Claudine George, Managing Member, ICONMA Inc.

Claudine GeorgeWinner, Staffing & Support Services

Claudine George had worked at companies where employees were not treated with the level of respect she felt they deserved. She wanted to change that and create a business where they would be valued and made to feel as if they were her No. 1 asset.

The company began as Computer Systems Group, a small, homegrown business that specialized in recruiting IT consultants and engineers.

George did not expect to make money overnight and took a methodical approach to building the organization she had envisioned. In 2000, she took her clients and rolled them into a company called ICONMA LLC. She invested as much capital and profit into the growing company as she could. Money was a challenge in those early days as many clients were pretty slow about making payments.

As the stress mounted, George was advised to obtain certification as a woman-owned business. This turned out to be a big help in staying afloat. She continued to work hard to try to provide better service and encourage clients to consider her firm. Over time, her efforts paid off and the company continued to grow.

But all the while, George’s attention did not waver from her employees. She wanted to know what drove them to come into work each day and what opportunities they sought for their own personal growth.

She wanted to provide them with a voice in the company’s goals so they would feel part of the success as much as she did. And she wanted them to have a sense of optimism, no matter how bleak things looked at times.

The result is a company that continues to grow with employees who indeed feel like they are No. 1.