Entrepreneurial Next Generation Leaders
Zachary Senz Kamler created a unique matchmaking service for job seekers called Monikl (pronounced Monocle). Both of Zachary’s parents are in the staffing industry, so he has heard about the issues inherent to the industry at the dinner table since he was a toddler, Senz Kamler said to himself, “There has got to be a better way”. He then went on to create a platform that is unprecedented in the staffing industry.
“Monikl’s proprietary algorithms match job applicants to employers based not only on required skill sets but also on work environment preferences and key personality traits – sort of a Match.com meets a job board like Monster.com meets a staffing service like Manpower.”
A Florida native from Boca Raton, Senz Kamler came to Tampa to attend the Entrepreneurship Program at the University of South Florida. In Tampa, he met his partner, the technologically savvy Ken Pomella, and they decided to make Tampa the headquarters for Monikl. The company’s name is inspired by the Monocle eyepiece, which enhances clarity of vision, and the idea that this clarified focus will help you land your ideal job at all levels of your career.
Senz Kamler has long been frustrated with the inefficiency of the staffing business model. “Most Human Resource people spend only seven seconds looking at an applicant’s resume or cover letter,” explains Senz Kamler. “This is unfair to the applicant and also unfair to the HR person weeding through hundreds of applicants, especially when a good skill set match does not mean the applicant will be a good hire or a happy hire.”
Senz Kamler’s epiphany occurred while on a hands-free phone call with Pomella while driving through Alligator Alley. Pomella was telling Zach how frustrated he was that he could not find any qualified IT people using a job board even with the incredible volume of candidates these job boards produced. He had received plenty of resumes from skilled candidates but none of them were the right fit. He then tried a staffing firm to find him the right employee. The staffing firm sent over senior-level IT candidates for a junior position, and when Pomella complained, he was then sent a few candidates that looked good on paper but didn’t make the cut when interviewed.
Senz Kamler had already been brainstorming new and better ways for companies to hire people but this late night conversation solidified his ideas into an actual concept. When he got home, he immediately checked the web to see if his concept already existed. After hours of web searching with no hits, Senz Kamler realized his concept was unique and, soon afterward, the Monikl platform was born.
Senz Kamler, who worked after school at his parents' staffing firms since he was 12-years-old, is used to being busy. He keeps a hectic work pace, often putting in 80 to 90 hours a week. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” says Senz Kamler. “With Monikl, we have the opportunity to change the way the world works by changing how the world finds work. It’s exciting and I love the challenge.”
The future is bright for Monikl as Senz Kamler’s vision is already moving beyond Tampa to other Florida cities. Monikl’s platform is growing weekly, with future expansion planned for the entire United States. Monikl is free to job seekers. Unlike a job board where you have to search through all of the postings and apply in a vacuum, Monikl brings the jobs that are good matches to you right to your inbox. Monikl’s smartphone apps are fun and easy to use too. Stuck in a job that doesn’t feed your soul or meet your needs? Let Monikl help you find fulfillment at work that meets your needs. Monikl’s proprietary algorithms will match you to your dream job! All you have to do is sign up at Monikl or download the app on your smartphone.
Global South Solutions started as Temi’s dream project in 2016. She noticed a growing dissatisfaction among workers in the health sector. She decided to do something about it. Leveraging over 13 years of global health care management experience, she started Global South Solutions to work with entry and mid-career health professionals to help them make a career pivot in the health sector.Temi discovered her passion for coaching as Operations lead for a healthcare startup, where she endeavored to make it a “best place to work”. Prior to that she was a Health Workforce Technical Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), one of the world’s largest multilateral donors, where she provided technical leadership on human resources for health and health systems strengthening and oversaw multi-country, $100M+ implementations.She has also held senior roles in public health workforce development program as National Program Director for Health Career Connection, healthcare operations at Johns Hopkins Medicine International in Panama, and global health as Regional Director for the William J. Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative in Ethiopia. Mrs. Ifafore-Calfee received her M.P.H. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and B.A. from Yale University. She has also attained her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
Tell me a little about yourself both professionally and personally?
