There was a time not too, too long ago when I stayed awake at night, sometimes all night, worrying about how I was going to pay my mortgage. The stress was crippling, and almost all areas of my life suffered as a result: my health, my career, my relationships, and certainly, my happiness. Crushed under the weight of overwhelming fear, I couldn’t see a way out, and worry consumed almost all my waking hours.

Fortunately, I found an answer, and I’ve managed as a single mom to keep my daughter living in the only home she’s ever known. A safe home in a safe neighborhood, close to schools and services.

The type of insecurity I experienced is common, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis. More than half the country, in fact, has reported that they’ve worried about how to pay the rent or mortgage and many have been forced to cut back on healthy food or medical care, or take second or third jobs, or move to unsafe, more affordable neighborhoods.

So Joseph Chris Partners’ commitment to support our Habitat for Humanity chapter here in Houston is one that is close to my heart.

The need for affordable housing hits home for many, especially as development and construction continue in our big and small cities alike. Neighborhoods that once offered affordable options for many families are transitioning into price points well above what they can afford as a result of affluent buyers increasing demand for upscale living options closer to city centers, forcing them to look elsewhere. Even here in Houston, long-touted as an affordable city, we’re seeing high-dollar development edge out families living in traditionally affordable areas of town.

And while attitudes about affordable housing development are evolving, the “Not in my backyard” or NIMBY issue remains one of the largest obstacles to offering safe neighborhoods to those struggling with the high cost of housing. If affordable housing is relegated to those areas not in anyone’s backyard, residents there who want more for their families are given little hope of providing it.

Habitat for Humanity provides that hope. Hope for home ownership. Hope for safe streets, access to key services, options for education, creation of strong neighborhoods. Through programs like the ones Habitat for Humanity offers, families are thriving.

Our first Build Day with Habitat for Humanity, Houston, is June 3rd. We’d love for our local friends and colleagues to be a part of that with us. And with a goal of $40,000 to commemorate 40th year in business, we’d certainly appreciate any donation to help us reach it.

This industry is like no other. We create beautiful spaces for people to live and work in. We grow communities and create opportunity. We transform landscapes and lives. We repurpose and reinvent and redevelop. This amazing industry has treated us well. But most of us remember when things weren’t so good. Many of us may have had sleepless nights worrying about how we were going to pay our mortgages. There are still many families who have those worries, and we all have the power to change that.

If you’d like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity, check out their website here: And if you’d like to support Joseph Chris Partners and our efforts to raise $40,000 for our local chapter to build a home for one of our neighbors, you can do so here:

Written by: Angie Truitt J.D. Senior Partner

It’s that recruiter again; why you should answer the phone


Look, we get it: you get lots of calls from recruiters, and they call at inconvenient times, and they keep calling, and you hope if you don’t answer, they’ll eventually give up.

And some do.

And with them, possibly an opportunity that could have changed your life.

Luckily, I work for a company that has a great reputation in our industry, and we’re very niched, so professionals are usually happy to hear from us, or at least willing to answer the phone when we call.

But occasionally, there’s that candidate who is irritated that they received a call from me, especially at work, and slams down the phone angrily before I finish my introduction.

And here’s what that person missed:

  •  A chance to learn about a specific opportunity I was calling about;
  •  A discussion about career goals and the options to achieve them;
  •  The opportunity to sell your own company’s brand and brag on its culture to someone who has conversations with hundreds of people every week;
  •  The ability to network with a very connected person in their industry;
  •  A discussion about what’s happening in the market, including compensation and upcoming trends;
  •  The potential to refer other professionals to someone in the industry who can help them achieve their career goals;
  •  A chance to seek help filling a tough position in their own company.

I get calls and emails from recruiters, too, and I respond to them all. Not because I’m unhappy where I am, but I realize all the chances I miss if I don’t. One persistent recruiter reached out again last week after contacting me several months ago. I promptly replied to her that things were amazing in my world, and I listed all of the reasons, but I invited a conversation to see how I could help her connect with professionals who might be interested in her role. I was able to refer some great folks to her, and, more than that, I think her takeaway was that I love my job, and I love my company, and I love working for clients in the real estate development and construction industry. Should anything come down the pipeline that’s not in her wheelhouse, but is in mine, maybe she’ll remember that happy recruiter she talked to at Joseph Chris Partners and refer me some business.

You really never know where a conversation with a good recruiter will lead you.

It might not lead anywhere at the time, but down the road, that recruiter may remember you, and may call you back about something amazing. And when that call comes, you’ll be really glad you answered the phone.

Written By: Angie Truitt, J.D., Senior Partner

Please Welcome Diana Estrada to the JCP Team!

Diana Estrada

Diana Estrada joined Joseph Chris Partners as a recruiter in 2015. She worked the majority of her career in manufacturing, and through that experience, she learned dedication to her work and to getting the job done right.

