of Spherion as a trusted employer among local job seekers, and to connect them with positions that fit their professional and personal needs.

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Liane Plutch is a recruiter based in Canonsburg. Since April 2022, Liane has connected job seekers with professional opportunities with Canonsburg’s best employers.

Emily Schrock is a new Spherion recruiter as of February 2023. A recent graduate of Mount Aloysius College, she is already making an impact on local job seekers’ careers in the Connellsville area.

Michelle Skelly recruits for Philips in southeastern Pennsylvania. An invaluable, versatile member of Spherion’s on-site team, Michelle sources qualified candidates, conducts interviews, onboards new employees, and places them in the perfect role at their site. 

Bonnie Stein is a constant source of positive energy and enthusiasm for Spherion's job seekers, clients, and coworkers! She has worked for the Spherion Ruggery team since 2016 as a recruiter. Her dedication to matching job seekers and employers is unparalleled.

Shannon Taylor is a regional manager for business development and operations for DuBois and St. Marys, PA. Shannon grows Spherion’s footprint among employers in these cities, positioning Spherion as an effective solution for temporary and permanent staffing. 

Michelle Skelley
Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Katie Trinka is an accounting specialist based in the Bedford office. She processes payroll for the Bedford office while overseeing accounting processes for all Ruggery-affiliated offices. 

Tara Turkovich helps spread the word about Spherion Staffing’s services in central Pennsylvania through social media, digital communications, and offline branding as the marketing and social media specialist for all Ruggery-affiliated offices. 

Mara Vazquez recruits for Spherion in Lebanon. A member of the Ruggery team since November 2022, Mara focuses on teamwork with the staff to find jobs for local candidates.

Heidi Witt is a senior recruiter based in Connellsville who also serves candidates and employers in the Greensburg area. Heidi is an exceptionally experienced recruiter, having worked for Spherion since 2004, and takes pride in finding candidates their next great position.

Four headshots of Spherion Pennsylvania staff

Madeline Wolf is a regional manager of business development and operations for Spherion Altoona. In addition to recruiting candidates, Madeline builds relationships with regional businesses to help them find the staff they need. She also oversees client relationships through the Johnstown and Bedford offices.

Amanda Wright is vice president of business development and operations. As manager of the entire network of Ruggery-owned Spherion locations, Amanda ensures the day-to-day operations of each office run smoothly, and that the entire team is able to work obstacle-free toward achieving their goals.

Natalie Yannutz recruits new candidates and works with existing Spherion candidates to place them in their next fulfilling job assignment in and around the Johnstown area. She is an 8-year veteran of the Spherion Ruggery team.

Denise Zilla is the vice president of human resources for the Ruggery office group. Denise is known for her attention to detail, for putting Spherion’s employees first, and for her reliability. Working out of the Altoona location, she has been with the Ruggerys almost from the beginning—since 1993!

About the Author
Kelly Clark headshot
Kelly Clark headshot

Kelly Clark

Senior Manager for Digital Marketing