Born in Nigeria, and raised in the Bronx, I’ve always loved two things: travel and healthcare. As a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. In college, I discovered the world of public health, and afterwards,I started my career as a hospital manager. You can imagine how proud my mother was to tell her friends that doctors reported to me!
Eventually, I was able to combine my loves of travel and making people healthier by having a fulfilling career in global health.
What is one thing both professionally and personally somebody would find interesting to know about you?
Personally: I’m not waiting for retirement to see the world; I’ve travelled to over 35 countries, and spent the last 4 out of 5 years working abroad. I’m an adventurer who’s fed a hyena with my teeth in Ethiopia, was on national television in Panama, and went paragliding in Nepal.
Professionally: Out of a 14 year career, 4.5 years is the longest I’ve ever stayed at a job. I’ve always been willing to relocate for a position. This has led to me living in 7 cities and 3 countries over my career.
What inspired you to be an entrepreneur and in particular to start your own career consulting business?
I have always been fascinated by entrepreneurship, but felt it was too risky to go out on my own. One Christmas my sister got me a subscription to Inc. magazine. As I read about other entrepreneurs, I thought, hey, I can do this. I still worried about money, so I decided to start a healthcare consulting business while I had a job. The vision evolved from helping physicians and private practices with brand management to career coaching.
What is special about your background in Healthcare and how you can help your clients in their careers?
Living overseas forced me to grow and develop high levels of emotional intelligence in order to connect with people across cultural and language barriers. This global perspective opened my eyes to new ways of inspiring people to be their best. I also saw the variety of things that people did with their careers. My background uniquely prepared me to help people remove the boundaries that prevent them from having a fulfilling and meaningful careers.
Where do you see healthcare going in regards to career potential?
Healthcare technology is growing. Health care providers, administrators and practices will need to embrace this technology to differentiate themselves from others.
There is a growing role for non clinicians. Health systems are ever more tech savvy and are looking for ways to better connect with patients. This means that there will be career opportunities for non-clinical professionals: especially marketing, customer service, supply chain, IT, and social media.
What advice would you give to anyone with a special talent and wants to start their own business?
Talk to a lot of people! Often times when we have an idea, we worry about criticism. However, any time I spoke to industry experts, and others that built their own businesses, they provided great feedback.
Start with something you know, then branch out – having a special talent puts you in a unique niche as a subject matter expert. Use your insider knowledge to hone your target audience. You know the players and the rules of the game. Use it to your advantage. Starting a business is risky, so why not stack the deck in your favor.
Temi Ifafore-Calfee, MPH, PMP works one-on-one with entry and mid-career professionals to get unstuck and make a career pivot in the health sector. Send her a message on her LinkedIn page if you're in need of career coaching.
Woven: Technology, Mayans, and FashionBy: Alana Marsili It was almost two years ago that I wandered through the colorful textiles of Casa Flor Ixcaco’s shop in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala, looking for Christmas presents for my family. In 2015, I was on a detail assignment in Guatemala, working for the U.S. Agency for International Development, supporting cable writing and their democracy and governance programming. After graduating Georgetown University with a Master’s in Political Economy, I was given a scholarship and a few opportunities supported by Harvard Business School and Georgetown University to explore where the future lie between public policy and technology in Peru. I spent a year meeting with stakeholders and working on my publication, and 2 more years in the federal government working on open data. All the while, subconsciously I was yearning for an opportunity to implement the passion project I was building. In 2015 I would find that opportunity in Guatemala.
The OpportunityI was awestruck by the workmanship of the scarves at Casa Flor Ixcaco. Each of the scarves and textiles were dynamic and unique. The process of handweaving with a backstrap loom took the women anywhere from two-weeks to a month, depending on level of skill. The colors were vibrant, striking, and unfamiliar; it was the first time I was seeing earth-born colors on textiles that were not altered by chemicals. The story of the scarves made the textiles all the more compelling. Five living generations of Mayan women maintained the enterprise, which has become a cooperative-style store that supports over 100 members of the community in San Pedro, directly and indirectly. Everything these people did was about environmental preservation, patience, quality, and family. I couldn’t believe for the first time in my life I was holding a piece of fashion, dyed with culture and woven with values. In that moment I knew that I needed to connect them with everyone I knew. I hadn’t just stumbled upon fashionable scarves; I was for the first time standing in the presence of millennia old practices, an art struggling to not only survive, but searching for the opportunity to grow. I approached the cooperatives’ young and business saavy, Delfina Par Cutoc. I asked her about the cooperatives relationship with technology, data, and websites. How were they using data to understand their client base? How were they utilizing the internet to connect to new markets? She smiled inquisitively with excitement for the opportunity, and replied, “Teach us how.” In that moment our partnership was born.
