Jill Osterhout, Owner & CEO of KCO Resource Management, knew from a very young age that she wanted several things for herself. She’s a mother, a wife, an eternal learner, a traveler and obviously, a successful businesswoman. She is all that she has always wanted to become and has taken action to turn her dreams into reality.
Growing up in a peaceful and safe suburb, north of Albany, NY, Jill had an uneventful childhood. Spending time with her family was her primary focus while growing up as a part of a close-knit extended family. Jill had a very ‘traditional’ American childhood in the suburbs much of which was focused around attending and participating in school sports and activities.
She was actively involved in sports (tennis, cheerleading, crew) and even wrote articles for the high school newspaper. Jill was always very studious and creative and her favorite hobbies were reading books and writing stories. She further reveals that she was an early adopter of Yoga, organic whole foods and vitamins.
Although Jill always knew what she wanted, she did not rush with the process. Instead, she spent years becoming the type of person that can handle the heavy emotional aspects of being an entrepreneur. She did that by spending time working at jobs she didn’t like, doing tasks she didn’t want to do and failing (over and over) at different things. Regardless of the scenario, she kept motivating herself to move forward, one day at a time, one task at a time.
Jill honed her ability to always pick herself back up, shake things off and start anew. She claims, “It is that ability to continue to be positive, have faith, to always find a little more strength and a little more courage that is the essential skill that allowed me to not only start my own company but it has been what ultimately kept me moving forward in this business since”.
She finally founded (as CEO) KCO Resource Management, a recruiting firm based out of New York that specializes in helping companies in the Natural Food and Beverage Consumer Packaged Goods Industry. They have a subspecialty in the Dairy Foods industry as well. Jill brought her marketing sensibilities, from previous work experiences, into how she recruited and built her own company. She believes that the concept of specializing, and creating a niche and a brand was very important for KCO’s success and sustainability. It was this unique vision and perspective that led KCO to become known to its clients as a one-of-a-kind niche recruiting firm!
It wasn’t all roses though, Jill’s initial challenges stemmed from lack of experience in owning and running a business even though she was an excellent recruiter. She went into business with a lot of trust in those she hired but it was through several betrayals that she learnt her lessons. Jill shares, “I learned that you have to let each person earn your trust”. She further suggests, “You can’t reveal all of your business to anyone, as many people are unfortunately motivated by money first and sadly will take your ideas and your success if it means more money in their pockets”.
Currently her challenges are more around reinventing KCO to move into the next decade. She’s now focusing on the need to refresh their brand and their online presence to align with the next generation of leaders. Regardless, her greatest achievement as a business owner is that candidates choose to work with her company continually.
Jill hands out her wisdom for the budding leaders that they can fulfill their dreams as well. She reassures, “You can turn your idea, your dream, your vision into something but you have to understand that you will fail, you will make mistakes”. “If you can keep your head up and focused facing to the future, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will make it to your destination! It is the repeated act of picking yourself back up that separates those who fail and quit, from those who fail and succeed. Determination is your greatest skill.”