Fidelis Companies

Lessons Learned in the Field

As a consultant, you want to provide added value to your clients. To do this, you must first understand the business problem they are trying to solve. Engage all project sponsors, team members, stakeholders and impacted business executives at the onset of the project. This will ensure that proper scoping can take place. A properly scoped project is a successful project!

Make sure you identify any gaps in the client’s understanding of the business problem and proposed solution. Discuss these gaps with both the executive sponsors and the impacted business executives to ensure total buy-in on the proposed solution.

Ensure there is an agreed upon understanding around the total level of effort required to achieve a true ROI on the project at hand. This includes:

    • Time commitments from client’s staff
    • Gaps in client expertise that will require outside consulting
    • Timeframe needed to complete
    • Associated impacts to other ongoing projects
    • Critical dates, scheduling, staff buy-in & associated change management planning
    • Training plan for full client adoption of proposed solution

If the proposed solution is not the right solution, offer options to get them to their goal. Discuss similar client challenges you have solved and the steps that were taken to get there, include the resources required, time to complete, challenges, project impacts, lessons learned and total ROI attained once the solution was in place.

Once the correct solution has been identified, ensure all involved team members, sponsors and impacted executives are in agreement and have signed off on the total commitment to achieving the solution.  Develop strong relationships with your client’s key project team members.  Ensure they are comfortable communicating openly and honestly about their ideas, abilities, concerns and challenges throughout the project.

Developing an effective communication plan is key: communication breakdowns are a killer. Review OR create a plan to achieve the solution.  The plan should include: proper resource allocation, realistic timelines, critical dates, associated impacts and associated costs. Ensure all parties are still in agreement and are 100% committed to the plan. Establish checkpoints/milestones along the way to identify and correct any issues promptly.

Make sure you keep a sense of unity throughout the project.  Ensure the impacted business executives, team members, technical staff, end users and any consulting resources are all continually championing the solution. If not, TIME OUT… Get the elephant up on the table and RESOLVE ANY CONFLICTS!

Once the solution is in place, test it thoroughly. Does the solution work for all applicable scenarios? Train and document, and verify the solution has been fully adopted by all parties. Ask yourself:

  • Are the users of the solution able to understand it and apply it effectively?
  • Do they feel their problem has been solved?
  • Was the ROI achieved?

Once full adoption has taken place and you are exiting the client, follow up at critical points to ensure they are self-sufficient – after all, a happy client is the only kind of client.


Michelle Cessnun

Megan Butz


Flash Memory Summit

3D_XPoint_DieThe Flash Memory Summit is the only place where you will hear the people making these products happen! Network with companies and people that will create the next generation of hardware and software.  The main companies who participated in the Flash Memory Summit include: SK Hynix, Seagate, Sandisk, HP, PMC-Sierra, NetApp, Toshiba, Violin Memory, and Cadence. 

Last week, Fidelis Companies’ Engineering Practice Lead, James Roberts and Engineering Recruiter, Mary Helen Corrigan, attended this conference in California, where over 6,500 attendees and 100 exhibitors were in attendance, proving that memory and storage markets are booming. The most notable “buzz” the Fidelis team heard at the educational conference was regarding Micron’s new X-Point Memory. Link to the exciting new technology and check it out:

The conference covered a variety of topics and sessions:

  • Half-day seminars on: error-correcting codes, PCI Express, NVMe, and SSDs introductions
  • Full day forums on: flash memory-based architectures, NVMe and PCIe SSDs, and controllers
  • Half-day forums on enterprise SSDs, enterprise caching, enterprise applications, PCIe power budgets, virtualization, client caching, data centers, and PCIe storage

There were at least six major companies with exhibits that are target companies where we find/recruit ASIC, FW, Applications & Technical Marketing talent for our engineering team’s best customer. We attended the conference to find new engineering talent and to explore new business. There were many companies that were new to us, which isn’t surprising since we worked our first search assignments for storage-related development a little over a year ago. Our goal is take advantage of the new technologies and add memory related searches to our offerings.

