Diego Lejwa, franchise owner of Express Employment Professionals of DeSoto County has literally taken the reins of a growing company and steered it in the right direction.
On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Lejwa and his staff along with the Southaven Chamber of Commerce recognized the company's first-year anniversary in Southaven in grand style.
Champion Clydesdale horses, the familiar breed similar in stature to the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, were on hand at the employment company's Getwell Road location, to mark Express Employment Professionals' milestone.
These particular Clydesdales are owned by one of the company's co-founders who loves horses and Clydesdales in particular. As Lejwa explained, "Express Pros" took the initiative to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in conjunction with the first-year anniversary event.
Individuals could have their photos snapped with the Clydesdales and make a donation on behalf of St. Jude, according to Lejwa.
"This is something we wanted to do to give back to the community," Lejwa said, adding that he wanted Southaven and the community to share in the company's success this past year.
"It's been an exciting year for us," added Lejwa. "We finished the year in the Top 70 of all 780 offices. This year, we are at 50 already."
For the past four years, the parent company of Express Employment Professionals has recognized his efforts by putting the firm in its “Circle of Excellence."
In fact, the company has received bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond levels.
Lejwa opened his office in Olive Branch in 2012 and exactly a year ago moved to its current location of 5760 Getwell Road, Building 6.
"It's an exciting area to be in — it's my hometown now," added Lejwa. "It's a great economy, great people. Our idea is to put good people to work in great companies."
Southaven Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carmen Kyle praised company officials for becoming involved and integrated within the greater Southaven and Olive Branch communities.
"Express Employment Professionals is a great partner in the Southaven community," Kyle said. "Fulfilling the workforce demand for the area is key to economic prosperity."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252