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8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
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Bruce Leon founded Tandem HR in 1997 after seeing that small and medium-sized businesses needed competitive benefits programs. He felt that he could build a business that would help those entrepreneurs solve their benefits and people management issues to make it to the next level.

Leon was also aware of the fast-growing professional employment organization industry, which had caught on in other parts of the country but not in the Chicago area. Starting a PEO proved difficult for Leon, who serves as the company’s president. Aside from the typical business start-up costs and headaches, he needed significant funds in order to secure a payroll system. The only way Leon could entice both workers’ compensation insurers and health insurers to underwrite Tandem’s cases was to take significant financial risk in the contracts. At the time, Tandem had no proven history or even a current employee base to underwrite.

Once these obstacles were overcome, Leon led his business to go above and beyond in the realm of human resources to assist clients in growing their business. He constantly encourages employees to truly empathize with clients by asking questions and identifying where help is needed.

The high-touch model that he created has helped form a client-centered culture. If a client has any issue, Leon is leading the team to seek innovative solutions to assist it. Leon also participates in various peer, education and networking groups to continually cultivate new ideas and keep Tandem on the cutting edge of products and technology. For example, he recently spent a week at Harvard learning and sharing ideas with fellow entrepreneurs on new methods for management and the intricacies of continuing to cultivate business.

Going forward, Tandem plans to continue offering new and innovative services, including accounting services and IT consulting within the next two years.

For More Information:Tandem HR, www.tandemhr.com