The partnership: Technology, data, and development in GuatemalaCasa Flor Ixcaco, like many small enterprises, lacks access to the tools and resources required to effectively connect itself to markets within Guatemala and abroad.
Tourism and social media have opened the door to create unlikely inroads and opportunities, if leveraged appropriately.My company, Enlace International, has a phased approach that seeks to integrate technology and data into operations, sales, and marketing for the women.
The goal is that we work ourselves out of a job with Casa Flor Ixcaco, and can go on to assist other cooperative such as theirs. I still tell Delfina, my goal is to visit you for fun as a friend, not because you need our technological assistance.For phase one, Enlace International built them a mobile application using Dimagi’s CommCare platform.
The application is used at point of sale and is meant to capture information about tourists, so they can better utilize information about trends available on the internet, as well as analytics from their mobile application. Additionally analytics from their website, Facebook, and Instagram can be used to create a holistic picture and understanding of their consumer base.
During this phase we also undertook a branding initiative, and renamed them Woven so that they would be easily recognizable and could benefit from word of mouth. During the next phase we did a business needs analysis and decided that a photographer and fashion trends coordinator would help to elevate their access of marketing materials, and production direction. During our third phase we will focus on creating a marketing strategy to be easily implemented on Instagram and Facebook that will target Guatemala City and markets abroad, based on tourism information.We are seeking to position Casa Flor Ixcaco in a market where it can maximize earnings from foot traffic and create a virtual network of support and curated market opportunities based on data analytics and utilization of the internet. We want the women to move from sustainability to profitability, whereby, they are more active market players in their industry.This project is a community-led initiative. We don’t receive funding, so the cost of operation comes directly from sale of the scarves. Our current model allows us to be flexible, patient, and true to a development approach that is in line with economic and market realities.
You can follow the story as it is unfolding and support the women by visiting our website: www.ixurban.com and you can support our project at:
What inspired your business The Phone Clinic? We had a store that sold used pagers. After that we self taught ourselves to open the old Iphone 4 and customize the color. This is where we became entrepreneurs.
Explain the way you are different from the Geek Squad and your competitors?There is no curtain separating us from the customer. We like it that way, you see what we are doing. We are honest guys that put an emphasis in customer service We recognize the value of having a phone/laptop and the problems a person has when they need repairs. Every repair is done in front of the customer. The customer is, in and out of our repair shop , satisfied and relieved.
Explain why your repairs are done in front of the customer ?We do not hide behind a curtain . This way we are sociable professionals and are available to answer questions while we are doing repairs.
What are some of the repairs you offer ?We have the knowledge to fix nearly any part of a phone and laptop . Such as battery replacement, cracked screen etc.
Was your training self taught ? We are self taught . Our technicians go through our training program to ensure we properly repair what you request.
Why would you recommend purchasing a used phone ?It is a inexpensive alternative, usually there is not much of a difference with an expensive phone.
What are some of the accessories, available in your stores ?We have phone and Ipad cases, party speakers and drones etc. If there is a product/accessories you need that is not in stock we could obtain it.
You offer a Discount on accessories with repair purchase? It is an in store discount. See manager .You send technicians to businesses to repair equipment ?We want to do that. The goal is to offer it soon .
Are you expanding / franchising with more locations ?We currently have 3 locations. Have up to 7 stores this year located in Metro Detroit . We are planning on franchising and becoming a national company.
What is upcoming for The Phone clinic , repairs, products etc. Growth and expansion to benefit current and future clients Any suggestions to anyone considering becoming an entrepreneur?Follow your dreams. Be ready to struggle.