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Recently stepping up to take over R & L Associates, Inc., Fran Dichner is in charge of keeping this full service staffing ...
firm which has been in business since 1974.
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Ivy Hartman: Welcome to our exclusive coverage right here on SBTV.com of NAWBO 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m Ivy Hartman and with me is Fran Dichner whose president and CEO of R&L Associates and also the Aries Group. Fran welcome to SBTV.com
Fran Dichner: Thank you for having me here.
Ivy Hartman: You’re welcome. Now, you’ve been in the family business for a number of years. You’ve recently taken it over. Let’s talk about R&L Associates.
Fran Dichner: R&L Associates is a full service-staffing firm that does temporary attempt to hiring permanent staffing and they has been in existence for 34-years. I will be celebrating our anniversary of 35-years next year and was started by a husband and wife, my in-laws and my husband and I took it over when my in-laws retired. About ten years ago, almost ten years ago, we started a contract engineering division of R&L called the Aries Group and its contract engineers nationally and four years ago I took over as President and CEO with both companies.
Ivy Hartman: Congratulations!
Fran Dichner: Thank you. It’s been fun.
Ivy Hartman: How has NAWBO served you in this role for the last four years being president and CEO?
Fran Dichner: Well, NAWBO has been very valuable in making connections nationally for my business as well as educational meeting, great people that also getting a lot of resources, attending seminars, and really getting a lot of information about other women business owners and also the tools and resources. We have available treats for these women business owners that will help us continue to grow our businesses.
Ivy Hartman: What are some of the challenges that you faced as a staffing firm first of all.
Fran Dichner: Well, immediately the recession impact, I mean it’s too dramatically and many companies in our industry are experiencing that because we’re diversified and we’ve been around for a long time. We’ve been throughout the recessions. We have as the infrastructure as well as the experienced to try to do a little bit step through the recession. Competition is always out there and also just the industry itself that a change in the industry and how companies utilized staffing from all of that is challenging for us.
Ivy Hartman: Yeah. How was the transition with the family-owned business from going from you know, the original owners to you and your husband.
Fran Dichner: Right. We’ll I had always been involved in the business. I actually started out as coming in being able to run a word processing school. A training school and so I already had a good relationship dealt in and then I married into the business and the transition was really not as dramatic as it would be in another business or company because again, you know it was already in the family and also because I had learned so much about the business. And so my husband and I were prepared to—it’s always interesting when you’re dealing with family members to all the personal side of it. But it’s fun.
Ivy Hartman: That’s true. Many of our viewers are family-owned businesses and I’ve gone through something similar. Talk a little bit about your part as a staffing agency and even on your Aries Group, that contracting side, from your competitors.
Fran Dichner: Well, as far as the Aries Group goes very—contract engineers as I said nationally and we are one of the few one and owned businesses that is in that industry. And we have a secret clearance so we do a lot of business with businesses that serve the government such as right beyond and so being a woman who own business is something that those companies look to but also out service. Our quality, our individualized approach to our clients and their needs and how we take their needs and we actually established relationships and we attempt to solve many of their issues and problems. So we’re more of the consultants of them as well as a staffing provider.
On the R&L side of the house, it’s the same sort of thing. Relationship building, all the relationships we’ve built the fact that our clients have a staffing from that experience as we are. We’re also an award-winning staffing firm. We’ve won many awards and recognitions in the past scenario as a woman on business. I myself have gotten a national studio award and we’re recognized as one of the top 100 women when my business is in Massachusetts.
The other thing that I think really differentiates us is the community service and clientele free work that our company focuses on. We feel that it’s very important to give back to the community and we do that. We serve on many boards, we’re heavily involved in many charities and I am very involved in G.O.A.L.S. Inc., which is a mentioned program for young women, and I believe that what we’ve learned is important to pass along to others. And we feel that a lot of the opportunities we have has enabled us to give back and we will continue to always give back to the community.
Ivy Hartman: Well said Fran. I hope you’re enjoying your time here at NAWBO.
Fran Dichner: I love very much. Thank you.
Ivy Hartman: Thanks for taking the time to be with us. R&L Associates Inc is based in Massachusetts as you said and the website is—
Fran Dichner: www.rlassociatesinc.net.
Ivy Hartman: Thank you. You said so much more already. And the Aries Group represent the same web page or—
Fran Dichner: There’s a link to that but the direct Aries is www.ariesgroupinc.net.
Ivy Hartman; Thank you Fran for being here.
Fran Dichner: Thank you so much.
Ivy Hartman: Stay right here as we continue our coverage of NAWBO 2008 on SBTV.com where small business is our only business.