Staff Spotlight – Sam Lay, Senior Rock Star Recruiter!

If you’re not already following him on Facebook, you’re seriously missing out on adorable family pictures, some really killer home renovations and impressive drawing skills. Intrigued? There’s more to this Southern Gentleman than meets the eye. Meet Sam Lay! He is one of our Rock Star Recruiters currently based in Atlanta, GA! Sam has been recruiting for over 6 years and still feels the same joy, when he finds his Travel Nurses the perfect match. When he’s offline (right…like you’re ever offline) you’ll catch him binge watching his favorite TV shows, working on his latest do-it-yourself project, or spending quality time with his wife and kids. Sam’s knowledge, reliability, and dedication to his nurses, are just a handful of qualities that make Sam such a successful recruiter, and an invaluable member of the Axis Family!

Let’s learn more about what makes Sam tick!

1. First things first, Vodka, Tequila or Whiskey?

Depends on the night of the week I suppose. Or better yet, how my week is going. But generally speaking, I would ride with Tequila. Nights just tend to end up a little more entertaining when Tequila is in the mix.

2. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done, and does it have anything to do with your answer to the previous question?

I have a lot of answers for this, unfortunately. Picking one that is appropriate enough for a work blog while also being entertaining has proven to be pretty tough, but I’ve picked one that’s relatively safe. As most good stories start…I was at a party in college. The party was at a second floor apartment and as most college parties go, the police were eventually called to break it up. They started checking everyone’s IDs, and being that I was not quite 21 yet, I had to think quickly. I climbed out of a bedroom window (still on the second floor). There was a small ledge and a rain gutter I could hold on to. I figured I would just ride it out like Spider Man until things died down.  Everything was working perfectly until the rain gutter started to pull away from the building. As you may have guessed, the entire gutter system ripped off the side of the apartment and I fell into a holly bush below.  It wasn’t graceful by any means, BUT I did escape.

3. What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of work?

I am a huge sports enthusiast.  If it involves the Dolphins, Canes, Heat, or Braves, I’m there.  I’m also a big DIY guy.  I’ve done a ton of renovations around our house and love making furniture and things out of wood.  I enjoy cooking/grilling/barbecuing and consider myself a craft beer connoisseur.  One of my hidden talents is that I am a pretty sick artist.  I can draw pretty much any Disney princess (Audrey, my 5 year old daughter, can confirm).  I also like to watch TV.  It seems like people are generally afraid to admit watching TV as a hobby for some reason.  Not me!  I watch TV.  And I like it.


4. It’s a Friday night in Atlanta, and you must pick one restaurant to go to.  Where do you go and why?

Oh man.  Its tough to pick just one, so I’ll go with two that I could easily flip a coin for and be happy at either place.  My two go-tos are The Optimist and The Wrecking Bar.  The Optimist, as unbelievable as it sounds being in Atlanta, has some of the most amazing seafood dishes I’ve ever tasted. Okay Seattle coworkers, put the pitch forks down. I know, it’s crazy, but before you call me insane…I’m from Miami, so I know good seafood. Let me have this one! Then there’s The Wrecking Bar, which is AWESOME.  It’s a restaurant/bar that is located in the cellar of a historic Victorian house.  It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri and has some of the tastiest dishes and beers you could imagine.

5. Growing up in Florida and now raising your kids in Georgia, what’s you’re favorite thing about being in the Southeast?

First of all, Southern Hospitality is a real thing.  For the most part, everyone just seems happy to be here.  It’s a great place to raise a family.  We are within a couple hours drive of anything – beaches, mountains, lakes, rivers, you name it, and don’t even get me started on barbecue and southern cuisine.


6. Best vacation you have ever taken?

Has to be the first “real” vacation that I took with my wife.  We took a week long trip to Gatlinburg, TN a few months after we started dating.  We stayed in an awesome cabin way up in the Smokies, went skiing over in North Carolina, and just hung out around Gatlinburg.  A few years later, we would return to get married up there!  So yea, the trip was THAT good.

7. If you could visit anywhere in the world you’ve never been, where would you go?

Is Europe too broad of an answer?  I’d love to see Italy, England, France, and Ireland, in particular.  Some day!

Looking for your next travel assignment?  Search our gigs here.

