Betting on People: Today’s Wish List for Tomorrow’s Workforce

Written by Yesi B. Sevilla

Yesi B. Sevilla serves as the Assistant Director for the Innovation Academy at the University of Florida, and has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles across varying global biotech and healthcare industries, consulting and higher education.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Today’s workplace needs tomorrow’s employees. We find ourselves in a unique environment with five generations of Americans engaging, collaborating, and working together – now add AI and robotics to that mix!

Employees need to be change agents and storytellers who move employers from simply hitting basic performance metrics to performing and making an impact on the world around them. These impacts fuel brand leadership, customer loyalty, and the ability for a company to diversify and expand beyond the next quarter’s sales goals. According to Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”

Companies that have embraced this new future have to invest in the intellectual and creative capital of their workforce – this can be costly and doesn’t happen overnight. Recruiters, now more than ever, see the value in finding talent that can bring a creative and innovative mindset from day one on the job.

The critical question then becomes, “Who is the ideal change agent employee?” Successful employers understand that diversity of thought, culture, perspective, and discipline can bring powerful energy and thus results – and yet, through this diversity, there is a commonality to look for.

The change agent of the future is a collaborator and a communicator – someone who also focuses on the development of their emotional intelligence (EQ). The measures for these attributes can be hard for an employer to define. Verification can come through a candidate’s ability to convey their personal brand, their experience, and their “power of pitch”.

Branding, both personal and commercial, is critical in the digital age where access to information is unprecedented and competition based on minimum criteria is at an all-time high. Tom Peters, a winner of the Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award, emphasized that “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.”

Employees need to understand their brand power, and that only comes from true self-reflection, development, and practice. Most employers don’t spend time helping their employees develop this most personal attribute – yet they can spot it, and they are very eager to recruit the candidates who live their brand fiercely.

An essential part of that brand power is the experiences, both in and out of the workplace that candidates acquire. The future change agent should have both directly applicable and transferable experiences. Exposure and success in dissimilar employment, or dissimilar industries where the common thread is the candidate’s ability to adapt and excel can be key.

Here we come to the infamous crossroads – the point at which a candidate looks fabulous on paper seems to fit, and yet can’t effectively communicate the value of what they bring to the organization. If an employee is unable to convey who they are and why it matters, how can they pitch the company’s value and why it matters?

A change agent is powerless without also being a storyteller – a salesperson. Every day employees sell ideas, products, and services. This skill is more than just sharing facts and reciting details, it is about connecting with the customer on a human level. How do you make a positive memorable experience that drives client action/behavior? Candidates that live their brand, have the right experiences, and can sell their worth are the ideal.

Lawrence Bossidy, retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Honeywell International Inc., said it best, “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies.”

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.