Jason Edge, Prairie Staffing LLC

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Jason Edge, chief staffing executive and owner, Prairie Staffing LLC.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging part of owning and operating Prairie Staffing is the competition. There are a lot of great competitors in our region with a long track record, making it a challenge to make inroads with the clients we need to prove our value to the business community.

The most rewarding part of owning and operating Prairie Staffing is the opportunity to take a good start, a strong ethic, and grow a business in a great community — one where we can become a valued asset to other businesses in the region, and where we can help them succeed. Plus, I have learned more in my short time as a business owner than I did in my entire work history previously, both about business and people.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I admire anyone who is comfortable in their own skin and who has knowledge that they are willing to bestow upon others, particularly if not trivial but complex in substance, and short and simple on words.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

All of my life I had a vision of what working for myself would look and feel like. Finally taking the risk and starting my own business was scary and challenging, but thrilling and filled with the excitement of what the future could hold — more so than anything I had done before. This realization was definitely the high point of my career to date.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Twenty-one-year-old me was on a different path in the world of information technology. While this provided the opportunity to learn technology — which has only been a benefit moving forward — and it provided a stable means of income for a number of years, it meant that it took me longer than I wish it would have to get into the world of business and own and operate my own company. I would advise myself to explore some of the business ideas that I had at a young age and at least on a part-time basis launch these ideas into something more sustainable.

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5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

As a devout Badger fan, living and working in the Madison area is a benefit to my love for the Badgers. Overall though, Dane County is an amazing place with a diverse range of things to do and people to know. There is nowhere else that I would prefer to raise a family and start and grow a business.

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I wouldn't call it a talent as much as I would call it a stubbornness to follow through on things that I have decided I would do. Sometimes these things can be silly, but this has also allowed me to experience some amazing things and have some very proud accomplishments. As an example, I have completed multiple Ironman competitions and run in several marathons.

7. What are your guilty pleasures? 

A menagerie of guilty pleasures come to mind, including good beer, smooth whiskey, taking in a ballgame, playing PlayStation, traveling to Disney World, or watching a zombie flick, but my true pleasure isn't that much of a guilty one except for that it takes me away from my desk occasionally. I love to ride my bicycle. I am an avid cycling enthusiast, fan, and advocate. I try to ride every single day, even if it means extending my lunch hour. Even when my schedule or Wisconsin weather stands in the way I ride on my trainer indoors. Ride all the miles!

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