Joe Shoemaker

Genuine. Upbeat. Tenacious.

Professional Search Team Lead, ETS

Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan
Age: 36
Education: North Country Community College
Community Involvement: Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce board member, Whiteface Mountain Gondola Evacuation Team

What’s your biggest professional success?

I’ve had several big accomplishments throughout my career. Most notable would be the work I’ve done at ETS. I was hired as an entry-level recruiter, new to the field and eager to learn. Within two years I rose to a leadership role and I’m incredibly proud of the team we’ve built and the relationships we’ve formed with businesses throughout the Champlain Valley.

What’s your dream job?

I will be first to say that I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve always wanted to live happy, do good things, and help others around me. I honestly think I may be in my dream job—meeting new people every day and contributing not only to their quality of life, but also the health of our community.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Work/life balance is something that I’m hyper sensitive to since my time in the Coast Guard. When you deploy, you leave everyone you care about behind for months on end. While it was an amazing experience when I was younger, it became more challenging once my family started growing. My work/life balance is only possible because I have an absolutely amazing wife who also has a great career of her own. Together we take care of our house and three kids while still maintaining some time to ourselves. I’m an avid kite boarder and I’m so lucky to have a rock-star wife who lets me drop everything when the wind is blowing!

What important lessons have you learned in your career?

No matter what you do, put forth maximum effort every day. Rest assured, your competition is! Don’t underestimate the power of networking. 

What’s the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?

I’m most excited about the modern, advanced manufacturing taking place right here in the North Country, and the intense energy this rapidly expanding industry is bringing with it. With new manufacturers coming to town and established ones experiencing growth at almost painfully fast rates, almost every industry in our area is on an upswing!

What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?

The North Country is a very special place. The main improvement that I would like to see is passing lanes on Route 3. Move with a sense of urgency people!

Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?

My mentor has always been my brother Pete. From an early age, he wanted to be a fighter pilot in the Navy. Through his hard work and dedication, he has been flying fighters in the Navy for almost 18 years now. He taught me the value of tenacity, and that each individual is responsible for their own destiny.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?

A great company culture can create elevated productivity and performance. I consistently strive to bring a positive attitude and reinforcement to the workplace, embedding our company values into my everyday actions to help develop an atmosphere where the entire team loves coming to work.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Moving to the Adirondacks was by far the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. With two small kids, my family was recruited to the area. I walked away from a successful business to make this move happen after visiting the area for a single weekend. In hindsight, this is the absolute best place to raise a family. And with the sustainable growth we are experiencing, it’s a great time to live and work in the North Country!

What is something that no one would guess about you?

I’m a licensed falconer. When I’m not working or chasing my kids, I can be found in the woods hunting with a hawk. Although it sounds totally nuts, it’s one of the most rewarding activities I’ve found.

Write a brief note to your younger self…

Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Although failure isn’t enjoyable, it should always be taken as a learning opportunity. Don’t let your pride get in the way of personal growth.