Working his way up at a staffing firm that he joined after graduation, Pamplin College of Business alumnus Jeff Veatch saw a need for better service in the information technology (IT) staffing and recruiting services business. His sentiments were shared by two friends he made at Virginia Tech who also started careers at the same company.

“We recognized gaps in service levels for both job seekers and companies who needed temporary IT services,” says Veatch, who earned a degree in finance in 1993. “We knew we could create a better company.” He and his fellow Tech alumni — Brian Callaghan, a 1993 psychology graduate, and Win (Edwin) Sheridan, a 1994 political science graduate — put up $50,000 each, from personal savings and family loans, to launch Apex Systems in 1995.

Headquartered in Richmond, Apex grew rapidly, becoming the nation’s sixth largest information technology staffing firm. In 2011, it placed more than 16,000 professionals with 1,250 clients in various industries and earned about $700 million in revenue. The firm has won several industry honors, including being named to the 2012 Best of Staffing Client List.

Apex’s success was noticed by other leaders in the industry as well. Earlier this year, it became a division of On Assignment, a global IT staffing and services provider based in California. The acquisition created the country’s third biggest IT staffing firm.

The three alumni, who had been co-CEOs of Apex, are now members of the board of directors of On Assignment, which marked its move to the New York Stock Exchange from NASDAQ by ringing the opening bell on Sept. 19. 

“Joining On Assignment was the right decision for us individually, and, more importantly, for our employees,” says Veatch. “It was the logical next step.”

Read more about how the three alumni worked together at Apex and Veatch’s thoughts on the jobs outlook and his career advice for students in the fall 2012 Pamplin magazine.



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