GSN

Faces of GSN

Sarah Lightner (Published in January 2014 GSN Newsletter)

Sr. Regional Staffing Manager
Geotemps, Inc.
Reno Corporate Office

Growing up with a twin sister I strived to establish myself as an individual, to be known as Sarah and not as “twin”. What I did not see then- something Geotemps and recruiting has taught me- is that being a twin is a unique skill, something that sets me apart from others. So I embraced it. It has given me those skills to push myself harder and it was the start to a life of team work. Every day I ask employees and clients what sets them apart from others; what is that unique trait or niche that puts them a step above or makes their company an ideal place to work. This principle to treat individuals with respect for their own unique-ness has been something I have lived by both personally and professionally.

After I graduated with my Bachelors in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology and Psychology from University of Southern Colorado (CSU-Pueblo now) I moved back to Reno, my home town. I was looking for a job, like many recent graduates. I dabbled in a couple of different industries including waitressing and law, and then I met Stephanie Dmytriw, who at the time was head of HR for a local landscaping company. It was my first “real” interviewing process; complete the application, get a call back, take a basic writing and arithmetic test, meet with a panel of managers, then another call back and meet with the owners. At the time I was thinking “is this some sort of secret government facility” why all the screening for just a landscaping company? But alas I got the job and in fact it wasn’t just a landscaping company (not that there were any secret caves or hidden passageways) it was a business that took great pride in its people; but first, it took great pride in finding the right people. This meant putting guidelines in place and doing the necessary diligence (consistently) to put the right people in place. I have seen firsthand after that “trial” how successful those screenings were in bringing a good harmony of individuals to a single work place. A method I still use today.

Stephanie left the landscaping company a couple of years later and found the sort of careful company that cultivates good HR practices with Geotemps. After several years with that landscaping company I also began a new path. I spent a couple months, and my savings, at the Culinary Institute (CIA) in Napa where I tasted wine and experienced some pretty amazing food. I then obtained my Wine Professionals Certification through the CIA and headed back home. Wine and food are passions for me however it was not a career path I wanted to follow. After the CIA hiatus I went to work for a local judge in an attempt to return to my educational roots. It was definitely fascinating but not quite what I was looking for.

During the following year I met up with my former boss, Stephanie, who is now the Director of Operations for Geotemps for lunch (with Lance Taylor) where we discussed my job at the court house and the new business development directions they were looking to make at Geotemps and how I may fit in to that change. I thought it over, gave my notice to the judge and three years later I am still here. I get to incorporate my love for sociology with my skill for management (and on the side enjoy a glass of wine with some pretty lively geologists). Wine is an amazing poetry of geology, anthropology, and sociology, so it only makes sense that this industry spoke to me.

Being from Nevada one becomes familiar with the mining industry - you hear many stories. But it was not until I started working with Geotemps that I took a personal interest in the industry. Geotemps believes that since we are staffing for a specific industry then we should be as involved in it as reasonably possible. Geotemps has provided me the opportunity to continually learn, attend functions, meet new industry people and open my awareness to what the industry is all about and how important it truly is to our state and the world. And it is a well-knit community, therefore I try to tell every student and young professional I meet to join a society of professionals, attend annual meetings and begin meeting their peers and those people who may, just may, become their boss one day.

Sarah Lightner