Most of their time at the conference was spent checking out different companies and technologies, gathering personal info on people to call back upon their return to the office, and networking around the exhibit hall.

Reflecting back on the conference, they have numerous takeaways:

  • Retrieved around 150 names of engineers and technical marketing professionals from target companies for future networking
  • Learned more about the storage and memory technologies and markets (i.e. XPoint)
  • Met people in person that they’ve known over the phone for years, and started building new relationships

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support

GEN301_logo_2President & CEO of Fidelis Companies, Karen Richards, attended the Genesis Annual Luncheon on May 5 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX to support one of her many philanthropic events. Genesis hosted an Annual Luncheon to celebrate 30 years of “Safety, Shelter, and Support”.

Mission Statement

“Our mission is to end domestic violence against women and children by stopping victimization and reducing the devastating impact of family violence through safety, shelter, and expert services to battered women and children.”

Annual Luncheon

The keynote speaker at this inspirational event was Maria Shriver, mother of four, NBC News special anchor, and Emmy-winning journalist. She enjoys reporting on the shifting roles, emerging power, and evolving needs of women in modern life. Maria is dedicated to influencing people to make an impact on our world. 

It is because of the generous Dallas community that Genesis can continue to offer life-saving and life-changing services at no cost to clients.

“Thank you Dallas for your support over the past 3 decades.”


  • Females age 18-34 experience the highest rate of relationship abuse
  • 1 in 4 women aged 18+ in the US have been a victim of physical violence
  • On average, 24 people per minute are victim to rape, stalking, or physical abuse

Join the conversation: #GENESISAT30

New York, New York!

Our top producers for 2013 spent a weekend in New York City the first week of June as part of our 2014 President’s Club. While following many of them on social media during the trip, I thought their wonderful experiences should be shared with the rest of our fans as they were with us personally upon their return. They were each asked to share a highlight of their version of the trip, so below you will find personal stories and pictures from those who were able to make the trip. Enjoy!



I had a great time in NYC. We were able to see the WTC Memorial, Freedom Tower, SOHO, Little Italy, China Town, Canal Street, Hell’s Kitchen, The statue of Liberty, Wall Street and Central Park. In addition to all of the sight seeing, we were able to watch one of our own Fidelis employees get married in Central Park!  

 Michelle - Toy Story

The best part of the trip for me, outside of seeing the wedding, was going to see “The Book of Mormon” and getting a private boat tour around the Hudson and Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty timing was perfect since it was the D-Day anniversary. We were in the water while they were dropping the 1 million rose petals, which was such an experience to see.  After the tour we ate lunch at The Liberty House and met both Ron and Kim, from Liberty Landings.  They are both amazing people and were so much fun to spend time with. The view of NYC from the Liberty house was incredible. Overall, this was probably my FAVORITE president’s trip to date.  Looking forward to next year!

Michelle - & Ryan 


My personal favorite experience was probably everyone else’s – the VIP treatment that became almost our entire day out to see the Statue of Liberty.

We happened to be in NYC on the 70th memorial of D-Day, along with the Puerto Rican Pride parade planned for Sunday, so the city seemed to be extra busy with tourists from all over.  Battery Park itself was jam-packed with people trying to board the ferries, so I think most of us were expecting to join the other tourists and stand in line like anyone else, buy our tickets, shuffle our way through the crowds and hopefully grab a seat or even standing room on the top deck so we could have a view.