Diana brings with her to Joseph Chris Partners the ability to listen to others and create new possibilities for their careers, and to solve problems for client companies. She describes herself as loyal, committed to excellence and unstoppable. Diana is dedicated to a lifetime of learning and professional growth through her own individual self-study and through the renowned Landmark Worldwide program.

In her spare time, Diana enjoys playing golf and teaching special needs children to play golf. She is also a DJ for parties and events.

Welcome to the Team!
Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Please Welcome Erika Diaz to JCP!

Erika Diaz – 281-359-2145 –

Erika Diaz comes to Joseph Chris with over 20 years experience in the Real Estate and Construction Industry. Currently she is working as a Search Director with Joseph Chris and she brings not only the best practices from the industry, but also an outside-the-box pro-active thinking ability and style.

Erika specializes in collaborating with Corporations and Top Level Executives in creating ways to improve culture and maximize profits. Her passion lies in helping others realize their full potential in a career they love.

In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Welcome to the Team!

Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Please Welcome Liz Powell to JCP!

Liz Powell

Liz joined Joseph Chris Partners as a partner in 2015. After obtaining her degree in Human Resources in 2013, she discovered her passion for recruiting, and she has placed executives across various industries, including oil and gas and real estate. Recruiting for Liz is about helping a client and candidate come together like pieces of a puzzle, which is a win-win for all and such a positive feeling. She also enjoys the fact that no search is the same and you learn something new everyday. Her prior experience in business development, marketing, human resources, and networking have set her up for success in her role as a partner. Liz describes herself as savvy, creative, and knowledgeable.

Liz has a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.

When Liz isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and son, catching up with family from her home state of Indiana, taking walks, and listening to music.

Welcome to the Team!

Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Please Welcome Trish Mahoney to the JCP Family!

Trish Mahoney joined Joseph Chris Partners in 2015 after almost 15 years in education. Her teaching career enabled her to make strong connections with others, practice empathy in all situations, and demanded hard work and dedication. Trish also possesses a strong desire to help others succeed and reach their fullest potential. All of those skills have prepared Trish for a successful career in recruiting here at Joseph Chris Partners.

Trish is extremely hard working, loyal, dedicated, and positive, and manages to handle any issue while wearing a smile. She describes herself as passionate, determined, and kind.

Trish has a Bachelor’s of Science in education, and in her free time, she enjoys making memories with her two children, watching Texas Rangers baseball, enjoying BBQs with friends, camping, and when the weather keeps her indoors, watching marathons on Netflix.

Welcome to the team!

Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Please welcome Terry Nesch to JCP!

Terry joined Joseph Chris Partners in 2015, after working as a corporate recruiter in the insurance and financial services industry for the past 10 years. She has traveled Texas placing talented individuals both in leadership and insurance roles. Terry has been a Top Performing Recruiter (Top 5% Nationally), including being Top National Recruiter for hiring Veterans.

Terry has a keen ability to connect with people to find the right role for them. She has always been able to recognize talent and help those individuals find the right career path. Terry has been known as “The Connector” through her networking and personal and professional contacts. She describes herself as determined, dedicated and ambitious.

Terry attended the University of Houston for Certified Financial Planner courses, San Jacinto College South, and has had her Life, Health & Accident Insurance License since 1991.

In her spare time, Terry loves to spend time with her husband, who is also named Terry, and they love jazz music, exploring new restaurants and they love to travel.

Welcome to the team!

Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Do You Love Your Job?

No job is perfect, even the best relationships have their down days. So, with that being said, all of the following may not be the case all of the time but when you LOVE your job, many of the following should be the case!
1. Do you talk about people or do you talk about the great things they are doing?
When you love your job, you talk about people and their successes, not their failures.
2. Do you think, “Do I have to do that” or “I can’t wait to take this on?”
When you love your job, you enjoy taking on new tasks, not complaining about them.
3. Do you see your clients as “people to satisfy” or simply as “people?”
When you love your job, you think of them as real people who have real needs, not as numbers.
4. You enjoy your time at work.
When you love your job, it’s a part of your life, not something you have to do.
5. You would recommend working at your company to your best friend.
When you love your job, you can’t stop talking about how great your company is, not trash talking about it.
6. You enjoy attending meetings.
When you love your job, you enjoy meetings…seriously…Why? Because it’s fun to be at the center of thoughtful, challenging discussions that lead to decisions, initiatives, and changes – changes you get to be a part of, not “do I have to go to another meeting?”
7. You think about winning not surviving.
When you love your job, you enjoy being challenged to achieve your potential, not “am I going to get fired today?”
8. You see your manager as a person you work with, not for.
When you love your job, you feel valued, respected, and trusted, not like a door mat.
9. You don’t want to let your co-workers down.
When you love your job, it is important to you that you carry your weight because you admire them – and you want them to admire you, not “I have to do everything around here.”
10. You hardly ever look at the clock.
When you love your job, you’re too busy making things happen, not “oh my gosh, I have 7 more hours to go.”