8. Dog or Cat person? 

Dog person all the way.  We have a one year old Chocolate Lab named Daisy.  Our family wouldn’t be the same without her.

9. I’m happiest when:

I’m hanging with my kids.  Audrey is 5 going on 15 and Hudson is as “3 years old” as it gets.  Happy to say they could not be better friends, though.  Sure, they have their moments, but watching them laugh and play and grow up together makes me happier than anything.

10. What are three things you couldn’t live without?

(See question #1 – just kidding!)  Family, tools, and Monster Energy drinks.  In that order.

11. You win a $5k shopping spree to a store of your choice. Which one is it?

Home Depot, of course.  He who dies with the most tools wins!

Home Depot

12. ACL, Burning Man or Lollapalooza?

Burning Man.  But I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to any of them.

13. Biggest Fear?

Letting my kids down.  I always want them to look at me as their hero.


14. You’re going for a long drive, what are you listening to?

I am not a one genre kind of guy.  If you ride with me, its going to be an epic mix.  Maybe a little hip hop, some reggae, a little 90’s country, alternative, who knows, maybe even a little bluegrass depending on which states we are going through.  Needless to say, I’ll keep you guessing.

15. I’d rather spend time: in a ski lodge, on a beach, driving through the countryside.

Although I was raised in south Florida, I consider myself a bit of a mountain man at this point in my life.  My slope “skills” could definitely use some work, but I’d have to go with a ski lodge.

16. What are you currently watching on Netflix?

We just finished Stranger Things Season 3.  Someone must have been chopping onions at the end.  I was a mess.

Stranger Things

17. Favorite movie of all time?

Man that’s tough.  I’d say Forrest Gump or The Sandlot.

18. What was your favorite TV shows when growing up?

As a kid, it was Doug.  As a teenager, I liked Saved by the Bell, Boy Meets World, and Home Improvement.

19. Childhood celebrity crush?

Ha, easy.  Kelly Kapowski.


20. Childhood idol?

Anyone that knows me will tell you Chipper Jones.  “Chipper” was even my childhood nickname for a while (I told you I’m a big sports guy).

21. You recruit Travel Nurses for assignments throughout the country.  What’s your favorite part about your job?

It sounds corny, but I love finding that perfect match.  It is an awesome feeling to hear that a nurse thoroughly loves their assignment.

22. Favorite place to send Travel Nurses and why?

I love bringing nurses here to Atlanta.  There is so much to do and I feel really valuable as a recruiter when I can give nurses tips and suggestions based on my first hand experiences.


23. How would your Travel Nurses describe you?

Reliable.  I’d like to think my nurses know that they can reach me at any time for any reason.  They’d definitely describe me as a straight shooter and very personable.  I am very honest and I don’t meet very many strangers in my life so I just treat everyone like a long lost friend.

Sam_Gum Wall

24. If you could offer one piece of advice to a Travel Nurse, what would it be?

Just enjoy it, the whole experience.  It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to travel forever.  Be adventurous.  Take chances.  Check out places you never thought you’d see.  Don’t sweat the small stuff and try to take it all in.  When it’s all said and done you won’t be telling stories about how Karen, your nurse manager, had a grudge against you and scheduled you for shifts you didn’t want to work.  You’ll tell stories about driving across the country, wishing there was more to see in Iowa than corn fields for miles, or how the Zion National Park took your breathe away. You’ll recount trying a raw oyster for the first time overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Diego or karaoke nights in a dingy bowling alley with your fellow Travelers in North Dakota. Every contract has a story. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes ugly and sometimes all of the above. Roll with it and keep the focus on why you took the contract to begin with.

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 25. Finally, time to make it a little about us, what do you like best about working at Axis?

Axis is the first company that I have ever worked for that claims to be a family, and truly is.  I consider my colleagues some of my closest friends and I thoroughly look forward to each and every day that I get to be a part of this awesome team.  It’s an absolute blessing to work for a company that you know has your back in every way.  A lot of companies talk the talk.  Axis lives it.

Thanks, Sam! It’s hard to describe how great it’s been having you as a member of the Axis Family!

Want to work with Sam?  Duh, dumb question. It’s really simple, fill out the information below, drop his name, and he’ll reach out!


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