30 Years of Gage Personnel: Interview with Owner and CEO, Gwen Gage
By: Katelyn Lengeman, Recruiter & Marketing Coordinator
Sitting across the table from Gwen Gage, I couldn’t help but smile at the pride and passion she has for Gage Personnel. A temporary move from Philadelphia to Reading to help her mother-in-law with her new staffing service turned into thirty years of thriving business. Gwen has worked tirelessly to improve, grow, and expand Gage Personnel into the asset it is today in Berks, Lancaster, and Lebanon county. I sat with Gwen to find out how she got involved in staffing, how she grew the business, and what got Gage Personnel where it is today.
How did you get into this business?
As mentioned, Gwen made a temporary move from Philadelphia to Reading for what she thought would be a temporary position helping Donna Gage, her mother in law, keep up with holiday orders. In 1985, they started in a room they rented in an office building and quickly outgrew that location. Gwen learned the business piece by piece after she permanently moved back to Berks County with her husband and two young daughters. She soon took over the company when Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer and transitioned out. Gwen hired more experienced employees to help her keep up with the growing business in addition to hiring Bill Gage, her husband, to take care of sales, risk management, and additional details. As she continued to build relationships with clients and hire additional employees, the growth of Gage was unstoppable.
What prepared you for working the staffing industry?
Gwen worked in retail for years where she handled a variety of customers and was expected to react professionally to unexpected situations on a daily basis. Her enjoyment of variety and meeting new people every day laid a strong foundation for client relationship-building, reaching out to candidates, and planting herself in the community as a reputable businesswoman.
How did you decide on the locations of your offices?
Gwen was born and raised in Berks County and was happy to move back to the area. She followed customer demand and was able to open offices in Ephrata, Lancaster, and most recently, Lebanon.
What was your vision for Gage and how did you stick to that as you grew?
Gwen always sought to help candidates find a career they could be happy in as well as finding clients a candidate that would add to their company. She was able to stick to that vision by surrounding herself with good people and working very hard to take every placement seriously. Her passion and excitement for the business helped her keep her eye on why she was in the staffing industry.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments in these 30 years?
Gage’s current building is a huge accomplishment in Gage’s history. Getting the space to expand internally allowed Gage to better serve their clients and candidates. Gwen is also very proud to see her daughter, Kristi Gage-Linderman, move forward into the next chapter of Gage history as the Executive Vice President. The Gage family is also very proud of 25 years raising money for Blue Jeans for Babies, where companies are encouraged to allow employees to wear blue jeans and purchase a button to support the March of Dimes.
Why do your customers choose Gage over other services?
Gage has always held honesty and caring as top priorities. Since the beginning, Gwen has made sure to work hard and go the extra mile for the clients. Bill and Gwen have also been very active in the community over the past three decades, something that Kristi has continued to make a priority. Gage is held in high regard for not only their great reputation but also for giving back to the community around them.
What do you hope to see in the future for Gage?
Gwen is excited to see Kristi move forward and grow Gage even more. She expects to see the integrity and reputation of Gage remain solid. She is hoping for all employees to do their best in their role and see passion and hard work keep the company moving forward in the coming years.
Gwen’s hard work and passion throughout the past 30 years has been the foundation for Gage growing from two individuals to over 30 employees working to place quality candidates in Berks, Lancaster, and Lebanon’s best companies. As Gage Personnel continues to expand, the mission of the company remains; to see individuals fulfilled in their career and providing essential skills to valued clients. Congratulations to Bill, Gwen, Kristi and Gage Personnel for 30 excellent years of quality staffing in Berks County and for being a Certified Women-Owned Business!