PEOPLE OF INTEREST
BY SUE-ELLEN SANDERS
PHOTO BY ROBERT P. DUDLEY
Jean Larsen has two speeds: full bore and complete
exhaustion. “I’m a Type A personality all the way,” she
admits. So, it’s not really surprising that the things she
loves — the mountains, motorcycles and the color purple
— she loves to excess.
Pull up at her plum-trimmed office building on Port St.
Lucie Boulevard and prepare to enter the purple palace of
Personnel Plus, where shades of lavender and orchid adorn
everything from the chairs in the conference room to the
letterhead and business cards Larsen uses to promote her
Which leads one to the other thing the flamboyant
woman with red hair loves: helping people. She applies her
educational background in therapy to placing people in
jobs where they’ll flourish. “Think about Maslow’s
Hierarchy of Needs,” she says, referring to the theory of
personality developed by the psychologist Maslow, who
determined that once a person’s physical needs are met,
that they begin to seek self-actualization.
In staffing, that means that once a person’s job covers elemental
needs like rent and food bills, they begin to think
about job satisfaction. “It makes sense to help them find the
jobs that give them satisfaction when they first make the
commitment,” she says.
Although Larsen has worked in the staffing business in
the past, she didn’t start her own company until 1987,
when she and husband, Robert, drove north to Port St.
Lucie from their home in South Florida and loved it. “I
bought a computer, wrote down all that I knew about
staffing and started the company.”
Usually people who start staffing businesses know people
in town, but because of the non-compete clause at the
staffing company she’d worked for in Coral Springs, Larsen
had to start off fresh in a brand new town. “I dove right in
and joined chamber of commerce committees, the Rotary