Sandy Maxwell: An Unwavering Mission

Sandy Maxwell: An Unwavering Mission

This post is part of the 30 Years, 30 Stories series celebrating our rich history through the eyes of our employees and clients. We’re proud to present local and international stories powered by science—and driven by people—spanning three decades.

On a muggy summer evening in 1989, Sandy Maxwell let out a long, thoughtful breath. She was about to take the biggest risk of her life.

“I think back on it and wonder why I wasn’t scared to death,” she says.

Maxwell, along with Kimberly and Doug Rath, decided to dive into the unknown to start a business. With a family to provide for, Sandy was betting big that their vision would pay off.

The idea: Impact people’s lives by helping them discover their strengths. After all, when an employee does what they do best and enjoy for a living, they live better lives — and the employer benefits from having happy employees. On the surface it was a simple idea. But at its heart was a profound mission backed by science.

“You can have all the talent in the world,” said Sandy, “but if you don’t have the opportunity to express your talent, then what? Our mission was to predict people’s potential and match them with the career that best fit their needs, using the scientific findings of co-founder Dr. Hall.”

Although she came from a human resources background, Sandy’s job during the first few years was to do whatever needed to be done.

“There were so many things screaming for attention, you oiled whatever wheel was squeaking the loudest,” said Sandy.

Talent Plus held their first annual meeting at an upscale restaurant, a move that was knowingly out of their means. With their wallets still strapped, they didn’t have enough money for dessert. Leaving the restaurant, the anticipation built. And so it went with every passing day. Would Talent Plus be able to not only survive, but one day thrive?

Slowly but surely, the anxieties for survival turned into confidence for international expansions. 30 years later, Talent Plus has helped hundreds of thousands of people discover and harness their potential, expanding . When offered to go public, Sandy and her co-founders quickly said no.

“When you go public, you give up control and the direction,” said Sandy. “Our mission has been clear from the beginning and we’ve never been willing to compromise that. It’s been worth it every step of the way.”