Personal Branding for the LGBTQ Professional

Expert Interview with Tonie Snell of 925 Hire
Cleveland, Ohio
Links mentioned in the show:

925 Hire
Crain’s Cleveland Business: Cleveland Business News
Google Business Products

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AUDIO TITLE:  30 Days, 30 Voices – Tonie Snell
Jenn T Grace:
Welcome to 30 Days, 30 Voices: Stories from America's LGBT business leaders.
You are listening to a special edition of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Tune in for the next thirty days as we interview one business leader per day, each day in June to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. That's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. You'll learn insights around business and marketing from those who know it best. And now your host. She's an entrepreneur, a marketing maven and an advocate for the LGBT business community. Jenn, with two N's, T Grace.
Jenn T Grace:
Hello and welcome. Thank you for tuning into this special Pride Month episode of the Gay Business and Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Information about today's guest and links mentioned in the show will be available on the website at If you like what you hear in this interview, please be sure to tell a friend. And now, without further ado, let's dive into the interview.

I am pleased to be talking with Tonie Snell today. She is the CEO of 925 Hire, which is a staffing firm headquartered in northeast Ohio, whose focus is dedicated to creating a more equitable workplace. Her firm specializes in building cultural diverse staffing, and training solutions throughout the United States. She is also known as a job mingler which can be found on her business card.

So Tonie, I've given the listeners a really brief overview of who you are, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what your path looked like that led you to where you are today?
Tonie Snell:
Well I am first and foremost a mom and a grandparent of nine. I've been in the recruiting industry for about fourteen years. I started 9 to 5 Hire about three years ago because of an encounter that I experienced with an internal recruiter. I had just probably been out for about maybe six years, and I was really, really sensitive and she was going on and on about how glad she was to see me. There was another recruiter who was just there trying to solicit business from this company, and he happened to be gay and she went on to berate him and I said, 'This has to be a better way.' So I actually- at that moment I decided I'm going to do something a little different with the staffing industry, so my community- specifically the LGBT community, African American women, don't have to go through that. I decided to create a full service staffing firm to be the forefront of those communities.
Jenn T Grace:
Wow, that's really interesting. And especially because as most entrepreneurs you see some sort of problem and it's just your natural inclination to want to fix it. And for this to have been the case, and it being so personal to you, to have had to sit there and have somebody be berating this openly gay man and then you sitting there thinking like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this person doesn't know this about me.'
Tonie Snell:
Yeah, exactly. And of course I didn't want to work with her anymore because then the people- I'm very clearly open and diverse. The people that I send to her may encounter that type of attitude, so I decided again just to be the forefront, and all of my clients know that we have- we're LGBT focused. So nine times out of ten, our candidates are going to be LGBT, that's not exclusive. Of course we're women-owned and African American-owned and actually Latino-owned; so it...

Direct download: GBM_062613_TonieSnell.mp3
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