Posted on February 26, 2023

Presented by Solvay Bank

This feature of CEO Insights spotlights local companies that are “Economic Champions” because of their success in adding jobs; expanding their products or services; advancing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; gaining national recognition or contributing to the success of the region in special ways.


SMV Recruiting, LLC., a boutique recruiting firm, was launched by Stephanie Vavonese in 2017. Headquartered in downtown Syracuse, they focus on direct hire placements with the goal of helping attract top talent back into the area while supporting the local community.

SMV Recruiting works with a wide array of local industries, including architecture, engineering, and IT, and has developed a niche in the manufacturing and beer space. Vavonese said, “We like to think of ourselves as the purple squirrel recruiters, an industry term for the really niche and hard to fill roles.”

After working with F.X. Matt and several other Upstate breweries on senior leadership roles (including a master brewer, CFO and maintenance director), SMV Recruiting launched Brew Recruit in 2022, a division specifically focused on the craft beer industry. As an active member of the NYS Brewers Association, Vavonese has spoken at two NYS Brewers Conferences leading discussions on “Diversity & Inclusion” and “Recruiting and Retaining Talent in a Post Covid World,” and has sponsored the NYS Craft Brewers annual festival at the Landmark Theatre. In addition, Vavonese said, “We recently joined the Cannabis Association of NY since we are seeing a lot of overlap between the two industries.”

Over the next two years, SMV Recruiting seeks to expand its footprint by adding five to 10 staff and launching a temporary staffing division to meet the needs of local employers. In 2021, SMV Recruiting received its MWBE certification and has grown its reach nationally.

Since its inception, SMV Recruiting has donated 5% of its profits to the SMV Recruiting Fund, a donor advised fund through the Upstate Foundation to support the community.

Learn more at and www.BrewRecruit.Com.



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