Larry Elle, President
Larry Elle has devoted much of his life to helping people through career transitions. He has been a career counselor for 15 years; the longtime facilitator of WIND South, a networking group for transitioning professionals; and, since 2008, the president of the Professional Development Collaborative (PDC).
Larry is best known for his role at WIND South, where, for the past 15 years, he’s been the heart and soul of hundreds of group meetings for unemployed individuals. Elle, on a typical Thursday morning, can be found encouraging people to share their stories, colorfully introducing a guest speaker, offering his own inspirational advice or talking to people one-on-one, trying to steer them in the right direction.
The idea for the PDC originated in 2004 as an “off-shoot” of WIND South. Elle and a few WIND participants wanted to start an organization that could help people acquire new skills. While they began organizing the new entity, the PDC didn’t officially start until years later – in 2008, with Elle as the driving force.
A former social worker, Elle once worked as a clinician in large outplacement centers for people laid off from Boston-area businesses like Wang Computer, Proctor & Gamble and the South Weymouth Naval Air Station. He provided clinical counseling to people who were in crisis and also in career change, and, later, decided to start his own career counseling company, Success Associates Career Services.
“I have a unique combination of experience that very few career counselors can match,” Larry says. “My clinical training helps me understand the emotional and attitudinal issues that hold job seekers back. My 15 years facilitating WIND South Networking give me an unparalleled depth of knowledge about the Boston area labor market and Boston area employers. ”
“I have also worked with thousands of unemployed from all classes, races and genders, and helped them overcome their barriers to reemployment,” Elle says. “During this time, I have developed two specialties: helping people find a career direction that aligns with their core skills and talents and helping job seekers get unstuck, going from spinning their wheels to getting hired.”
Elle believes the need for PDC will only increase in the future.
“The latest studies in labor market trends show that the average tenure in many jobs today is between three and four years,” Elle says. “This means that, on average, people are thrown back into the ranks of the unemployed and must look for work again. The PDC provides this group with an affordable way to retrain and stay on top of their professional field. We’ve had people who took our “Scrum” training, our Project Management or Grant Writing training, and then were able to find work. Our courses also provide area employers with the trained employees they need to grow their businesses.”
Larry has observed the unique benefits of both WIND South and the PDC. “I like to think of WIND South Networking as an island of support for people going through a job search, ” Elle says. “WIND provides support and structure while it grows people’s job search skills especially around networking. There are literally thousands of people who are working today because of their participation in WIND.”
“The Professional Development Collaborative provides something WIND cannot,” Elle says. “It helps people grow their professional skill sets, and it does so in an affordable manner. When out-of-work job seekers take courses, it not only makes them more employable but it grows their confidence which, in turn, makes them more employable. The PDC also answers the needs of area employers who want a well-trained labor force.”
Elle’s extensive, diverse background has served him well as President of the PDC.
He still provides private career counseling services to Boston area professionals and presents on career issues to local alumni and professional groups such as Northeastern University, Tufts University, and Women in Publishing. Larry is a Nationally Certified Career and Job Transition Coach and MBTI Administrator. Larry recently produced Power Networking: The Path to Job Search Success, a DVD available on his company website, www.careersuccessassociates.com.
Larry trained in History and Psychology at the State University College in Buffalo, New York and at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the published author of Community Connections: Resources for Massachusetts Unemployed (1994 and 1998), and Not So Long Ago: Oral Histories of Older Bostonians. He has been featured on New England Cable News and in local print media including the Quincy Patriot Ledger. He’s developed a reputation for excellence among his peers and his former clients.
“I get the most satisfaction from helping people succeed,” Elle says. “It’s a thrill to pick up the phone and hear a client tell me, ‘I’ve been hired,’ or, ‘I’ve found my dream job.’ It’s like the satisfaction a parent feels when their child brings home A grades or stars in the school play.”
Emily Hutchinson, Vice President
Emily Hutchinson worked for over 20 years in Mutual Fund Operations, Marketing, Legal, Compliance, and Systems. She established a training program in 1982 at Colonial Mutual Funds. Her excellent problem solving and communication skills have long been evident, enabling communication between the IT and the business people; the operations and sales and marketing departments. She was an active participant in developing and launching new products, merging mutual funds, and developing systems requirements and shareholder accounting systems conversion. She served as liaison between sales and marketing and the dealer and shareholder operations divisions.
As Vice President of the PDC, Emily handles the contributing to PDC fundraising efforts, supervising staff and volunteers, the development of administrative and corporate policies and procedures, oversight of administration, course registration, online course information, onsite registration, building instructor relationships, as well as marketing courses.
Emily has a Master’s Degree in Education with a major in elementary education. She taught elementary special needs until Massachusetts Proposition 2 ½ changed all that. Emily took the initiative and plunged into the burgeoning field of finance for over 20 years. Emily recently received her certification as a High Performance Coach.
Emily has participated in distribution ventures including the sale of cutting edge nutritional supplements and skin care for 4 years. She has spent time on several boards including the Hingham Cultural Council, The Hingham Singers, and the Fine Arts Chorale. In her spare time, Emily enjoys singing with the Fine Arts Chorale (for 40 years) and The Hingham Singers, and being with friends and family.
Gil Swire, Project Manager
Gil Swire is a co-founder of Mofin Technologies, a startup business where he assisted in the company’s start-up and application to MassChallenge business accelerator program. He currently supports the User Experience effort, market survey and product niche studies and business development functions.
A skilled senior software quality assurance engineer, Gil has a BS and 12+ year’s expertise in the areas of writing detailed test plans and test procedures for automated and manual tests. He is skilled in writing for network management and a variety of other applications, adept in conceptualizing, developing and implementing highly adaptable and robust automated regression test tools of his own design. He is knowledgeable in all phases of the software product life cycle, writing functional specs, test plans and test procedures which validate requirements, performing System, Performance, Stress and Regression Testing and locating, analyzing, prioritizing, tracking, and verifying defects.
Gil is the Project Manager of the PDC. His role is to manage the development and growth of the website. This role includes setting and meeting deadlines, deciding the rollout order of new functionality and selecting tools and technology for the website. Gil has also been Warden for the Trinity Episcopal Church in Canton for 17 years. As an officer on the board, his role includes: budgeting, providing for the maintenance of the 18,000 sq. ft. facility and 5.33 acre property, proposing and managing projects, selecting contractors and realtors and writing contracts, bids and leases. As Warden, his projects include a $145K roof replacement, $850K cellular tower agreement, and a $47K heating system installation.
Gil is married, has two children, and as such has no spare time. Gil dreams of being fully retired with time for camping and hiking.
Tom Archer, Treasurer
Tom Archer, CMA is a Certified QuickBooks Pro-Advisor and serves as a Financial Consultant to a number of Small Business and Non-Profit organizations. Tom is also a volunteer and Board member to several charitable groups. He possesses over 20 years’ experience in providing firms with accounting assistance, business planning, tax preparation and auditing services. He holds a BS in Finance from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Bryant University.