We had the good fortune of connecting with Doug Varsano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Doug, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Very simply put, optimize talent and opportunity…..starting with myself. Having served the hospitality industry for the past 30 years under someone else’s brand, culture and organization, the desire to build my own was overwhelming. With the great inspiration of a son who at age 12 said, “dad, when I’m ready to work, who will hire me with my Autism?” the calling was clear. Everyone deserves the opportunity to optimize their abilities, positively impact others and squeeze as much juice out of life as possible. While resources abound for individuals and families impacted by invisible disabilities like Autism, 85% of impacted job candidates, that have a college degree, are unemployed! Clearly, the employer needs help in recognizing this untapped talent pool and successfully integrating it into their organizations. With that mission in mind, Expectrum Group was founded to properly answer my son’s question and also to allow me the path to bring out the very best I have to offer the world.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Successful businesses and organizations in general are most successful when they solve a problem. The extraordinary unemployment rate for functional adults with college degrees (let alone those without degrees) that are on the spectrum of Autism is a problem especially with the increasing diagnosis rate in children. While many organizations work to support the families and individuals with career services, job training, etc….Expectrum Group helps employers as well to navigate the the process and master the recipe for success. Demonstrating the clear benefits (like corporate social responsibility), shedding light on the less obvious benefits (like mitigating legal risk) and overcoming naive objections through education allows the decision maker to embrace a unique candidate and capitalize on their potential. Having my son ask me who would hire him with Autism, was an instant calling to research his probability for employment and now to overcome the current improbability that exists. Fully committing to a business, especially like this, is critical to its success since change is hard but changing minds is harder. We are a partner to employers, prospective talent and third parties who are all enthusiastic about this change!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
On a weekend visit the likely itinerary would be as follows (Covid Considerate and No Kids) with our best friends: After arriving, we would find ourselves enjoying a tequila flight tasting at home with some takeout from Barrio Queen. An early morning round of golf/spa followed by brunch at Snooze is a perfect start to a day. After a brief nap, we pack our bags and head up to Sedona for a sunset hike followed by a memorable meal at Mariposa. Up early for breakfast at L’auberge and an ATV excursion to get the adrenaline pumping. Back to Phoenix for some brick oven pizza at Bianco before calling it a wrap.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Growing up, I watched my Dad run his own business successfully. What was most impactful was observing his firm but fair approach, integrity with all, commitment to service and kindness to those in need of additional support. He taught me to lead, to build sincere relationships and to give back. Now, I’m a Dad to two incredible sons and my goal is to be the same type of role model for them. Interestingly enough, the reverse has been true. Dean has overcome tremendous adversity to adapt to a typical world while maximizing his unique brilliance on the spectrum. His younger brother Drew has had a front row seat to this fight. Instead of taking a back seat or surrendering his need to be a priority, he has demanded notice through his competitiveness athletically, academically and socially. He has also been willing to stand up to bullies years older than him to defend his brother. I am very fortunate to have had so many people in my life to dedicate my success to but none more impactful than my Dad and my boys.
Website: www.expectrumgroup.com and www.neighborgoodevent.com