Perseverance is a core value for Melissa Acton-Buzard, and has been since she started her staffing career more than 20 years ago. After five years as a recruiter at companies like Volt and Consultis, Melissa went out on her own in 2000 to found Chameleon Technologies, a staffing and professional services firm that provides traditional staffing services along with project-based solutions.

From the early days of her business, resilience was key. Shortly after she got Chameleon up and running, the country was reeling from the 9/11 attacks and the dot com bubble burst. As a result, her fledgling company went into a tailspin that included having to move her office and staff into her home, as well as pause her payroll operations. Despite the adversity, Melissa pressed on, determined to hold on to her vision. After an opportunity from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation came their way, Chameleon was able to get back on its feet, and quickly built upon that success to grow the business into the thriving enterprise it is today.

Melissa offers her personal advice for on why perseverance matters in business, stating that, “There’s going to be many roadblocks and obstacles that will come in my way, but stay true to the vision and know that sometimes you have to make difficult decisions. If you persevere and stay true to the vision, you’ll make it.”

Melissa, a self-proclaimed “data geek,” goes on to share why Chameleon offers both staffing and project-based solutions, and her decision to make the company deeply focused on data analytics in business intelligence. “By digging deep and not broadly,” Melissa and her team help clients maximize hiring and increase retention. Whether it’s staffing or project offerings – Chameleon’s ultimate goal is to help clients solve a problem or deal with a complicated situation, hopefully with an immediate ROI.

Leslie and Melissa also discuss the merits of solo-based entrepreneurship versus taking on partners in the process, as well as advice for women in staffing who want to rise past middle management and into leadership.