Growing up in the heart of the Midwest, Gina Milonas never imagined that she’d end up on the shores of southern California. But when an opportunity arose to relocate to Santa Monica, she took advantage. It was here—on the West coast—where Gina was first introduced to the staffing and recruiting space. Today, she leans on her 10+ years of industry experience to forge client partnerships and generate new business as an Account Executive in Acara’s Burbank office. In the latest edition of our “All-In at Acara” series, Gina sheds light on her professional journey and details some of the passions that she picked up along the way.
An unconventional career path
My journey to the staffing and recruiting industry was definitely an interesting one. After college, I needed a change and was craving something more. All I wanted to do was move with my friends to Chicago, and I did so. I worked as a paralegal for a few years before uprooting my life to beautiful Santa Monica, California. It was here where I visited a temp agency in search of a job. Rather than connecting me with a client, the company decided to offer me a position internally. This is how my career in staffing and recruiting began—I took that position and I haven’t looked back since!
Embracing the SoCal lifestyle
I often tell people that making the leap of faith and moving to the West Coast was one of the best choices I’ve could have made at the time. Transitioning from the hustle-and-bustle atmosphere of big-city Chicago to the more mellow and relaxed lifestyle in Santa Monica was effortless for me. The people, the weather, the culture… everything about SoCal was perfect for my free spirit!
Saying “yes” to yoga
My move to Santa Monica also allowed me to discover my passion for yoga—something that has become a significant part of my life. People who are passionate about yoga will tell you the activity will completely change you for the better. When I lived in the Midwest, I didn’t view things the way I do now. I would easily get stressed about the little things that were thrown my way. But after discovering yoga, it helped me to strike a proper balance in my life. No longer was I focusing solely on improving my professional career—I found myself making time for family, friends, and other personal relationships. That’s part of the reason why I became certified in yoga—I wanted to show other people the value that yoga could bring to their own lives as well.
The transition to Acara
Around the time that I became certified in yoga, I learned of an Account Executive position that was available at Acara. I wasn’t actively searching for a new job, but decided to take an interview anyway. My conversation with Brian Christel and Ryan Stenvick absolutely blew me away. The two of them were so personable and genuine that my “interview” felt more like a casual conversation between friends. But most of all, both Brian and Ryan made me feel wanted. I remember thinking, This is definitely too good to be true. But it wasn’t!
The Acara difference
As I’m fast-approaching my seventh year at Acara, I’ve been extremely blessed to remain part of such an outstanding organization. I consider myself to be a family-oriented person, and working for a family-owned company has been a huge difference-maker for me. At Acara, you aren’t just a number—your voice is always heard and achievements are always celebrated. Interactions with upper-level managers and executives aren’t strained or intimidating; rather, these conversations are comfortable and conversational. Even though our teams may be geographically far apart, our close and personal bonds keep our company united as one.
Finding time for family
Acara does a fantastic job of promoting a work-life balance among its employees. Spending time with my husband and two young boys—both of whom are under the age of four—is my number-one priority, and our organization makes it possible for me to do so. My life as a wife and a mom might be a little bit crazy at times, but my colleagues at Acara are always supportive and flexible with my schedule. But most of all, they keep me sane—especially during these hectic times!
To learn more about Gina, connect with her on LinkedIn.
Want to find out more about our Acara team? Check out more of our “All-In at Acara” series here.