Darrin Jahnel wins Top Workplaces 2021 leadership award

5/23/2021 - The Times Union 

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Jahnel Group CEO Darrin Jahnel stands at his desk in his office at Jahnel Group

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Jahnel Group CEO Darrin Jahnel stands at his desk in his office at Jahnel Group

"Jahnel Group CEO calls himself a high-energy, enthusiastic leader"

Schenectady native Darrin Jahnel and his brother Jason moved back to the Capital Region in the early 2000s after spending time working as computer coders on Wall Street. Their business, Jahnel Group, develops web-based software applications that help other businesses and groups get things done, easier and more efficiently. Darrin sits in the company's CEO chair.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: I’m definitely a high energy leader. I’ve been told that I lead with energy and enthusiasm. Hopefully, when I come into a room, I bring happiness up a notch. I’m sure I can be overly obnoxious and bring energy and happiness down at times. But my goal is to bring it up a notch.

Q: What’s your advice in creating a positive work environment?

A: If you get the right people, if you have good people, you owe them: They don’t work for you — you work for them. That means putting your needs, happiness and career paths, and even putting your clients – which may seem counterintuitive — last. Nothing is more important than their happiness. By putting them first, that’s a good filter to run things through.

Q: What do you look for in a good employee?

A: First and foremost, we’re looking for a culture fit. We gotta feel like they’re going to come in and work in this culture. We want to be around people that are fun and easy to be around. I don’t want to be around people who are difficult, or who I hang out with. After the culture fix, next is a good work ethic. Someone who can come in and solve problems.

Q: You committed to Schenectady by locating your business there. How would you describe the city in a few words?

A: Schenectady is growing like crazy. It’s insane all the transformation that has been going on in the past 20 years. It’s something I never thought I’d see. I had given up on Schenectady in the 1990s. Not only is my business here, but my family — I moved my wife and four children here in 1998 and we couldn’t be happier.

Q: What will the rest of 2021 look like for the Jahnel Group?

A: Right now, our eyes are set on growth. We’re hiring like crazy. We have 20 open roles. If you’re a superstar software creator looking for a career, please hit us up. We’re working to take this town over and keep kicking ass.