The Teen Years: Reflection by our CEO
July marks our corporate passage in to the teen years. I’ve been asked quite a few times: How has your business been able to sustain itself for so long? My answer is simple, it’s the people.
The Cima Family:
Cima’s history manifested with 5 (+1) people back in July of 2005. Those people set the stage for us to survive the tumultuous financial years between 2005 and 2010. Whether it was Mike Beecham’s humor and tenacity to get the next call, or Mark Venator (happy 15th/50th my brother) being the wise “beyond his years” technology savant or Clint Goodin and his years of experience that made us realize sales is always fun or Hunter Hardy making sure we could pay the bills next month – that group got us through formative years of a small business. And I could not be more thankful for their support then, and still with the years to come.
Between 2007 and 2010 we added 3 more to the group + a small accounting firm that has made an equally indelible mark in the business. Ken Scott showed us that there was more to sales than just a server. He also made sure that winning was fun and losing was not, not that we needed a reminder. My brother in law, Steven Geter, took a chance and joined us as what was at first an operations role. Over the course of the past 11 years, he’s had more jobs at Cima than everyone combined. All the while doing it with a smile on his face and a get it done attitude. In 2010 we finally convinced Todd Brown to join us. His constant questioning about the direction of the company and his passion to make things better pushed us through the trans-formative years between 2010 and 2015. And finally GLA CPA (now Davidson Alday) jumped in to the fray with us. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to work with your older brother on your business. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz wrote “No matter who you are, you need two kinds of friends in your life. The first kind is one you can call when something good happens, and you need someone who will be excited for you. Not a fake excitement veiling envy, but a real excitement. You need someone who will actually be more excited for you than he would be if it had happened to him. The second kind of friend is somebody you can call when things go horribly wrong—when your life is on the line and you only have one phone call.” That’s Louie.
Over the past 3 years we’ve brought on some great people to take us to the next level. Abbie Herberger was brought on fresh out of college and quickly learned the ins and outs of the corporate world, becoming an invaluable member in making sure Cima runs smoothly. Jerry Weitzel brought us instant credibility in our backup and disaster recovery practice. Another college hire, actually MBA hire, was Kevin Curran. Our first real hire in our Managed Services team with the right amount of temperament and questioning of how things are done to get us going in the right direction. Alex Morrow brought along his crew from AbovePoint, Anthony Dudley with his willingness to always go the extra mile along with John Milligan. Alex’s ability to make certain everything centers around the customer first is what ultimately will take us to the next level. He also has brought on two new members over the past couple of months, Chris White and Casey Lackey, that have the same attitude and quest for greatness that will make our MSP team even greater! And finally our sales and marketing hires – Leisa Sims and her brilliant client relationship mind and awesome attitude, John Schenck and his determination to succeed in our Austin territory, and Madison Hardy (yes, we now have a second generation employee!) and her fresh perspective on how to market ourselves in the territory. As a business owner, nothing gives you more confidence than knowing your business is a place where truly great people want to work.
Thanks to All:
There are quite a few others that have made a significant impact in our business however Madison will already be mad at me because this post is too long. To all those that ever took a chance and joined me on this wild ride, thank you, I’m truly honored to have worked with you.
And to my +1, Becky Alday, I could think of no one better to have shared the joys and sorrows of a small business with. Fear or faith, faith always wins!