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Trey Arney Named 2019 Accidental Hr Leader By Crain’s Cleveland

By August 26, 2019April 27th, 2020No Comments


Under 30 Northeast Ohio upshot recognized for his work at Locus Fermentation Solutions

SOLON, Ohio (August 23, 2019) Trey Arney, a young leader from award-winning Cleveland biotech startup Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS), has been named the inaugural Accidental HR Leader by Crain’s Cleveland. The under 30 Recruiting Specialist turned Production Director impressed the judging panel with his help leading a 200% growth increase at the company, which is dedicated to developing green probiotic-based, chemical alternatives for top global industries.

The Accidental HR Leader Award recognizes a manager working outside of the traditional HR role who shows innovation as it relates to workforce management and employee engagement. Since starting at Locus FS, Trey has overseen a large team expansion by recruiting 46 key employees within the last year, with 100% of the jobs being filled with internal resources and no external assistance. He has been crucial in the strategic growth of the company by advancing multiple business units (oil, agriculture, and microbiological R&D) through new hires, and has optimized the recruitment cycle to improve the overall onboarding experience.

“We have large ambitions as a startup company, and in order to turn them into reality it is critical to find and hire the right people,” said Don Sweeney, Chief Financial Officer of Locus Fermentation Solutions. “Without Trey’s leadership, we would not have grown as quickly as we have over the past year with the quality of employees that we currently have on our team. Trey brought a systematic and professional attitude to the recruiting function and is now bringing the same success factors to our production department.”

Since its founding in 2014, Locus FS has attracted a skilled team of science and business professional from around the world with a common passion for developing environmentally-friendly technology to solve global challenges. Under Trey’s leadership, the company has implemented a variety of acquisition programs to develop a talent pipeline, and company-wide incentives to enhance onboarding and employee experiences during its ongoing growth. The efforts resulted in the company being recognized as a 2019 Best Employer in Ohio and a Plain Dealer 2019 Northeast Ohio Top Workplace.

For more information on Locus FS’ innovative technology, unique culture or its growing team, visit



Founded by probiotic experts, Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS) utilizes the power of microorganisms to create environmentally-friendly, yet highly effective probiotic-based solutions that reduce chemical usage and successfully address pain points in top global industries. The company’s world-class team of scientists from seven countries designed unique microbrewery-type fermenters to cost-effectively produce tailored products focusing on challenges including climate change, sustainable growing, agricultural productivity, skin diseases, water contamination, safe oil production and more. Products are commercialized under industry-specific operating companies. Locus FS currently accelerates technologies for use in agriculture (soil “probiotics” that increase crop yields and reduce carbon footprints) under Locus Agricultural Solutions, and in oil & gas (well maintenance and enhanced oil recovery treatments that increase production in declining wells and improve worker safety) under Locus Bio-Energy Solutions—with additional operating companies in development. For more information, visit 



Judged by a panel of independent human resources professionals, Crain’s Excellence in HR program honors Northeast Ohio’s top human resources executives, teams and business leaders who are building companies with the best people, talent, development and culture. Nine categories highlight those who have gone above and beyond and are making lasting impressions in their field. All of the Crain’s Excellence in HR Award winners are available at