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Mike Harris is the Founder & CEO of Patina Solutions, a leading interim management firm for professionals with 25+ years of experience who desire — and choose —to work in rewarding, engagement-based roles. Mike has a unique collection of experiences. He began his career in public accounting, moved into an analyst role with a venture capital firm, became a CFO at Alternative Resources Corporation – a company that he subsequently helped take public, and then Mike became an entrepreneur, starting a staffing company called Jefferson Wells that grew rapidly and later sold to Manpower Group for $174M in 2001. He founded Patina in 2008 with a goal to create a new staffing solution to meet the growing need in the marketplace for short term executive expertise.
Playing a role in the orchestration of ARC from a start-up to one of the fastest growing public offerings in history at the time, Mike earned tremendous credibility in both the financial and staffing industries. When he had the idea for Jefferson Wells, Mike took it to ARC and they weren’t interested. That decision led him to pursue it on his own. His reputation helped him secure the significant, early funding needed to get the company off the ground and it arguably became the best start-up success story in Wisconsin’s history, growing to 1600 employees, 23 offices and $132M in sales in just 6 years.
Mike and Mike cover a ton of great stuff in this episode, including how it felt to be home all of the sudden after the Jefferson Wells sale, what he learned from being the right hand man to ARC’s entrepreneur, Larry Kane, why he enjoys the challenge of building something that wasn’t there before and how he’s curating and sharing impactful, culture building stories through what he calls Patina Nation.
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