Company Information

Steve Olson, President
Golden Career Strategies

Steve Olson has broad experience in technical and organizational management with real world experience in manufacturing, sales, and engineering.  He has managed diverse teams in strategic planning, team building and conflict resolution to achieve organizational and individual success.  His career includes development of new products and technologies for Fortune 100 firms and he has held executive positions in McKechine Plastic Components, and Chicago Miniature Lighting. His career has created a network of resources that is local, national and global. In addition, Steve is an accomplished coach with a servant/leader methodology designed to support you throughout your transition.  With a career spanning four decades across North America with responsibilities in Central America and Asia Steve applies interpersonal skills augmented by his business and life experience to assist you in arriving at your unique objectives and goals.

Steve has a B.A. from Metropolitan State University and a MA.TH from St. Leo University and is also an ordained Deacon in the Catholic Church. He and his family have lived in Simpsonville, SC for over 20 years.

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Deborah HawkinsDeborah Hawkins
Senior Consultant and Career Transition Coach

Deborah Hawkins is a Senior Consultant and Career Transition Coach for Golden Career Strategies. As Client Services Director, Deborah on-boards all new Outplacement and Career Transition clients. She also leads the New Business Development team. Deborah’s background includes prior work with Right Management Consultants, bringing experience in outplacement and career development.

Deborah is a former board member of Imago Relationships International and brings 12 years of experience as a certified Master Coach and Facilitator. As a facilitator of Dialogfirst; a new corporate communications training based on Harville Hendricks work from Imago Therapy International, Deborah has led classes for skilled negotiators, therapists and corporate trainers from around the world.

Deborah also incorporates her knowledge and skills in her teaching and leadership coaching experience from fifteen years in the field of corporate banking. This diverse background coupled with her passion for understanding and supporting people gives her extraordinary insight into career placement, personal development and training.

During her banking career, Deborah opened multiple branch offices, traveling extensively and working closely with Branch Managers and staff following mergers and acquisitions of new branches. She also pioneered, developed and facilitated leadership and team workshops for both financial institutions before she left the banking industry to continue her training in leadership development.

Deborah Hawkins and her leadership work have been featured on 20/20, ABC, NPR, and several international radio-shows reaching thousands of people around the world.
Deborah also serves her community as a senior mentor with Circles USA, a national program that inspires and equips families and communities to resolve poverty and thrive.


Jim O'ConnorJim O’Connor
Senior Consultant

Jim provides Golden Career Strategies with consulting services specifically in resume preparation and interviewing skills training. He facilitates several of the training modules offered through the company’s Golden Course™, a six-part series including personal assessment and opportunity analysis, resumé development, career campaign correspondence, networking and strategic connections, and negotiating strategies.

During his career, Jim has held key Human Resource management positions with IBM, Smith Barney and Michelin Tire Corporation. He also founded and led the first outplacement firm in South Carolina. His corporate experience spans strategic and operational Human Resource management in both large headquarter settings and small manufacturing plants.

At Michelin, Jim served as Personnel Director at their North American Headquarters providing leadership of recruitment and placement, Organizational Development and training of over 2,000 employees. He also conceived, designed and directed a unique in-house program that successfully placed 3,800+ employees over a four year period. This group also helped 280 employees redirect their careers in new directions within the company.

Jim is very active in community affairs and has been an officer and chairman of several non-profit organizations including The International Center of the Upstate, The Urban League of the Upstate, The Ronald McDonald House and The Ancient Order of Hibernians.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology from Niagara University and has completed numerous Corporate and Executive Management Training Programs. Jim is a former Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is happily married for over 40 years and has five grown children.


Rich WitowskiRich Witowski
Certified Personnel Consultant

Rich Witowski, CPC, recently retired as president of Sanford Rose Associates – Greenville, SC, an executive search practice filling professional openings within the automotive, power transmission general manufacturing, and service, industries.

In addition to being a Certified Personnel Consultant, Rich has over twenty-five years of manufacturing experience holding positions as Plant Manager, Manufacturing Engineering Manager and Quality Manager.  These positions were for Fortune 500 companies serving the consumer products, machine tool, mechanical/electrical power transmission and aviation industries.

Rich has developed and managed major manufacturing programs including:  “Greenfield” facility design and start up, World Class Manufacturing events including Kaizen, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), TQM and ISO 9002 certifications (UL).

Having filled high-level manufacturing positions both as a recruiter and as a hiring manager, Rich brings an intimate knowledge of the needs and opportunities of potential employers for our clients.

Rich holds a BS in Industrial Engineering, Purdue University and MS Business Administration, Indiana University.

Current and Past Memberships:
Education Director of the South Carolina Association of Personnel Services (SCAPS)
National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS)
Sanford Rose Associates Owners Association, Board of Directors and Past President
Greenville Chamber of Commerce
German American Chamber of Commerce
Rotary International


Pam WesselPam Wessel
Senior Consultant

Pam Wessel, highly experienced in client relationship management, executive sales and marketing, career, work/life balance coaching and administrative management, provides business development and coaching for both divisions of Golden Career Strategies. In the Career Transition Division she markets GCS’s unique Outplacement Programs of individualized, customized and localized services. In the Organizational Development Division, she markets GCS’s programs of leadership training, executive coaching, job sculpting, assessment and retention of top talent.

During Pam’s 25 year career at IBM, she served as a sales, career, and balance coach as well as senior sales leader.   As a professional coach, Pam coached her team of fifteen sales representatives, individuals, and managers on topics such career choices, work/life balance, passion, leadership competencies, values-based selling, and sales productivity.   Her sales leadership responsibilities included developing and maintaining executive relationships, leading IBM resources and business partners, and exceeding sales targets.   Pam’s IBM background includes sales, management, marketing, and administration.

Pam holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, is a Coach U Graduate, and has completed numerous Corporate Sales, Financial and Management Training programs.

Pam is a 25 year resident of Greenville and currently serves in several community and professional leadership roles including President of the Board for Greenville Family Partnership and Secretary for the Upstate SC Chapter of the International Coach Federation.   Past volunteer positions include; President of the Volunteer Greenville Board, Greenville Community Planning Council, Hands on Greenville IBM Team Captain, and Church volunteer.

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Terry HollonTerry Hollon
Senior Consultant

Terry W. Hollon brings strong management and organizational expertise to his interaction with clients.  With a broad range of experience in the government, service, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, and transportation sectors, he has worked with executives and managers to identify quality, service, sales, and human resource productivity needs and has provided appropriate consulting and training resources to meet those needs.  He has successfully assisted his clients in developing solutions that address critical business and organizational issues for over twenty years. Some of his representative client work includes: Quality Improvement Systems, Customer Satisfaction Training, Consultative Sales Systems, Educational Systems Design, Identification/Assessment and Executive Coaching.

Professional Background:
Principal founder, Hollon Associates, LLC – full-service consulting firm assisting clients with their needs in Attracting, Selecting, Managing, Developing, and Retaining people.
Senior Vice President and General Manager,Manchester, Inc. – Managed executive leadership development, executive coaching, and career transition services for a targeted group of organizations.
Divisional Vice President,The Forum Corporation – Managed business development and consulting/training service delivery to clients, in a 12-state geography.
Regional Vice President,ODI – organizational assessment (TQM), managerial effectiveness, process improvement, design, and development of customized training curricula.
Director, Psychological Services, Spartanburg, SC schools

B.S. Ed. Secondary Education
M.S. Ed. Psychometry, Kappa Delta Pi
Ed. S. School Psychology, Phi Delta Kappa
Georgia Southern University

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