Rogersville office – 1994
Some companies are started by rich folks who need a place to put their money. They build fancy buildings, hire a gazillion employees and hit the market guns-blazing, full throttle. Pretty soon they release an IPO, maybe even use some of that cash for a Super-Bowl commercial touting themselves as the next big thing. On the other hand, some companies have more humble beginnings, like starting out of somebody’s garage.
Ours? Well, ours was started by a guy living in his mother’s garage…
It was April, 1993. President Clinton had just been sworn into office. The internet was still a government program. AtWork Personnel was a tiny franchise barely hanging on in a tough market dominated by the Kelly Services, Interims, and Olstens of the world. A hard-luck former life insurance salesman named David Luttrell, living in his mother’s basement apartment and on a temp assignment himself at the time, bought a struggling AtWork office in Greeneville, Tennessee on a note payment from John Hall, the franchise owner.
A newly minted business owner who had nowhere to go but up or, well, bankruptcy… decided he would also open an office in the tiny town of Rogersville, Tennessee, despite having absolutely no idea where the business there would come from. In fact, even the AtWork CFO at the time, Joe Moore, bet a Coke with the CEO (John Hall) that David wouldn’t be successful. Yet, the entire time, John believed in David’s potential to turn the business around.
Every day David beat the streets cold-calling businesses all over Green and Hawkins counties. Every day John would call David and check on his progress. After six months of dogged persistence, just before John was about to give-up on the whole thing and buy his doubting CFO a Coke, David finally landed a couple of large accounts in Greeneville and Rogersville, TN. From there he was able to beat the wolf back from the door and even hire a few employees.
Greeneville team – 1993 – David Luttrell pictured far right
In the summer of 1994, AtWork became a family affair when David hired his older brother, Marty, to help him open an office in Bristol, Tennessee. Working alone out of the Bristol office, Marty tried to drum up business every day as well, at first to no avail. After months and months of frustration he became quite discouraged, to the point that he seriously considered going into another occupation. Marty recalls getting the paper out and looking for jobs, occasionally kicking back in his office and pondering on just taking a nap.
The answer, of course, wasn’t a nap – it was to kick himself and get out of his seat, on his feet, and down those streets – and that’s exactly what he did! In the Spring of 1995, Marty did a proposal for a Bristol, VA concrete products manufacturer called Permatile. On the very day that the discouragement was about to overcome him, on the very day he had finally decided to give up and close the Bristol office entirely, Permatile called and asked for four workers. It was off and running from there (Permatile is a valued client to this day)!
Marty gives a presentation to AtWork Franchise owners in 2012. His shirt says, “Off your seat, on your feet, down the street.”
About a year later, Marty formed his own corporation (Marty, Inc.) and took ownership of the Bristol office, eventually opening up several locations in Virginia and, later, Johnson City, TN. David continued to expand as well. In 2000, Marty and David merged their two companies and became partners as Professional Personnel Services (d.b.a. AtWork Personnel Services, Inc.). A couple of years after the merger, they bought a staffing service in Dandridge, TN called D& D Staffing, eventually turning it into the most profitable office in AtWork franchise history. Our Morristown/Dandridge office continues to be the franchise leader week after week.
Today, David and Marty Luttrell own 17 AtWork offices in three states, ranging geographically from Roanoke, VA to Knoxville, TN and all the way to Gainesville, GA. Through their dedication and focus on providing the best in customer service, David and Marty’s franchises recently spearheaded AtWork Personnel’s listing on the prestigious Inavero 2013 ‘Best of Staffing’ Client List. Boasting a rate of over 15% of staff who have been with the company a decade or longer, Professional Personnel Services (d.b.a. AtWork Personnel Services, Inc.) is an industry leader in internal staff turnover, a testament to the owners’ generosity, sense of fairness, and adherence to the ‘Golden Rule’ in their treatment of employees.
April 2013 will mark 20 years of service to our valued clients and associates. David and Marty attribute all that they have been able to accomplish to hard work, determination and, most of all, the grace of the God they serve.
Staff Christmas Party – 2012 – We’ve grown just a little bit since 1993!
Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service through teamwork and integrity, establishing successful and prosperous partnerships with our clients and associates.
AtWork Personnel Services strives to be the top grossing Staffing Supplier in its markets by means of; identifying and implementing our competitive advantages, expansion, diversification, dedication and commitment to all our valued customers, staff and AtWork associates.
Current offices and year opened
Greeneville, TN – 1993
Rogersville, TN – 1993
Bristol, TN – 1994
Asheville, NC – 1994 (Later sold in 1997)
Marion, VA – 1999
Johnson City, TN – 1999
Abingdon, VA – 2000
Dandridge, TN – 2002
Morristown, TN – 2004
Knoxville, TN – 2004
Dublin, VA – 2005
Duffield, VA – 2005
Sevierville, TN – 2007
Kingsport, TN – 2007
Roanoke, VA – 2008
Alcoa, TN – 2011
Gainesville, GA – 2011
Wytheville, VA – 2012