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Meet Anna Brekka, “The Most Powerful Woman In the Staffing Industry Builds Community”

Posted on May 13, 2009
Filed Under Interviews, Kennedy Info | 1 Comment

By Dave Mendoza, SixDegreesfromDave.com

** REGISTER TO ATTEND KENNEDY EXPO, LAS VEGAS – HERE
** View Conference Agenda, HERE
*1) Kennedy Expo, Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Tuesday May 19 at 12Noon to 5:00 PM – admission waived !*
*2) Kennedy is offering one free conference pass to one lucky SixDegrees corporate recruiter *
*3) Kennedy is housing the IAWES < #malformed>spring congress on the evening of May 19 *


Anna Brekka
Senior Director Talent Management Services
Kennedy Information, Inc.
603-924-0900 ext 669
abrekka@kennedyinfo.com

Anna Brekka is unique for several key reasons, not least of which she is by far the tallest woman in the industry, if not, she may well have the most infectious laugh within it – but I would dare argue, that she is also the most powerful woman in our industry. I can think of only few who has shown more commitment to, and capability of, building community by utilizing one of the most powerful media publishing companies in the recruitment industry to collaborate alliances, friendships, and spotlighting influential and the power of ideas overall

Hear Her Roar – Behind the Scenes

A lofty claim you may say, but I can handily make a powerful argument for a powerful personality behind the scenes a fortunate few are aware of, but today, as only a Six Degree enthusiast can – I break the story by pulling the drapes and shouting behold – a roar of influence:

From a Lofty Position of Influence

Anna serves as Senior Director Talent Management Services on behalf of Kennedy Information. Within the Staffing Industry, she is known as one of the leading organizers of Thought Leadership distribution, with a broad portfolio of media outlets in the form of conferences, webinars, audios seminars, primary research, advisory, and newsletters.

“Kennedy Information” leverages its 35+ years of analyzing the recruiting profession to bring corporate, non-profit, and third-party recruiting experts together with the latest strategies and technologies. Thousands of recruiting and the world’s leading companies rely on Kennedy to ensure successful souring, recruiting, hiring, and retention processes.

Admired

In addition to her dynamic organizational capabilities, extensive intellectual capabilities, Anna stands out within the Conference and multimedia circuit for a very rare quality of substance – she listens. You leave the room and a day later she initiates a call with “I thought about our discussion …I have a few ideas on how to implement them.” She is invaluable to Kennedy as the corporate ear to Web 2.0 chatter and creates relationships by bonding with peers in our industry. Anna exudes authority in so many subject areas, and she is one of the classiest women I’ve met. Anna Brekka is a dear friend, someone I can count on for advice, sharing input, and who cares passionately about our industry.

Collaborating

Anna’s reputation exceeds my own kind words. You may recall the “Happy Slouch” aka Jason Davis, Founder of RecruitingBlogs singing his own praises of her uniquely observant and keen eye for collaborative partnerships.

1) Kennedy Expo Conference, Las Vegas 2009, May 19-22 – This year, Kennedy will support the RecruitingBlogs by housing the second annual RecruitFest May 19 in conjunction with the kick off of the Recruiting 2009 Conference and Expo.

2) Kennedy Info has even developed a customized landing page designed for members of RecruitingBlogs.com and will extend a discount to its membership

3) Kennedy is housing the IAEWS spring congress as well on the evening of May19

3) Kennedy is offering all corporate recruiters an all inclusive package deal for $1,395 through April 30 – contact Karen and she will set you up kbison@kennedyinfo.com

Q & A with ANNA BREKKA

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.


