By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, Author, SixDegreesfromDave.com
Meet my friend, Kevin Plantan, Vice President at ERE Media. Each and every ERE Conference, usually after the first reception night of the greetings … there is one person whose smile couldn’t be any more welcoming and handhake more firm capable of saying music to my ears “Mohitos for everyone, .. how many?”
You see I love Mohitos and Kevin does as well, and can appreciate my liquid toxin as a fellow colleague to pull a chair and start the conversation so that we can all catch up on what we have been doing since the last Conference event we saw one another. Few people are as sincere and as informative. We can joke about the cocktail environment but not the dialogue – it starts off hearty but it streamlines into the serious, in-depth exchange of ideas and observations one strives for at a conference.
Kevin is also someone never to take an idle chat or a kind gesture for granted. I can’t think of anyone ever so emphatic in their celebration of being listed on my Six Degrees group’s Top Ten, as my good friend Kevin Plantan. You would be surprised how often people listed take it for granted, it’s a powerful introduction among peers … Kevin happened to grow his network up to 800 industry peers. That said, I was surprised that someone as well established in the industry hadn’t transfered his in-person rolodex of memorable associations into an online relationship in the social networking sphere. Having since done so, Kevin takes the plunge like a natural Olympic champion. He looks at the score, challenges himself to do better at each meet … and thanks the Coach, .. a lot. I think that’s what makes this Vice President of Sales tick, or know so, …. it’s what makes Kevin succeed on behalf of ERE Media and in all things pertinent to building real friendships.
He’s simply a great guy and sincerely passionate about our industry. Kevin was kind enough to share his time with readers at RecruitingBlogs.com and SixDegreesfromDave.com
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Kevin: My world is Richmond, VA. Next month, my wife Kelly and I will celebrate being married for seven years. We have a daughter, Stacy-Lee, who is 15 months old. We live in Richmond and have lived in VA since Dec.. 2001, having moved from Connecticut. We love it here in Richmond! Can’t beat the people or the weather. This area is growing so fast and many of us are from the north so it’s a great mix of cultures. I have learned to try and just live life at less than 100 MPH all the time, and to be polite and have manners, which I think is good advice to anyone today.
Kevin: Like many of us fighting our 30s, I try to make it to the gym on a somewhat regular basis. Lately, it’s been a failure but 2008 is better than last year. What extra free time I have I like to spend around the house on the John Deere tractor, and hitting the local shops, running errands and working on the “honey-do” list. Also, have to see the college buddies, which usually involves getting on a plane a couple of times a year. Super Bowl weekend is key. Last weekend was a party for the NFL draft. During football season you will find me stuck in the house watching as many games as possible. I’m a Michigan and Cleveland Browns fan.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the recruitment industry?
Kevin: I joined ere media in Aug., 2000.
Six Degrees: How did you initially transition into this market space?
Kevin: David Manaster, current CEO at ERE.net, found me on cruelworld.com – anyone remember that site? At the time, I was at auctions.com, originally called Auction Universe, which was VC funded by the same people that own cars.com, classified ventures, which is most of the newspaper corporations that own CareerBuilder today.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your career?
Kevin: I would have to say majoring in journalism at Kent State University (‘96). My newspaper mindset opened the doors for me at auctions.com. They wanted someone with this background that could relate to the newspapers and talk to them about their classified listings, and how it was going to the web and online auctions. Classified Ventures started acutions.com because they didn’t want to buy 25% of eBay for $5M. Think about it.
When I started at auctions.com I had only been online less than 24 hours. This was in Nov., 1998. It is incredible to watch what Monster, eBay and Craigs List started over the last 10 years.
Six Degrees: Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Kevin: I’ve learned so much from everyone I’ve ever worked for, obviously, and with. I learn a lot from my customers. They usually have some of the best ideas. Some of our best conference sponsorship ideas have come from my exhibitors and sponsors.
Six Degrees: Tell us about ere media.
Kevin: ERE Media is an amazing story. David Manaster created a website that takes advantage of all the best the internet has to offer with a solid focus on recruiting and bringing recruiters together with the best information that’s out there. It’s incredible that the company is 10 years old this year.
Six Degrees: How was ERE Company Founded?
Kevin: David started it in his parents’ basement as an online forum for recruiters when he was at TMP and he was one of the early people at Monster. The community, the key writers, everything started with him reaching out by himself to some very talented people in the industry and to a few dozen recruiters who brought in tens of thousands more. Today the website receives 90,000 unique visitors per month, and has constantly grown over the years. ERE is an industry leader.
Six Degrees: Your Company’s Value Proposition?
Kevin: ERE is THE recruiting industry’s No. 1 community. It features the best writers, opinions, and has created a great place for recruiters to network and learn more. It all starts with ere.net. And, since 2001, we’ve had our conference where all of this online learning and networking happens in person, face to face. In my role , Danielle Zittel and I connect the leading industry suppliers and vendors to the ere audience through online marketing and ere expo conference sponsorships. Every ere show is bigger than the last and the ere.net website gets bigger by the month!
Six Degrees: How long has ERE Media been involved in the conference/expo circuit and how they have evolved? I understand you have an upcoming event with several key offerings.
Kevin: Kate Bruener and her team are the best. That’s where it all begins. The ere expo has tripled in size over the last five years. It started with the San Diego show in the spring of 2001. Every spring we’re in San Diego and every fall were on the east coast. We’ve added several educational tracks and pre conference workshops over the years. If you’re a VP of HR or director of recruiting at a Fortune 500 company, the Strategy and Leadership track is for you. If you’re a recruiter we have the best and newest ideas for you in a separate track as well. The tracks and the new ways of learning and thinking continue to grow with every event. Lou Adler, John Sullivan, Kevin Wheeler and Gerry Crispin have been with the expo since the beginning.
Were always looking for the best speakers and never satisfied from what we’ve done in the past. The editorial team is terrific.
Six Degrees: In what direction do you anticipate ere overall, and its conferences evolving in the near future?
Kevin: Todd Raphael, ERE’s editor in chief, will continue to put out the best content, and we’re always on the lookout to make sure were adopting the newest web technology to create the best learning and networking environment for our community. One of our newest content offerings; our weekly webinar series has become a huge success.
Six Degrees: Tell me something others may not know about you.
Kevin: Thanks in large part to you, Dave Mendoza and his site, SixDegreesfromDave.com, I have over 800 LinkedIn connections now. Please contact me at Kevin@ere.net You can also find me on ere.net, LinkedIn and Facebook and I hope to see you there! David, thanks for the interview!
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
Kevin: Please visit ere.net and get involved. I hope to see you at the San Diego Convention Center for two overflowing days of action-packed networking and learning starting on Monday, March 30. Call (212) 671-1181 for more info!