Driven… Focused… Resident gladiator. These are but some of the traits that make Gary Boisen stand alone. In the ten years since Gary began technology recruiting, the industry has boomed, and he’s been in overdrive ever since–-keeping up with its evolution and its players, and challenging the recruiting team here at Ken Leiner Associates (KLA), where he’s a top performer. For Gary, recruiting seemed like the logical thing to do after being in tech sales for 25 years. Little did he know that his background in martial arts and eight years of teaching in high school were precursors to his success. “I started recruiting at KLA with a lot of independence and zero credibility,” says Gary. “I had the drive to learn the game and make money; but I needed to create my own structure in an unstructured environment.” Facing challenges is something Gary does well; he enjoys beating the odds at anything. “If I’m told I can’t do something, I’ll go out and do it,” he explains. “I failed my first black belt test because I was so nervous I couldn’t even eat; I went in with a defeated attitude. The second time, I kicked butt because I chose not to worry–-just to go for it, and I did an excellent job.” He has now earned three black belts: in tae kwon do, in a form of Vietnamese kung fu, Nga Mi Son Phat Gia Quyen and in kobudo (specializing in the cane); and an advanced brown belt in Aiki bujitsu. He also holds instructorship in Kali (a Filipino martial art) and Silat (an Indonesian martial art), and taught Kempo Karate in his own dojo (school.)
Fortunately for us, we’ve never had to spar with Gary, but among the KLA team he is admired for his vigor and tenacity. He also adds quite a bit of spark, wit and color to our team, whose very different members he credits as one of the most important aspects of KLA. “Working together on placements and supporting each other with different perspectives makes us all the more successful,” he says, adding, “the hard part is turning it all off.” His off-switch is to hit the gym. He takes the first 15-30 minutes for what he calls silent time–a “butt-busting workout,” to boost his endorphins and unwind before hitting the weights. On weekends, he enjoys meditating on a good cigar. “I like what I do; helping people and companies to achieve, and making a good living at it. I’ll probably still be at it when I’m 70 years old.” Go Gary! Congratulations and cheers to another ten years!
Photo: Gary the Headhunter: A man and his mandau. A mandau is the traditional sword of the Dayak tribe of headhunters in Borneo. Photo credit: Jan Boisen. Writer: Marisa Arbona-Ruiz