Company History

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1987 Alcott Formed Alcott founders, Louis Basso and Barry Shorten, had years of HR related experience gained by providing temporary and permanent placement services to defense and aerospace companies on Long Island, NY. In 1986, as defense related activity was winding down, the founders realized that an HR outsourcing program they were providing was very similar to the staff leasing concept that was rapidly growing in California. Recognizing that “staff leasing” was a natural extension for their business, Mr. Basso and Mr. Shorten formed Alcott and began operations in 1987.
1988 Alcott Joins NSLA / NAPEO During the 1980’s, the industry was still in its infancy and information was scarce. The National Staff Leasing Association (NSLA), which was the forerunner of today’s industry association, NAPEO, was just a few years old. Alcott became a member and quickly realized that it was a great source of knowledge. The members were HR outsourcing firms dedicated to advancing the little known PEO industry, eager to share their experiences and offer sound advice. Since becoming a member, Alcott has taken a leadership role within the organization and continues to maintain its membership.
1997 Louis Basso Elected President of NAPEO Since joining NAPEO in 1988, Louis Basso has been very active in the organization. He chaired many important committees and spearheaded the organization’s drive to attain regulatory certainty for the industry. For his achievements, he was elected president of NAPEO in 1997. Louis Basso continues to be a public spokesman for the PEO industry and is responsible for the gaining of support and PEO recognition.
1998 Certified by ESAC Alcott’s philosophy is to be the best at what we do, and to separate ourself from the crowd. By our tenth year of operation, Alcott successfully ascertained certification from the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC). Demonstrating our financial strength and ethical practices was the overriding criteria for acceptance, making Alcott one of the few PEOs with this certification and level of bonding.
2003 New York PEO Registration Act Alcott HR Group had long recognized the need for New York state to be aware that PEOs operating within the state adhere to its regulations. In his position as president of the New York chapter of NAPEO, Louis Basso led the effort to pass legislation requiring any PEO operating within the state to register. The law that was passed was in large part drafted by NAPEO and serves as a model for legislation adopted in many states.
2004 Western New York Division Contract Staffing, a PEO based in Buffalo, New York, was a well managed organization and a strategic partner in working towards passage of the New York PEO Registration Act. During 2004, Alcott initiated acquisition negotiations with the principals. The aim was to form the Western New York Division of Alcott HR Group and provide the region with a more robust platform and larger programmatic offerings. Successful negotiations were concluded and our new division began operating in 2005.
2005 Louis Basso Elected President of ESAC ESAC (Employer Services Assurance Corporation) can best be described as the FDIC of the PEO industry. Leading this organization requires not only PEO industry experience, but a good understanding of the regulators and other experts that comprise the organization’s board. Louis Basso met these criteria and had a deep belief in ESAC’s mission of assurance and protection. During his term as president, many states began to accept ESAC membership as the standard for licensing PEOs to operate.
2008 Affiliation with American Fidelity Organizations need to evolve and grow. Alcott’s principals recognized an opportunity when they were approached by American Fidelity Assurance Corporation (AFA). AFA is a multi-billion dollar privately held company based in Oklahoma City that specializes in employee-based insurance products. The company has been recognized  as a Fortune 100 Best Company to Work for in America. Alcott’s management believed the synergies and similarities of the two companies would be beneficial to Alcott as the affiliation would help the company expand its geographic reach and maintain its values and philosophy.
2010 Approaching 25 Years As the oldest operating PEO in New York state, Alcott HR Group has been integral in the shaping of the PEO industry. We look forward to the future, continually adapting to the never ending shifts in the business environment.
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