About Us

Expertise. Reputation. Success. 

Colleagues in the industry know these terms apply to the leadership at Engage.

Engage represents a powerful combination that fuses the experience of independent industry veterans to create a substantial competitive advantage for clients.

Jay Starkman

Chief Executive Officer

In 2011, after more than two decades marked by substantial achievement within and outside of the PEO industry, Jay set out to build a new kind of PEO where quality service would be the driving focus of everything. That PEO is Engage. Today, Engage is one of the fastest growing companies in the country.

Before forming Engage, Jay was president and CEO of AlphaStaff, a PEO which he grew from a small player to a top five industry leader. The then fastest growing PEO under his leadershi... More

In 2011, after more than two decades marked by substantial achievement within and outside of the PEO industry, Jay set out to build a new kind of PEO where quality service would be the driving focus of everything. That PEO is Engage. Today, Engage is one of the fastest growing companies in the country.

Before forming Engage, Jay was president and CEO of AlphaStaff, a PEO which he grew from a small player to a top five industry leader. The then fastest growing PEO under his leadership, Jay sold the company in 2008 to a private equity group, creating a large return on investment for company shareholders. Jay also previously served as president and CEO of OneChem, a software application provider to the chemical industry.  

In addition to his corporate leadership success, Jay had a distinguished legal career, serving as the managing partner of his own firm, which specialized in employment and commercial law, arguing seminal cases as high as the United States Supreme Court. Jay served as a member of the board of directors of ESAC (Employee Services Assurance Corporation), the accrediting body for the PEO industry. He also served on the board of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO).

Jay has received numerous awards in recognition of his business accomplishments, including the Gold Stevie® Award for Executive of the Year in the 2015 American Business Awards.  He also received Florida’s Top Entrepreneur Award from Florida Business Leader; named HRO Top Superstar by HRO Today; and a Florida TrendSetter by Florida Trend. A frequent writer and expert commentator on a wide range of HR and legal compliance issues, Jay is a contributing writer for The American City Business Journals, Employee Benefits News, Insurance Advocate, and other HR and insurance industry publications.

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Midge Seltzer

President

Prior to founding Engage, Midge was president and chief operating officer of Modern Business Associates (MBA), Inc., a PEO and HRO company. 

Midge’s vision led MBA from a small PEO with less than 1,200 worksite employees to one of the top 20 largest PEO’s in the country.  The cornerstones of this growth were Midge’s emphasis on client retention and innovative service delivery.  

Before leading MBA, Midge worked abroad for several international law firms, practicing corporate,... More

Prior to founding Engage, Midge was president and chief operating officer of Modern Business Associates (MBA), Inc., a PEO and HRO company. 

Midge’s vision led MBA from a small PEO with less than 1,200 worksite employees to one of the top 20 largest PEO’s in the country.  The cornerstones of this growth were Midge’s emphasis on client retention and innovative service delivery.  

Before leading MBA, Midge worked abroad for several international law firms, practicing corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment law.  During this time, she gained valuable international legal and business experience, a valuable asset in today’s diversified corporate environment.

A recognized leader in the PEO community, Midge has served the industry in various capacities and roles including: past chairperson of NAPEO; past chair of the NAPEO Legal Advisory Council; chairperson of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Board of Employee Leasing Companies under Governor Charlie Christ; and former vice president of the Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations (“FAPEO”). 

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Ralph Labarta

Chief Technology Officer

Ralph is responsible for technology and process innovation at Engage, including customer facing technology services.  Prior to joining Engage, Ralph served as the Chief Technology Officer of AlphaStaff, a leading human resources and payroll outsourcing firm.  Mr. Labarta was a key executive team member and responsible for all aspects of technology which supported dramatic growth over a seven year period and helped transform AlphaStaff into one of the nation’s largest PEOs.  In 2008, the co... More

Ralph is responsible for technology and process innovation at Engage, including customer facing technology services.  Prior to joining Engage, Ralph served as the Chief Technology Officer of AlphaStaff, a leading human resources and payroll outsourcing firm.  Mr. Labarta was a key executive team member and responsible for all aspects of technology which supported dramatic growth over a seven year period and helped transform AlphaStaff into one of the nation’s largest PEOs.  In 2008, the company was sold to a private equity group, creating a large return on investment for the company’s investors.

Ralph also held the position of Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice-President of Technology with OneChem Ltd., where he was responsible for product development and operations.  Ralph has a broad range of experience in technology strategy and management and held various technology management positions within Norsk Hydro, a multi-billion dollar oil, gas, and aluminum producer. Ralph began his professional career with Andersen Consulting as a senior technology consultant.

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