Looking beyond the traditional bottom line: putting employees first is key to Stritch graduate’s success

John Rupcich, a Cardinal Stritch University MBA graduate, doesn’t mind when people refer to him as “quirky.” In fact, he embraces it. His so-called quirkiness actually is key in his approach to business and in the success and growth his company has experienced – even during tough economic times.

The president and owner of Madison-based Lifestyle Staffing, Rupcich speaks with unmistakable pride of the ways the business has grown from $1.5 million in annual sales and three Wisconsin locations in 1992 to $80 million
in sales and 40 locations – some branch offices, others at client sites – in 12 states in 2011.

But Rupcich looks beyond the traditional bottom-line focus on profit, realizing that his company can make money while also improving the lives of its employees and the people it serves. For him, the heart of his business and the source of his greatest pride is the team of employees who work alongside him to serve clients from coast to coast. In exchange for their hard work and loyalty, Rupcich believes in creating a work environment focused not only on results, but also on flexibility, fun and a bit of quirkiness.

In keeping with the Cardinal Stritch University philosophy, Rupcich understands that treating his employees well is
not only the right thing to do, it also helps create a business mindset that recognizes the value of treating customers and communities with respect and care.

“We’re just a tight-knit group,” said Rupcich, who noted the company’s core team has experienced no staff turnover
in the past 10 years. “You spend so much time at work with your coworkers, oftentimes more than your family.
If we make it fun, if we make it enjoyable, if we make it so they have a say in how they do their work and what
they do, it will be a better place to work. Business and life are stressful and competitive enough. Internally, I like to
make it no stress.”

Rupcich promotes flexible hours, family-friendly policies, business-casual attire, and fun at the office. The Lifestyle
Staffing Madison office is not only equipped with a large TV for Xbox games and movies, but the kitchen is stocked
with complimentary soda, coffee and lunch. In recent years, he hired a personal trainer to work with the staff,
flew a group of employees out to see the Rose Bowl, took another group to Tennessee for the Country Music
Awards, and rented festive costumes for an annual staff Christmas card.

Both he and his wife, Jennifer, are graduates of Stritch, and he speaks highly of his experience in the master’s program.

Stritch’s College of Business and Management offers certificate, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs
in an accelerated evening format in classrooms in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and many of these programs are also
offered online. Traditional daytime undergraduate business and management programs are also available at Stritch’s main campus in Milwaukee.

He said the real-life case studies and the opportunity to work among other local professionals provided the practical
education he needed as a working adult.

“Clearly Stritch is something I believe in,” Rupcich said. “It’s part of my success, my history, and so I want to do whatever I can to promote that.”

Being in the business of staffing, Rupcich said his ability to attract and retain top talent at his own office speaks
volumes to his clients, who count on his 20 years of experience in the field to help guide their unique staffing issues. Not one to sit behind a desk, Rupcich is deeply involved at many Lifestyle Staffing sites throughout the country.

Originally hired as the business development manager for Lifestyle, Rupcich bought the company on Jan. 3,
2001, a date he refers to as “the day before the recession started.” Over the years, his team implemented significant technology improvements, worked tirelessly to nurture new and existing business relationships, created new efficiencies, and developed a business model that enables his staff to open offices around the country and to provide customized staffing plans and support for clients with seasonal needs.

Like Rupcich, Stritch’s College of Business and Management emphasizes the concepts of corporate social responsibility, sustainable business practices and ethical decision making. Stritch graduates acquire the expertise to successfully balance people, planet and profit in service to the greater good. Learn more about Stritch at www.stritch.edu.

Cardinal Stritch University’s College of Business and Management

The key to success in the today’s business world is mastering global and cultural understanding while knowing how to manage complex change. Graduates of the College of Business and Management’s daytime, evening and online programs are prepared to step into the 21st century workforce with the skills necessary to compete at every level.

Recognized by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the leading specialized accreditation association for business programs, the curriculum is innovative in both approach and content. Students acquire invaluable cross-cultural and critical thinking abilities for our global world.

Undergraduate Business and Management Degrees
• Accounting (B.A.)
• Business (A.S.)
• Business (B.A.)
• Business Administration (B.S.)
• Human Services Management (B.S.)
• International Business (B.A.)
• Management (B.S.)
• Strategic Management of Information Systems (B.S.)

Graduate Business and Management Degrees
• Business Administration (M.B.A.)
• Management (M.S.)

Business and Management
Certificate Programs
• Human Resource Management
• Project Management
• Sales and Sales Management

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