Mike - DDayAlan, our co-owner, had made arrangements with a personal friend that owns some of the marina property in the New York and New Jersey area, which we all understood to mean someone from their office would join us and escort us on the ferry, out to the island and give us a personal tour and then we would have lunch and be on our way.  That turned out to be a bit of an understatement. We hopped on the subway down into the park and wandered around until we found Kim from Liberty Landings, which is when the surprises started happening. Within minutes we all had tickets in hand for the ferry, and next thing we know we’ve bypassed all of the lines – and we’re talking hundreds of people and who knows how long of a wait – and are now getting the backstage access treatment. We’re among the first in line now, and have easy access to the top deck.  We take off from Battery Park, and Kim starts in with the personal guided tour, filling us in on all of the history and interesting facts about our surroundings, which was really great.  We docked at Liberty Island and walked around the park; some of us went up to the pedestal of the statue while others just explored the park.  There was a commemoration ceremony on the lawn setting up about the time our ferry was scheduled to depart, so we all met back at the ferry and again made our way to the front of the lines and top deck. As we’re pulling away, a huge French military ship had stopped a few hundred yards off the shore, and another ship with several water cannons was blasting colored water in red, white, and blue.  We’re all trying to get pictures of the water cannon ship, and then three helicopters fly in and hover overhead and proceed to drop a million (literally a million) rose pedals which blew down over the statue and into the crowd observing the ceremony.  Pretty cool sights to see on their own.

Mike - Day Group

Then, we arrive and dock on the Jersey side where we’re still following Kim to wherever she had planned for lunch. We wound up at a restaurant with probably the best shot you can get of the entire New York City skyline. We had a full panoramic view overlooking the Hudson River from Jersey City on our left, spanning from the upper west side and down to Battery Park. We could tell this was somewhat of a hot-spot because as we’re sitting there, a state senator and a notable surgeon are greeted by Ron, who is the VP of the Marinas, and has now sat down with us for lunch.  Ron is the kind of guy who makes things happen. In fact, he told us that’s their motto. He had asked us about our plans for dinner, and when I mentioned that we had missed out on reservations for the most famous steak house in town, he says “you wanna eat there? One of my closest personal friends owns the place,” which turned out to be the story with several other restaurants or bars when we asked for recommendations about the best places to eat or hang out. 

I suppose when all of your customers are the type of people with 100ft yachts in New York City, you’re likely to have some pretty good connections, which leads us to maybe the coolest part of the day. Ron discreetly took a call or two during lunch, grabbed a few of our phones and took several pictures of us and then had one of the waitresses take a few more. We follow him down the marina to an empty dock where we’re expecting to find some way back to the city, but instead Ron says “there’s your ride.”  Up pulls a federal park police boat that proceeds to load all of us up and provide a personal (and extremely fast) escort up the Hudson into the Ground Zero area. The boat itself, we were told, is the fastest on the water and can stop from full speed in less than 10 feet! We rode through the area that “Sully” landed the commercial airliner in the river, stopped up-close by the Intrepid, which is a warship converted into a Sea, Air & Space museum on the water, and then cruised a bit further up to ground zero. The 911 memorial was our final stop with Kim, where she shared some personal perspective of how that day unfolded, which when you’re there on the site, was also a pretty incredible thing to imagine.

All told, we were just blown away with how the day went; the VIP treatment was completely unexpected and absolutely amazing.



We had a fantastic time in New York City for our annual President’s Club trip.  It was fun to see all of the places we have become familiar with such as Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, Macy’s and the Statue of Liberty. Central Park is amazing and I can only imagine the beautiful scenery as the seasons change throughout the year.

Nancy - & Tammy

I love the energy NYC has; it is almost sensory overload. Times Square is filled with people 24 hours a day and the billboards flash at you from all directions. The sounds of traffic, the architecture of the office buildings in Manhattan, the smell of delicious food and the mix of different languages spoken all combine to embrace you in the feeling that is the New York Sate of Mind.

Nancy - Broadway

I cannot imagine a more appropriate place for our top producers to celebrate their success! At the end of each day we would gather together and discuss our day trips and rave about the sites we had seen and the camaraderie was amazing.  It was truly a pleasure to be included in this once in a lifetime experience.

Karen - & ALan 


The Fidelis President’s Trip always drives home what a remarkable group of people that I work with. Regardless of where we go, whether we are eating together, people watching or on a more traditional adventure, every trip has several “perfect moments” that remind me that I am surrounded by a smart, interesting, and unique collection of characters.

