To understand our future…You’ve got to take a tour through the past…
Kent Ahlswede, the creator of this truly awesome organization, started his journey in Riverside. Although he loved the busy streets, beach life, and wild party scene (just kidding), he moved to Chico to attend Chico State for the next three years. While attending CSU, Chico, he met his future wife and decided to transfer to San Diego State where he graduated in 1962. Kent worked as a public accountant for two years in Santa Ana and then received a job offer in Chico he couldn’t turn down.
After relocating back to Chico and continuing to work as a public accountant, Kent decided he needed to do his own thing…make his own rules…be his own boss. He started his own CPA practice in 1965. Kent worked with all different types of clients and industries.
After nine successful years in his practice Kent started to realize a pattern among business owners. All of them loved the business, but seemed so frustrated with having employees, dealing with payroll, and having to focus on things that didn’t directly relate to running their business and making them money. After hearing about the Professional Employer Organization industry, where business owners could essentially outsource all these things to one company, Kent had an A-HA moment. He decided to open his own Professional Employer Organization, and just a short time later, Staff Resources was born. What you need to know about Kent is that when he decides he wants something done he just does it right then and there; otherwise people just procrastinate and wait until the last minute to get it done anyways (according to Kent).
Kent successfully kept his CPA practice and Staff Resources running for five years. Then he realized his true passion was helping business owners better their business through comprehensive employer services, not just tax services. He sold his CPA practice in 1979. From there it has been a whirlwind. Kent realized that the PEO industry didn’t have anyone to guide them, to protect them, to assist them, so he called a few people and founded the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) in 1985, which by the way is more successful than ever. Kent was the President for two years and is still very active.
Whether you asked Kent in 1985 or today, why he thought it was necessary to start NAPEO, his answer would still be the same – he wanted to build a “good solid footing for the industry” and he “wanted to keep it clean and doing things the right way.”
Staff Resources (SRI) was running great, but Kent is always looking to make things better. He realized that the current model of SRI didn’t fit all employer needs because some were too small to offer benefits. As a result, Employer Concepts was started in 1999 when Kent’s son, Kevin Ahlswede, a former licensed contractor, offered to run the division. Employer Concepts turned out to be bigger than anyone anticipated and is still going strong today.
Kent has had to overcome several other obstacles along the way. Whether it’s workers compensation, environmental taxes, EDD, or whatever else, Kent has found a way to make it work. He has always been the “rock” or as he would put it “big listening ears” for this company. In 2006 his son, Craig Ahlswede, took over as President. Craig is currently on the board of NAPEO and remains very active in the industry.
By now you know that after many, many, many years we are consolidating our names (Staff Resources, Employer Concepts, Progressive Employer Solutions, and Simplified Payroll Solutions) into one, easy to remember name…Allevity HR & Payroll. We have so many levels of service we needed to find a way to bring them all together.
As you see, human resources management and payroll is in our DNA. We are proud to still be a family-owned business. This allows us to make decisions and take actions that benefit our clients without having to answer to shareholders. And we remain committed to being your best business decision.