The Alcott Group   Good for Your Business ~ Good for Your People
    •  The PEO Industry 20 Years Later
    •  Alcott in the News
    •  Client Spotlight
    •  Is a PEO Right for You?
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Hello and welcome to the Fall edition of The Alcott Advisor. This month we are taking a look back over the first 20 years of the PEO industry. At 20 years old, we are a very young industry. However, fueled by the outsourcing trend, along with the growing complexity of the human resources regulatory environment, the PEO concept has gained traction. Read more about this below.

During the pre-sales process, prospective clients often ask to speak with a new client as well as one that has been on our program for several years. They provide tellingly different perspectives about the customer experience. To that end, we thought it would be a good idea to feature two such clients in this month's "Client Spotlight."

There are also several new developments at Alcott and theses are covered in the "What's New at Alcott?" and "Who's New at Alcott?" articles.

We wish you the very best during Q4 and, as always, if you have comments or suggestions please send them to Al Anastasi at


The PEO Industry Celebrates Two Decades of Serving Businesses

Over the past two decades, the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry has undergone a major metamorphosis. What was born out of the TEFRA tax legislation of the late 70s, which made staff leasing a tax-advantaged option for businesses, has since evolved into an industry providing comprehensive Human Resource and related value-added employee services. Today’s PEO serves as a true Human Resources partner to its clients. These savvy businesses rely on their PEOs for everything from payroll, tax and benefits administration to employment law and regulatory compliance, employee discipline and Workers Compensation hearing representation to such valuable employee offerings as wellness programs, adoption assistance and discounts for transportation, travel, entertainment and shopping.

On September 20-22nd, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) celebrated its 20th anniversary in a gala annual conference. Its theme, “Achieving Market Leadership,” speaks volumes about the industry’s emphasis on high quality services stemming from highly educated, motivated and standards-driven PEOs. Speakers driving that mission included prominent authors Jason Jennings, a renowned management consultant and author of Less is More and Oren Harari, author of The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell and Leapfrogging the Competition. Also on the program was Fortune 500 consultant Towers Perrin’s who spoke on consumer-driven healthcare.

Click here to read more


  Since its inception in 1986, The Alcott Group’s client base has evolved to reflect the broader acceptance and application of Professional Employer Organizations (PEO). Where the typical client was once a small manufacturer or distributor, today our affiliated companies represent a wide diversity of organizations. They range in size from small and middle-market firms to larger employers and reflect a cross-section of vertical markets, manufacturers and distributors, high tech, medical entities, professional services and not-for-profits. Following are the thoughts of two such clients – one of our longest standing clients, Norman Hecht Research, a client of Alcott’s since 1989, and Softheon, Inc., a Business Process Software Solutions firm and one of the region’s fastest-growing technology companies, which just began its HR outsourcing relationship with Alcott in 2005.

According to Softheon’s Corporate Controller Dianne Meyers, CPA, “We were at a crossroads in terms of how to best manage our human resource functions. As a 25-employee organization, we didn’t feel that our size warranted a full-time HR Manager. Still, we wanted that level of expertise and resources for our employees. After careful consideration, we determined that an HR outsourcing relationship would be most effective. We interviewed a few firms and selected Alcott based on its comprehensive offerings, customer-service orientation and the fast-response we received to all of our preliminary inquiries.”

Click here to read more


  When it comes to applying the latest technology to advance its PEO services, Alcott has remained on the leading edge. Today, Alcott’s sophisticated, secure Web-based Information System gives both employers and their employees online access to important information from payroll records and personnel information to status of benefits and claims. This information, along with related forms, can be obtained from any compatible computer, on a 24/7 basis.

In discussing Alcott’s decision to name, a PEO client of Alcott’s, as its website developer, Alcott Vice President Barry Shorten who directed The Company’s online application, explained “After making a substantial investment in an advanced software program which would enable our clients and their employees to check their benefit programs online, 24/7, we knew for the website to succeed it needed to have the right navigation, functionality and design. We know that our confidence in Invision, a market leader in leading-edge website and e-solutions is well-placed.”

