THA 108: The Value of a Professional HR Support Company

Your Learning Curve Never Sounded So Good

The Panel:

Kevin Eckler is a native New Englander who moved to New York State’s Hudson Valley with his parents back in the mid-1980s.  Kevin began his automotive career at the age of 14, pushing a broom in a mom and pop shop in Rhode Island. He attended a trade school, graduating at the top of his class and went right to work as a tech in a prestigious Porsche/Audi dealership in Cape Cod.  Kevin continued his dealership work when he moved to NY and eventually came to work for two brothers who owned Foreign Car Specialists, Poughkeepsie, NY.  When the owners retired in 1995, Kevin bought the business and the rest is history. Find Kevin’s other episodes HERE.

Lisa Eckler is an executive assistant by trade, and a native upstate New Yorker – and somehow managed to marry a Red Sox fan!  Lisa’s background in office management and marketing brought a new facet to the business. When she left her position three years ago, Lisa became the business and marketing manager for Foreign Car Specialists.  In her new position, she has increased customer awareness for the business, increased the shop’s search engine optimization (SEO) and has brought the business to the first page of Google’s organic rankings for search engine results.

Kevin and Lisa are newlyweds who will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary soon.  Lisa has two boys who are grown and gone and a daughter still at home.  Kevin’s teenage daughter and son live with them full time and rounding out the family are four cats, a perfect dog and 11 chickens who provide breakfast and entertainment daily. Find Lisa’s other episodes HERE.

Jim Belliveau was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1948 and raised in Springfield, New Jersey, Jim has lived in the Hudson Valley since 1972. He attended Seton Hall University, majoring in finance and played on the varsity golf team all four years. He and his wife of forty–one years have raised five children and have eleven grandchildren.

From 1973 – 1989 Jim owned and managed Belliveau Builders, a residential building construction company which built single-family architecturally-designed homes, two of which were featured in New York State as winning designer homes. He and his wife co-authored a book entitled, Riches Under Your Roof, How to Make Your Home Worth Thousands More, (Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, New York, 1983).

In 1989, Jim started a Professional Employer Company (PEO), Acadia HR with offices in Austin, Texas and Red Hook, New York which provides human resource management to other companies throughout the United States, ranging in size from one employee to five hundred employees in a variety of different types of businesses. Find Jim’s other episodes HERE.

Greg Bauer founded ESC in 1995. Prior to founding ESC, Greg ran a family auto business. While in that role, he recognized that a company that could help businesses with employment administration and human resources would be a valuable addition to the WNY marketplace. Shortly thereafter, he founded Employer Services Corporation.

ESC is an Outsourced Human Resource (HR) Firm and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) headquartered in Buffalo, NY. The only locally owned PEO, ESC provides to hundreds of businesses locally, regionally and throughout the country, offering unmatched expertise in all areas of HR outsourcing and employment administration, all under one roof.

ESC is a full-service HR Outsourcing firm, integrating HR, payroll, benefits procurement & administration, and HR technology into one seamless platform.  By providing services typically procured by 3-7 different vendors, ESC’s client base of small to medium-sized businesses experiences savings and efficiencies.


Key Talking Points:

  • PEO: Professional Employer Organization
    • They provide compliance, policies procedures, Payroll, benefits and more for the small business person
    • The help their clients become the employer of choice by offering programs that make them competitive in the hiring arena.
    • Can be your payroll company.
    • Legal support can be provided
    • They become your co-employer
    • PEO’s become part of your trusted advisor network like your accountant and lawyer.
  • Kevin Eckler did not want to lose control of his people and his authority, but after very careful discovery he chose to go with a PEO and has not regretted the decision. The trust was there and he didn’t lose control.
    • His fears were solved with his PEO, which is Acadia HR
    • Kevin was too busy being busy to stop an realize that PEO’s are there to help.
  • A handbook in business brings design and order and relishes a level of respect.
  • Post PEO’s by nature are regional by nature, but some can be multi-state organizations and across many industries.
  • Most small businesses do not have an HR professional on staff. Many times it is the bookkeeper or CFO who doubles as the HR specialist.
    • HR laws and policies are changing so fast. Compliance and wage/labor issues are areas you need to understand.
  • Involuntary Non-Compliance
    • You don’t know what you don’t know.
  • PEO’s can encapsulate all your labor costs into one number which can provide you a great metric to realize your total labor costs.
  • PEO’s can provide health insurance options for their clients that can have a competitive advantage. PEO’s can give a small company the accessibility. Smaller companies can get the look and feel of a larger company because of the benefits package they offer.
    • Health care is the single biggest benefit that employee’s want and need
    • Flex spending accounts are options to consider.
  • The PEO owners on the panel say that the costs for this service can be revenue neutral when you consider your current costs and the costs of all the time invested in HR tasks.
    • Also, consider the advice and risk management support that is included.
  • When writing new policies for your handbook your PEO and review the language and be sure it is not discriminatory.
  • PEO’s provide a secure portal for access to pay stubs and information from your company.
  • Get coaching advice on a legal termination.
    • Could include a warning and a path for improvement.
    • Sometimes letting a person go can be good for both.
    • The termination of a person in a ‘protected group’ needs special attention.
  • PEO’s are gaining respect from government agencies, like EEOC, and can look favorably on an employer that has a PEO as their HR provider.  



  • A special thanks to  Kevin Eckler, Lisa Eckler, Jim Belliveau, and Greg Bauer for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Acadia HR webiste here.
  • ESC Employers Services website here.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!