Why Entrepreneurs Don’t Retire

I have a friend that knows the exact amount of time before he can retire–down to the number of days. He looks forward to his retirement date every single day, and has a countdown like a child waiting for Christmas to arrive in the month of December.

That’s a hard notion for me to comprehend.

I mean, why wouldn’t someone who seemingly despised their job so much, just change careers?

Apparently it’s not that straightforward.

My wife grew up in a household where both of her parents worked. Both had great jobs, working for the same company for nearly their entire career. They saved, invested, paid off debt and ultimately retired early.

From what I understand, they both enjoyed their jobs. They liked the company they worked for and the people they worked with.

They now enjoy their hobbies, Grandchildren and spending winters in the South.

I would venture to guess that MOST people’s professional path is similar to one of the scenarios above.

I’m not one of them.

Much to my wife’s dismay, the thought of staying at the same company for 25 years with a predictable income, socking a bit of each check away for retirement and callin’ it quits at 65, sounds terrifying to me. In fact, it sounds miserable.

That doesn’t mean that the people that fit the scenarios I mentioned above are miserable or that their way of life is wrong.

In the case of my in-laws, they had wonderful careers and were/are perfectly happy.

The difference is the mindset of an entrepreneur.

Work isn’t an obligation and path to a better life. For an entrepreneur, work is a passion and IS the better life.

Retirement isn’t a planned event, nor is something being invested in. Retirement savings is the sale of a company, the future IPO or the liquidity that comes from your companies success.

Dream cars, homes, vacations aren’t just fantasies to entrepreneurs, they’re realities. If they don’t get it this year, they try again the following year. And, the year after that. There is no end in sight and no point of giving up.

Entrepreneurs don’t retire simply because they don’t want to. Entrepreneurs are defined by what they do and their business-life is a part of their legacy.

This lack of retirement planning can be hard though–especially on those that think differently.

My wife, the saint she is, has had to come to terms with the fact that our future is highly unpredictable. Given the way she was raised, security to her is defined by a stable income and a growing retirement account.

There are often times, like right now, where I have very little to no income coming in. This means that whatever we have saved, goes to support the present, not the future.

As an entrepreneur, that’s stressful, but not in the same way it is for someone who thinks like my wife. As an entrepreneur, you possess the conviction to believe that it’s short-term and have the ability see the big picture. Others often look to the present to predict the future.

While entrepreneurs don’t retire, we have to be mindful that others in our life wish that we did.

Dana Severson

How Successful Candidates Steal Job Interviews

Searching for a job can be frustrating, especially if you are devoting full-time hours to the process. You spend hours laboring over the perfect cover letter and making sure your resume is impeccable. You follow all the rules, but still receive no phone calls from employers. What is the deal? You know they called someone.

I have not searched for a job in a few years, but I get a bit queasy thinking about what it was like. I also interact with tons and tons of candidates every week as the CEO of Aha! and I can feel their pain. Looking for a job can be so painful that it paralyzes you.

Despite your best efforts, you may feel like you are tossing your resume into a great abyss. What are you doing wrong? And what is someone else doing right?

Probably nothing, but you need to understand this difficult job climate. The economy may be slowly improving, but there are still roughly three unemployed people for every job opening, plus an untold number of passive job seekers. There are simply a lot of people competing for jobs.

To be a stand-out candidate, you need to drastically change your approach.

You will start landing interviews when you start getting bold.

This is no time to be timid. If you want employers to notice you, start acting like a strong candidate. Try these tactics that I used and other successful candidates are using right now:

Break the rules
Many employers impose restrictions on job-seekers, such as no follow-up phone calls. Or they force you into a rigid online process that searches only for applications matching certain keywords and kicks out the rest. You need to figure out a way to get around HR. Figure out the email address for whoever makes the hiring decisions and send the person a short, personal note. Mail your resume to the company or hand-deliver it with a smile. Okay, so you did not follow their rules. Who cares? If you are a terrific candidate, you may get a call simply because you showed some real chutzpah.

Get small
Are you responding to every job posting that sounds remotely like something you might do? You may think your odds will improve if you send out enough resumes. Here is my advice — send out fewer resumes. Get small. Make a shortlist of places you would like to work, and send out your resume with a personalized cover letter showing how well you know the company and their needs. You will make a positive impression, and lay the groundwork for a new relationship with the company.

Use Google (not that way)
Why should employers have all the technological advantages? Make the technology start working for you. If that monster of a career site is serving up duds to your inbox, check out niche career sites, which may list great openings that have less competition from other job-seekers. Set up Google alerts for the type of position you want. For example, product management reveals a lot of employers looking to fill that role every day.

Finding a new job can be a great challenge for even the strongest candidates, but successful job seekers are bold and stay focused.

Do something entirely different and see what happens. With every bold move you make, your confidence will increase, as well as your odds that a great job is not far away.

Brian de Haaff