OutSolve finds a key asset and opens a new office.
In 2011 the NILG conference was held in New Orleans, and OutSolve was very involved with the planning. These conferences represent the annual trek of contractors, lawyers, and consultants to the host city – some are good and some are “just ok.” I had the pleasure of announcing the new Obama-appointed head of OFCCP, Patricia Shiu, to an anxious crowd. Overall, the conference had real value and was well attended.
During that conference I made 2 good decisions:
- As the program chair for the conference I selected Betty Degeneres (Ellen’s mom) to speak on LGBTQ issues. At the time it was considered an odd fit at a conference centered on affirmative action compliance. Seven short years later and it’s a pivotal issue.
- I had a side conversation with Chris Lindholm.
Chris and I first met a month after OutSolve started in 1998 at another ILG conference in Seattle. We are similar in age and have grown up in this business. Because of his industry savvy and likable personality, I knew he could be a great strategic asset to the company. He could take us to a new level – the only problem is he had no interest in moving to New Orleans. That meant opening a new office (a significant expense) in Sacramento, CA. In December 2011 Chris founded the West Coast operations of OutSolve. Ever since, he has been like a parakeet on my shoulder giving me every bit of practical advice, suggestions for growth, and sarcasm that has propelled OutSolve forward.
Chris and Eli have proven to be a formidable sales team. They have different skills and are able to truly partner to determine the best solution for clients. As I reflect on 20 years, it’s clear to me that the people make the business. If I have done anything right it was finding great people like Chris.