New owner takes over temping agency

  • Positive outlook: Michelle White, new owner of Executemps (Photograph by Nhuri Bashir)

    Positive outlook: Michelle White, new owner of Executemps (Photograph by Nhuri Bashir)

Executemps Ltd, one of Bermuda’s longest established temping agencies, is under new ownership.

Michelle White, the new owner, is promising to bring 21st-century innovation to the resource service business.

“Many will probably wonder why anybody would take on a new business venture in the midst of the current economic climate with news of businesses downsizing, profit margins shrinking, and retail and other store closures,” she said.

“I see this as an opportunity to demonstrate and restore confidence in our economy, in the process of employment, and in business ownership in general.

“Corporate Bermuda also deserves to have confidence that their Bermuda investment will yield results. And I happen to be a strong proponent of leading by example.”

Principles are so important to her she prefers to call herself “principle” director, rather than principal director.

After 40 years in the business, Carol Carvalho, the former owner and president, retired in January.

“The decision was whether to simply close or sell it to somebody who would continue to offer the professional services that the business community had come to expect when dealing with Executemps Ltd,” Ms Carvalho said.

“The timing wasn’t exactly the best to be buying a business, but the agency was well established and had a good name. A few days later I had an e-mail from Michelle and I jokingly replied, ‘Want to buy a temp agency?’

“Having known Michelle for over 30 years I knew she would be the ideal person to take over the agency because of her considerable experience in HR and knowledge about immigration matters but at that time I wasn’t sure whether she wanted to move from her current position.

“However, a few months later she came to see me, and the rest is history. I couldn’t be more pleased that she decided to take over the agency as I know she will maintain the professionalism that every company expects when dealing with a service provider.

“Also she will bring a new, fresh approach to Executemps Ltd with new ideas. I wish her the greatest success.”

Ms White was previously a corporate services manager in the Department of Immigration.

She always wanted to start her own business, but was never sure how it would happen. The way became clearer in 2019 when she took courses at the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

Ms White said: “Handing in my resignation, leaving the security of a full-time job and paycheque, leaving my team of dedicated government officers and transitioning from an employee to a businesswoman, quite honestly, was the scariest day of my life, but I have not regretted one moment after January 4, my last day as a civil servant.”

It was a little frightening for her to start a business during the pandemic, but she saw the time as an opportunity to gain new skills and spend time planning and organising processes.

“I watched and listened to the news, watched the posts on social media, Facebook and LinkedIn, and had chats with industry experts to ensure that I was current with the trends influencing the direction of businesses,” she said.

She had to pivot frequently due to the uncertainties around the pandemic. She likened herself to a basketball player trying to decide whether to pass or shoot.

“My initial business activity was to hold workshops and assist the current clients of Executemps Ltd with their business practices but the day we were to advertise the workshops, Bermuda closed,” she said.

“Without workshops to hold, or work permits to process, I pivoted to focus on rebuilding the temporary services side of the businesses, but business leaders were not engaging, as they were busy focusing on their individual business challenges.”

She received assistance from BEDC to manage her monthly operational costs. She said: “I am not taking a salary from the business but looking forward to the day when I can.”

She said 2020 has offered her a diamond opportunity and like all diamonds requires time, precision and patience to create a product that will stand the test of time.

“This year has given me a rough start, but I believe that I have the sauce to be successful,” she said.

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Published Aug 12, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 11, 2020 at 9:08 pm)

New owner takes over temping agency

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