By Karin Fabry
Mary K. Thomas knows the meaning of the word perseverance. When she was just 21, she was determined to make her equine staffing business a success.
“When you’re that young, you have nothing to lose,” Mary says. “I made a business plan and worked odd jobs to save money and build my business.”
As a young entrepreneur, Mary made an income for herself by providing contract work and short-term services to local farm owners. Eventually, she couldn’t handle all of the requests herself. She began hiring others to take over some of the work requests for her.
Just five years after opening her business, Mary, after requests from business associates, expanded her company to include staffing services outside of the horse business.
“It was a demand-based decision,” Mary says. After years in the staffing industry, Mary knew how to successfully place an employee with an employer — and it shows. As a matter of fact, more than 85 percent of her short term employees end up being hired as permanent employees by the company they’re placed with.
Twenty-five years later her business has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, Mary’s business, Equistaff/Mary K. Thomas Employment Services, has hundreds of employees and even more success stories.
“Ocala is a fabulous place,” Mary says. “I’ve been able to grow with the community.”
Currently, Mary’s business offers area workers two branches, one in Ocala and one in Wildwood. Mary also has a satellite office in Tennessee. Each of the offices provides equine and professional services to employers including positions in accounting and management, clerical and administration, construction, sales, and industrial work.
Despite her demanding schedule, Mary continues to support the community that has supported both her and her business through charitable work in many local groups including Rotary Club, the Florida Horse Park, the Humane Society, Ocala Jaycees, and Hospice. Just to name a few.
“I enjoy helping people,” Mary says. “It’s a joy to find the right worker for the right position. I’m a very driven person, so the satisfaction of having my own business has changed my life.”
And in the process, Mary has changed the lives of countless others.
“As I get older, I love to see my staff mature and grow,” Mary says. “My greatest accomplishment has been touching people’s lives.
“Looking back at the success and growth of the employees I have placed,” Mary continues, “many have been promoted in their businesses and are now asking me to locate workers for them.”
Equistaff/Mary K. Thomas Employment Services