Click here to read more


  The Alcott Group announces the appointment of Dawn Davidson Drantch, Esq. as Director & Counsel, Employee Relations. Ms. Drantch brings over 15 years of experience in employment law and employee/management training. At Alcott, she will be working directly with The Company’s Human Resource professionals, guiding them in various matters ranging from policy/procedural development and compliance with various employment laws. In addition, she will be serving as a value-added resource to the organization’s over 350 affiliated companies and their over 4,500 employees.

Directly prior to joining Alcott, Ms. Drantch served as an attorney with the law firm of Alan B. Pearl & Associates, P.C. (Syosset, NY) where she represented clients in all aspects of employment and labor law litigation and at arbitrations and grievances before state and federal administrative agencies. In addition, she served as a Human Resources Consultant with Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates, Inc. (Syosset, NY).

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  The Alcott Group President Louis Basso was recently named one of “Five People to Watch in Human Resources” by Long Island Business News (July 29-August 4, 2005), the Long Island region’s leading business weekly. In its article, the newspaper noted that, “Louis Basso may be the biggest small businessman on Long Island,” a reference to the fact that as a professional employer organization (PEO), Alcott now employs an estimated 4,000 people. Touted in the column was Mr. Basso’s leadership in growing Alcott from serving a client base of 35 with 475 employees to now serving over 200 clients and their 4,000 employees. Also noted was Mr. Basso and his partner, Barry Shorten’s successful merger/acquisition of Contract Staffing, a Buffalo, N.Y. PEO, which now serves as Alcott’s Western New York division. Mr. Basso’s distinction as the recipient of the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ 2005 Small Business Champion Award was also cited.

The Alcott Group received further recognition by Long Island Business News in its article entitled, “Human Resources – The labor pool…HR consultants cull the resources of many small firms to win better benefits packages” (July 29-August 4, 2005). In the article, Alcott client, Servo Corp. of America President Steve Barre discussed how well his company’s relationship with Alcott has worked for Servo. Mr. Barre said, “The benefits are much better than we could afford even with 200 employees."

Click here to read more


  Take Alcott's SELF EVALUATION to learn if your company is a candidate for
HR Outsourcing.


  Is your HR shop in order?  Do you have a focused HR strategy or is it something you just can't seem to get to?  Alcott's on-site evaluation will help you create an actionable plan for addressing one of your most critical business processes. Click here to request a FREE HR STRATEGY EVALUATION


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Out & About on Long Island:

October 14, 2005
LI Capital Alliance
Topic: Banking & Alternative Financing
Fox Hollow, Woodbury
8:00am - 10:00am

October 18, 2005
Seminar: All About e-learning: Sales / Product Training
Hosted by LISTnet's e-learning SIG
8:30am - 11:30am
Integra A+, Bayshore, NY
LISTnet SIG Event

October 19, 2005
Human Resources SIG
Location TBA
8:30am - 10:00am

October 19, 2005
LI Entrepreneurs Group
Speed Networking event
North Fork Theatre, Westbury (formerly Westbury Music Fair)
6:00pm - 9:00pm

October 21, 2006
Healthcare Symposium
Huntington Hilton, Melville
8:00am - 3:00pm
HIA Symposium

October 26, 2005
Business & Technology Expo
Huntington Hilton, Melville
8:00am - 1:00pm

October 27, 2005
Emerging Technologies SIG Meeting
Topic: Increasing Sales by Asking the Right Questions
Huntington Hilton
6:00pm - 8:00pm
LISTnet SIG Event

November 1, 2005
Tech Melt 2005
LI Business & Technology Center, Great River
8:00am - 3:00pm
LISTnet Event

October 9, 2005
repeat on October 15, 2005
The Alcott Group
Seminar: HR Outsourcing - A Best Practices Mgt. Tool for Growing Businesses
8:00am - 10:00am
Alcott Corporate Offices - Farmingdale, NY
Call for additional information - Al Anastasi (631) 420-0100 Ext. 313

December 15, 2005
Twenty Top Techies (T3)
Honoring behind the scenes techies
LI Business & Technology Center, Great River
LISTnet Event

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