After years of running the “corporate rat-race” down in the San Francisco Bay area, Scott Christopherson was ready for a change of pace. A visit to Southern Oregon to see a friend became a pivotal moment in Scott’s future; he decided to quit his corporate job and move his family north. “I wanted to live in a nice place—with small communities and a view of the mountains. I was willing to be a bus driver if I could just live here.”
Instead of driving a bus, Scott’s background with computer software landed him a job at Tekmanagement, where he bought into a partnership with Jerry Bascilicato. In the 1970’s, Bascilicato left his position as Systems Analyst for Lithia and unofficially started Tekmanagement to continue to provide Lithia IT support. The company became official in 1983 and, over time, offered tech support to other clients. After Scott spent several years working at Tekmanagement, he was able to buy Bascilicato’s share of the business. Now, Scott and two other partners, Jason Ritchie and Jason Stevens, manage one of Southern Oregon’s valued IT companies.
Tekmanagement’s mission as a company is to work alongside businesses to provide secure IT support and infrastructure so that business owners and employees don’t have to worry about their technology. Tekmanagement keeps everything up-to-date and secure—a valuable service amidst constantly increasing cyber threats. Fast-paced companies dependent on the ability to use phones and computers can lose millions of dollars when technology is down for even an hour.
Tekmanagement has been able to recover data and get systems back up and running—sometimes within a matter of minutes. Grateful clients become permanent clientele, and for someone like Scott, who considers customer retention Tekmanagement’s largest success, this means that the company has to be a “champion of technology,” and keep on top of the latest trends. Tekmanagement’s staff, certified in various tech industries, follow a life-long learning principle, consistently educating themselves on the use of rapidly evolving devices that people employ in their companies.
“Tech in general, changes constantly,” explains Scott. “It follows Moore’s law.” In simple terms, this means that the speed and capability of technology is expected to double every two years, resulting from increases in transistors and microchips. Of course, most practical business owners don’t care about Moore’s law on a daily basis. “They just want their tech to work properly,” says Scott. “And making sure it works is our job.”
Tekmanagement employees are always learning the newest tech trends—so they can be responsive and efficient. With a staff of eighteen (including marketing, sales, finance, and management teams), Tekmanagement is growing and hoping to acquire other companies—which will provide a larger customer base. “Students fresh out of school often want to work for bigger companies. However, if they prove themselves, it’s not hard to be successful here,” Scott says. Tekmanagement searches for employees with technical certificates, but also industry experience and a willingness to learn. Plus, Scott also mentions the company’s focus on work-life balance, discussing how there are amazing things to do, just outside the door. “Living in Southern Oregon is like camping, except you have your house. We want folks to work here long-term,” says Scott. “So, we try to have some fun too.”
Southern Oregon offers increasing business opportunities for a company like Tekmanagement. “We mainly service companies in Oregon, but our remote footprint is international, reaching even to Africa. We’ve already doubled in growth,” Scott explains. “It’s great that Southern Oregon also has resources to help businesses, like the Chamber leadership programs and SOREDI.” Not to mention the area’s excellent small-town festivities and recreational opportunities. “I love being part of the community. It’s business-friendly, and people actually talk to one another. Other tech companies I interact with are missing that human involvement,” concluded Scott. “It’s great here.”
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