Trendsetter to Know: Aubrey Stark, Franchise Owner of Express Employment Professionals in Mesa

Name: Aubrey Stark


Age: 30

Title: Franchise Owner

Married/Single: My husband and I were married in San Diego, May 2019.

Kids: 2 kids: my daughter, Emma is 3 and our son, Oliver is 7 months old.

City you live in: Gilbert, Arizona

A typical day in my life includes… a strong cup of coffee in the morning, followed by a string of chaos getting both kids ready for their days at school. Once they are dropped off, I get the pleasure of speaking with people all day long and find out their goals, aspirations and advocate them into the right opportunities within our community. I typically am out visiting clients and doing company tours – that is one of my favorite parts of my job, getting to see so many different industries and seeing how things are made behind the scenes. 

After work, I am fortunate enough to have a husband who loves to cook! So, with that off my plate, I am typically spending great quality time with our kiddos before bedtime.

When we’re lucky enough, Corey and I will catch whatever hockey game is on and occasionally have a glass of wine. 

I was born… in the suburbs of Chicago, IL and lived there for the first 18 years of my life. Chicago is beautiful and full of some of the best food and most loyal sports fans in the world, but I am glad to not live in the snow. 

My favorite thing about Arizona… My first ever camping trip was in Arizona, with my now husband. We had only been dating for maybe two months and he invited me to go camping with some friends near the Grand Canyon. We lived in San Diego at the time, so camping in another state was a little risky!

Arizona holds a lot of “first-time” moments for us now – first camping trip, first home purchase, first business, first son born, and I am sure the list will continue.

While, yes, I love the views and many incredible places I can go to in AZ, I especially love the first-time moments Arizona holds for me.

I’m listening to… I have been told many times throughout my life that I am an “old-soul.” I love classic rock music. On my playlists you’ll typically find me listening to Queen, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles.

My family… I grew up in a single-family household. My mom was always working hard to support my brother and I and to provide us a comfortable life. My mom is an absolute superhero. 

My mom and brother still live in Illinois, and I typically get out to see them 1-2 times per year – I try to catch them during a snowstorm so I can see it, get tired of it, and come back to the sun.

One thing I cannot live without… My faith.

When I was younger, I wanted to be… I always envisioned I would be a teacher. In high school, I enrolled in an internship program at the elementary school I attended where I supported ESL and Special Needs students in kindergarten-2nd Grade. This made me fall in love with working with children.

I received a scholar ship for prospect teachers called the Golden Apple Scholarship. After my first year at Illinois State University, I relocated to California where I ultimately was introduced to the staffing world while continuing school and fell in love with recruiting – completely shifting my focus.

I still love working with children; becoming a mom, aunt, and Godparent are among my best achievements in life!

I’m inspired by… Inspired people – I think there’s a certain energy that radiates off driven people and is absolutely infectious. 

The one person who motivates me is… I love listening to Jay Shetty’s podcast on my commute to the office. His humble and driven nature really help align focus and perspective to have a successful day.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… the fear that is instilled in our minds- whether it be fear of failure, fear of acceptance, fear of change. I often think about how many incredible people are likely not chasing after their goals or doing what they truly want to do in life simply because they don’t think it’s possible for them. 

Overcoming fears is what pushes us to all become better as people, to advance as a society and to become closer to the version we truly want for ourselves. Imagine what findings we could have being our true authentic selves without fear of rejection or fear of change.

The perfect day would be… out on a lake somewhere boating with the people I love. There is something calming about being on the water, being outside and being surrounded by your favorite people.

My first job was… working in a pizza shop – it doesn’t get more Chicago than that! I was at the cash register taking phone and in person orders. The best part was the free pizza.

My favorite escape… A good book! 

My life… is busy, especially with the two littles and running a business. But being a mom, wife and business owner are all things I’ve longed for!

Always… Pray.

Never… take yourself too seriously.

Favorite Quote… “Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” -Michael Scott

Biggest Dream… would be to travel the world with my husband, watch our children grow into kind and hardworking people and enjoy the simple things in life.

My Pet Peeve(s)… When people scratch their teeth along the fork while they’re eating, and it creates a ‘nails on the chalkboard’ sound. *Cringe.* 

Bio-on yourself/company: I grew up on the outskirts of Chicago, IL in a single-family household. I worked 2+ jobs most of my teen years and haven’t stopped working since 15. 

During my college years, I was living in the San Diego area and the job I was working at during that time was going through some instability. Trying to find another job quickly, I applied to numerous opportunities online. I went to an interview with a Staffing agency to help me locate a new opportunity, I was offered a position on the spot for an internal administrative assistant. I quickly realized how exciting the industry was and wanted to do more. Within a few months, I was promoted to a recruiter, a year later I was doing sales, and a year after that I was overseeing a team of recruiters. I fell in love with talking to people about their passions and aligning them with opportunities for them to grow and support their families. I fell in love with staffing. 

In 2020, my husband and I moved with our then 6-month-old daughter to Arizona when I was presented an opportunity to own my own franchise. 

Express Employment Professionals has nearly 900 franchise locations internationally, with over 800 here in the US and 9 locations in Arizona – 8 of which are in the Greater PHX area. We support businesses in finding the right talent for their opening and support people in our communities to find the right opportunity – I like to think of us as the match makers of the hiring world.

Since then, my husband and I have welcomed our second child into this world, our son, and have embraced the beautiful journey of entrepreneurship and parenthood. Most of our days are long, but everyday we are blessed.  

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