About Us

Background and Mission

Established in 1998, First Response is an Alabama-based human resource compliance company providing services to a variety of businesses in the United States.

We work with clients from diverse industries and public and privately-held companies, ranging from 20 to over 15,000 employees.

Our mission is to raise the standard of respect in workplace conduct and help companies create respectful, productive, profitable, and safe work environments—free from discrimination, harassment, or unethical behavior.

Our Workplace Conduct Solutions Program includes background checks, drug testing, call center hotlines, training programs, documentation, and human resource answers. We also provide human resources outsourcing services. First Response works proactively with our partner companies to promote proper workplace conduct and to reduce clients’ exposure to litigation and loss.

Our History

First Response, Inc. was established in 1998 by our late founder and former CEO, HP “Buddy” Stith III. He hired his son-in-law, Terry Gray as President, in 2000 to run the operations and together they built the company.

First Response, Inc. was established in 1998 by our late founder and former CEO, HP “Buddy” Stith III. He hired his son-in-law, Terry Gray, as President, in 2000 to run the operations, and together they built the company.


The company’s original mission was to help employers reduce liability against record verdicts and litigation based on harassment, discrimination, and retaliation issues created in the workplace. This was accomplished by establishing a Professional Workplace Conduct Program (PWC) that employers could adopt in addition to their current handbook policies and procedures.

The PWC programs is a turnkey approach to dealing with what can be one of the largest liabilities employers may face – a harassment or discrimination lawsuit. The program is made up of three key elements: a employee hotline (24/7 way for employees to report issues), documentation (policies, tools and forms to simplify the process for administrators or owner(s)) and training for employees and managers.

By establishing these easy to utilize tools for employers, First Response began to grow. In 2002 one of our largest clients at the time, Buffalo Rock (a distributor for Pepsi products), received a exemplary honor from the US Department of Labor called the EVE award. In the press release the DOL mentions First Response:

Particularly effective is the company’s “First Response Professional Workplace Conduct Program,” which provides a strong policy statement, extensive manager training and a confidential and easy-to-use reporting procedure for handling sexual harassment. In training, the company emphasizes the important role employees play in reporting potential harassment and makes clear the support they will receive from top management. A toll-free harassment help-line has been installed to ensure confidentiality for complainants. Supervisors and managers are trained in “first response” techniques to recognize early signs of harassment and to respond properly to employee reports of such behavior. “First response” also addresses workplace violence, including possible warning signs.

From that point, First Response began to add services based on request of its clients and grew by referrals to the company it is today.

In 2013 Buddy sold the business to his son-in-law and business partner, Terry Gray. First Response continues to be run on the principles and guidance that Buddy established and groomed from its beginning.

Today, First Response, with its professional team and technology is well positioned to continue to grow and serve clients as we have for over two decades.

Meet Our Team

From Left to right Claudia Bryars, Terry Gray, Kelly Sullivan.

Terry Gray

President

Claudia Bryars

Office Manager

Kelly Sullivan

Director – Client Consulting and Human Resources

Noni Ray

Senior Quality Assurance Analyst – Employment Screening