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SBA Emerging Leaders Program Helped CEO Pivot to Grow Firm

Dan Reisig co-founded Concergent IT in 2001 after six years of working as an IT network systems contractor for large manufacturers, and over ten years serving in the U.S. Air Force in telecommunications and computer systems. Based in Wichita, Concergent IT is a technology-consulting firm that offers data center colocation, local private cloud services, IT architect & systems design, fully managed IT services and sells hardware and software to clients in a variety of industries in all 50 states and six countries.

In the beginning, Concergent provided IT professional services to companies before expanding to include sales of computer hardware and software. They later added a data center that provided off-site data storage and colocation for companies. The company’s name, Concergent, was created by combining the words concierge and urgent, and it defines how the company serves its clients.

Executive Education Alternative

In 2014, Reisig was looking for ways to continue to grow the firm in the highly competitive IT sector.  While he didn’t have time over the years to pursue a MBA degree, he recognized there was always more to learn about business. When Reisig heard that the SBA was offering a new program based on the StreetWise MBA curriculum developed by Interise and Boston University’s Entrepreneurial Management Institute, he applied.

The SBA’s Emerging Leaders program is a seven-month course designed to help established business owners create a three-year strategic growth action plan.

“It truly was one of the best programs I’ve ever been a part of,” said Reisig in an interview with The Wichita Eagle. “It’s kind of cliche, but as business owners we’re always working in the business and not on the business. It helped me identify what my strengths are and what’s really in my control,” continued Reisig.

As the CEO of the company, Reisig realized he could impact the company’s bottom line more by focusing on his talents and delegating the administrative tasks to others. “I love putting a mutually beneficial deal together, business just doesn’t work any other way”. I realized trying to manage the “9 to 5” operations was never the best use of my time,” said Reisig. The Emerging Leaders Program helped me understand and calculate the financial impact of focusing on what I do best,” said Reisig.

Pivot from 'the Boss' to Leader

In 2015, Reisig changed his role in the business to focus more on technical sales and business development. As the company grew, he built a strong relationship with a Hutchinson-based client called Underground Vaults and Storage that operates three underground and eight above-ground record storage and destruction facilities in four states, and in England.

Best known for storing millions of unique and fragile items, such as movie films and props, in a 650-foot deep salt mine beneath Hutchinson, Underground Vaults and Storage was also looking to grow by incorporating data center and IT services in its portfolio. Reisig saw the potential win-win if Underground Vaults and Storage made Concergent IT a division of their company.   

In 2016, Underground Vaults and Storage acquired Concergent IT and kept its operations under Dan Reisig’s leadership. The acquisition gave Underground Vaults and Storage access to a new market with secure, underground storage facilities and other services for the IT sector. The new parent company gave Reisig’s Concergent IT the resources it needed to develop the business even further.  

Today, Reisig is the Vice President of Technology for Underground Vaults and Storage. He’s dedicated his time to develop the company’s technology strategy and target IT acquisition deals.

“SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program was the catalyst that changed my approach to growing the business. The program filled-in the gaps of knowledge I needed, and a new mindset that placed priority on focusing on my strengths – what I’m good at – and building a good team to take care of the rest,” added Reisig.

The change in mindset from being a ‘boss’ to a leader wasn’t easy. Reisig recalled the challenge of losing the control he had as CEO in 2015 in order to focus on driving sales to grow the business. “I hadn’t lost control of my destiny,” he said. “The destination was the same, it’s only the journey that has been different,” concluded Reisig.

Company Name: 
Concergent IT
Location: 
Wichita, Kansas
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