Anna:I live out in the woods on a 6 Acre lot, not far from the quintessential New England village of Francestown. Incorporated in 1772 it includes a white steeple church, a meeting house, a general store, the post office and a little red brick library. That is about it. The house that my husband John built sits on this lot in the woods, on the east side of Crotchet Mountain close to the local ski resort. We live a quiet life now, compared to just a few years ago when the house was full of kids. John and I have somehow managed to raise the kids and gotten them out of the house! We have a total of 8 children, some his, some mine and most of them are scattered over this great country from Seattle to Boston, except for my son Max who immigrated to Denmark last October hoping to continue his musical career there. But luckily a few of our kids did stay or return to New Hampshire. We still have one in collage he is studying chemistry at UNH and dreaming of a PhD in Nanoscience in 4-5 years. We also are blessed with 4 wonderful grand children, age 3-11, whom we absolutely adore, and with whom we spend as much time as possible.
In Seattle for one of our many graduations

Does having kids count as a hobby? It must. They can be great fun you know. Somehow they still end up taking a lot of our time, even after they left home…. The great thing about kids and grandchildren is there is always something to celebrate and with so many of them we get to plan one dinner party after another, and that includes cooking and baking, something I really enjoy. Naturally, there is more time now for traditional hobbies such as knitting, gardening, hanging out with friends and travelling. Our last big trip was to Egypt what a fantastic experience.

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?


Anna:I was introduced to the recruiting industry in 2003 through my work here at Kennedy and I evolved into a “speaker recruiter.” I’m lucky to have an incredible job which allows me the opportunity to offer forums for some of the best speakers in the industry to share their sourcing, recruiting and retention ideas and best practices. I started to recruit speakers for the Kennedy conferences in 2004 and quickly realized I really enjoy networking with some of the most interesting people in the world.

Six Degrees: How did you get started in the recruitment industry?

Anna: Well, how does a 15-year career in textile and commercial aircraft design make for a speaker recruiter? I’m not quite sure, but somehow textiles led to aircraft interior design, that lead to nutrition care, then I went in to publishing, that lead to marketing and presto you become a conference speaker recruiting! There is a “red thread” running through this career path, I am sure, I just can’t see it right now.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your career?

Anna: I do not think there is one single event that I would consider the turning point in my career. Kennedy gave me an opportunity to support their conference effort through marketing, cross-marketing and content development. And I noticed that finding speakers and good content was the thing I enjoy the most. Along the way, great people like Dave, Shally, Don, Peter, Jason, Dennis, Gerry, John and many others became sources I have come to trust and appreciate.

But this I know – Once I realized and understood that the best recruiter listens more then she talks, did I have a chance finding the best talent. Most of us have a story to tell and if you give a prospect your full attention, they often open up and share what they know and who they are. If you listen carefully, you’ll quite possibly be able to identify a good candidate – and from time to time, a great one.

Six Degrees: Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Anna:I admire so many people, all for very different reasons. But the two mentors I always fall back on are neither recruiters nor “rock stars”; they are my parents. I’m lucky, they are still with us, and between their individual strengths, knowledge, love and support, one couldn’t ask for better mentors. It may sound a bit corny but between Nurse Johnson (mom) and Dr. Ebbesen (dad) I really lucked out. At work too I find myself surrounded by extraordinary people whose knowledge I try to take advantage of, and after whom I model my career.

Six Degrees: Tell us about a day in the life in your work at Kennedy Info


Anna: A year ago I was offered the awesome responsibility of leading the Talent Management Services Team here at Kennedy. We are responsible for our recruiting and retention conferences, webinars, newsletter, directories, resume distributions and job boards – all services and products designed for the executive, as well as the corporate, recruiter. The group I work with is an outstanding group of a dozen smart people; people that show up every day to do what they do best, be that sales, customer service, editorial or administrative. Some of them have been with Kennedy for more than 25 years, talk about recruit to retain! My days are full and challenging, but also fun. I try to be supportive of the individual, the team and the company. But speaker recruiting is still something I will keep doing and with the help of my colleague Laura Tremblay, we are always networking and searching for the next great presenter.

Six Degrees: Have you had an opportunity to be on the spotlight yourself stepping outside your behind the scenes magic Anna?

Anna:As you know, I do not do much speaking. I’m one of many behind the scenes, including the Recruiting Conference scene!

Anna Trivia: Anna Brekka was born in Sweden, is a citizen of Denmark and a resident of the US since 1982. I can only assume her multi-national exposure has a significant influence in her “old World” charming personae, – but the end result is to be globally appreciated my friends, and we have much to learn from her.


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