Joanne MansfieldJoanne Mansfield, Founder
May 31, 1930 - July 29, 2014

In 1977, Joanne Mansfield, a former legal secretary, decided to return to the business world.  Joanne was 47 years old, and after 25 years at home raising four children, it was time to touch countless other lives. Her husband (and former employer), Walter A. Mansfield, a respected insurance defense attorney, told her she was “NUTS”-no one would hire her; she was "over the hill." He, of all people, should have known what a dynamo she was.  Joanne scheduled nine interviews over the course of one marathon day and received nine offers.

Joanne accepted a job as an executive secretary, during which time she whipped a medical rehabilitation service into shapeafter six months. In her letter of resignation, Joanne tendered, in part: "I want to go on to bigger things and have accepted the opportunity to be an Office Manager for another firm, with a firm commitment for advancement into Sales and Marketing which I know I can handle."   It was at this time that Joanne tenaciously set forth in her new job at a placement agency specializing in computer programming and finance, once again superseding all expectations.  After only two weeks she was offered an opportunity to create and operate a placement service for legal secretaries. Through Joanne's efforts the business flourished; the phones rang endlessly and she became a "placement machine."  

How could she leave the booming agency that she worked so hard to build? Simply put, Joanne did not own the business. In the midst of a deep recession – now single with three children still in college -- she took the biggest gamble of her life and walked away from that security with the hope and desire to build a business of her own.

On April 30, 1982 Joanne was licensed by the State of Michigan as owner and operator of Joanne Mansfield Legal Personnel.  Since that time she has placed countless individuals in temporary and permanent positions --- dialing her fingers "to the bone" --- and leaving an extensive trail of satisfied clientele.   Many of Joanne's original temps are still with the agency, throughout their marriages, divorces, raising children, and then returning to temp with the agency again.   Some of our former temporary personnel have since become attorneys and legal administrators who now call Joanne Mansfield Legal Personnel when they are in need of staffing and support!  
Joanne MansfieldDiana Mansfield Heckert, Owner/Operator

As a child, I remember trips to downtown Detroit where my father's law firm, Mansfield, Sulzbach & Jones, occupied space on an upper floor of the Guardian Building. Dad absolutely had to go the office on Saturdays to check the mail (at the very minimum), and my siblings and I would occupy ourselves exploring and playing with the huge paper-cutter, copy machine, typewriter, dictaphone, carbon paper and white-out. Of course, the ultimate treat was watching the Thanksgiving Parade from way up high - warm and comfortable while Dad was engrossed in those big fat red-rope files. My father was an absolute workaholic, and there was NO way I would consider a job where weekends were spent at the office!

After graduating from West Bloomfield High School in 1978, my mother, Joanne, decided I would spend the summer working thru Joanne Mansfield Legal Personnel as a temporary receptionist; a couple weeks here, a couple weeks there, perhaps an odd bookkeeping assignment thrown in for good measure – an introduction to the world of law firms – each it’s own little universe: differing legal specialties, technology, personalities, tones and amenities. I absolutely adored some assignments and tolerated the others, all the while doing the best job I possibly could – after all, I was a direct reflection of my mother’s agency. It never occurred to me in a million years that my mother was starting to lay the trap of drawing me into the business. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in French in 1982 – spending summers either studying at the Sorbonne or traveling throughout Europe visiting newfound friends. I assumed I would either return to Paris or perhaps get a job in Washington D.C. but right after graduation, Joanne asked me to come and help her out at the office for a few weeks…after all, she had indulged me for quite some time, was really busy and desperately needed some help.

I passed the Employment Agency Board examination in 1985 and subsequently received my license to manage and operate a personnel agency in the State of Michigan; I managed our downtown office, in the Penobscot Building, from 1985 to 1989 and divided my time between Detroit and our former headquarters in Troy. Although extremely successful, we opted to close our Penobscot office right before the birth of my first child in late 1989. I moved from Troy to its present location in Bingham Farms in 2002.

I inherited Joanne’s keen sense for finding the right person and personality to fill the constantly evolving needs of the individual firms. I strive to do so day in and day out with honesty, patience and a sense of humor. I do my very best to treat every candidate and client as I would like to be treated and must be doing something right since the agency continues to flourish.
Joanne MansfieldWalter "JR" Mansfield

In April 2005, I left Joanne Mansfield Legal Personnel to pursue a career in teaching. It was my goal to work with youth and create a positive learning environment. I relocated my family to Olathe, Kansas and obtained my Teaching Certification from Avila University in December, 2006. Utilizing my Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Western Michigan University and my 20 years experience at Joanne Mansfield Legal Personnel, I was well prepared to teach a variety of Business Classes ranging from Business Law to Web Design.

In May 2013, I completed my Masters Degree in Education at Avila University. I have been teaching full time in the Shawnee Mission School District since 2007. I currently teach at Shawnee Mission North High School, where I am also the Girl’s Golf Team Coach and work with the BPA (Business Professionals of America) students. I reside in Olathe, with my wife Maureen and daughters, Alexa and Victoria and our two Golden Retrievers, Emma and Nellie.