Nancy - Tamay & Elizabeth 


Karen - Tom & Becky

The 2014 President’s Trip was awesome. NYC was a very busy place with tons of things to do. Some of the highlights of our trip included: The Book of Mormon, Statue of Liberty, 70th Memorial of D-Day, a guided tour Central Park, drinks in the Upper West side, Top of the Rock and the very profound 9/11 Memorial. I look forward to these President’s trips every year. Regardless of the destination, the people we work for and with are incredible, they make going on the trip something to look forward to each and every year. 


Fidelis Companies, LLC Honored as 2014 Best Companies to Work for in Texas

BestCos LogoFidelis Companies was recently honored as one of the best companies to work for in Texas at a banquet in Austin, hosted by Texas Monthly, Texas Association of Business, Texas SHRM and Best Companies Group; this was Fidelis’ first time participating the competition.


Fidelis Companies, LLC was recently named number 13 of the 2014 Best Companies to Work for in Texas in the Small Employer Category. The awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), Texas SHRM and Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Texas, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses.  The 2014 Best Companies to Work for in Texas list is made up of 100 companies. Fidelis Companies, LLC has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas.

Fidelis Companies offers contract services in their Fidelis IT, Fidelis BioPharm and Fidelis Engineering divisions and offers direct hire services in Fidelis BioPharm and Fidelis Engineering. The company’s new website will offer information for both clients and prospective consultants and candidates in the specialized areas of ERP Systems, BioPharm and Engineering, detailing each division’s area of expertise.

“This was a big accomplishment for our company and our employees. To be recognized on such a large scale as one of the best companies to work for in the state of Texas is something we have striven for since opening our doors 17 years ago.” Karen Richards, President and CEO

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

– Have at least 15 employees working in Texas

– Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity

– Be a publicly or privately held business

– Have a facility in the state of Texas

– Be in business a minimum of 1 year

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Companies to Work for in Texas. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, systems, philosophies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Texas and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings. 

The rankings were revealed for the first time at the Best Companies to Work for in Texas event on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, and will also be profiled by Texas Monthly in a special publication that will be released in conjunction with the event.


About Fidelis Companies, LLC

Fidelis Companies is a certified Woman Owned Business based in Plano, Texas. Our recruiters and account managers are exclusively dedicated within the areas of ERP Systems, BioPharm or Engineering and offer both contract and direct hire services on a national level. This specialized approach allows us to work closely with our clients and capitalize on a large network of precisely skilled connections to deliver the optimum resource for the position.

For more information on the Best Companies to Work for in Texas program, visit or contact Jackie Miller at 877-455-2159.

For more information on Fidelis Companies, visit

Cookie Anyone?

In honor of Christmas and everyone’s indulgence of sweets around this time of year, we hosted a cookie contest for our team. With eight homemade entries, recipes included for proof, Friday afternoon turned quickly into a sugar high for most of our team.

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The 8 cookie submissions ready for the taste test.


Guidelines were as follows: 

*Cookie contest will be held Dec. 13th in the conference room

*Entries are due to Casidy by 1:00 p.m. Dec. 13th

*Bring your best homemade cookies – no store bought allowed

*Recipe is required for cookie entries

*MUST have enough cookies for everyone to sample one – minimum 2 dozen cookies in order to compete

*Bring the entries in a sealed, unmarked container or hidden from public view

*Each entry will be provided a numerical value that will be marked on the cookie container provided

*At 2:00 p.m. – every person that wants to join will gather in the conference room and “sample” each cookie entry as they are distributed and confidentially vote for their favorite via the ballot box in the lobby

Our entries included:

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The 8 entry names and coordinating voting number.


After everyone sampled all the entries, they were asked to participate in a blind vote for their favorite. With eight options to try, you can image the sugar high everyone left with. Milk was provided to cleanse the palette between options. It was a tough decision for some,  And the winner was:

Bill was our cookie winner!


 Bill with his Nana’s Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin cookies! Congrats to Bill and everyone who participated. They were all delicious and a great way to wrap up a week!