Richland IT support startup acquired by Utah company
Years after a Richland entrepreneur launched a business and grew it into an established IT support provider, a Utah company has acquired it, transforming Elevate into Executech.
The service will stay local, all jobs will remain, and the former CEO of Elevate, Paul Carlisle, is proud to report that each employee “got a piece of the action” when it came to the buyout.
Carlisle will remain head of the office, assuming a new role as general manager of the Tri-Cities Executech location, effective Sept. 1.
Carlisle declined to share the sum Executech paid for the company he founded in 2005.
Carlisle said he was a leader in the industry, running his business as managed services rather than the previous model that often included working off a retainer.
Acquisition called a win
Carlisle said the Executech acquisition gives him a “sense or freedom” to relinquish some of the demands that came with his former role, affording him more opportunities to work directly with customers, while increasing buying and banking power.
He said his customers benefit from the company’s sale by “greater access to robust cybersecurity and cloud tools and services,” a critical need as IT vulnerabilities often grow as quickly as those looking to exploit them.
He called the acquisition a win for “my family, my employees and my customers.”
Prior to acquiring Elevate, Executech had expanded its reach by buying managed service providers in Seattle and Spokane. Executech is backed by Evergreen Services Group, a private-equity backed company that invests in managed service providers.
“We’re excited to add the amazing talent and culture of the Elevate team to support more areas of the state,” said Executech’s CEO DJ Dorff.
Essentially providing outsourced IT support, Carlisle launched Elevate with two employees, grew to more than 20 staffers, and then got back down to a “fighting weight” of a comfortable 12-person workforce.
The first company to receive a “Business on a Roll” award from the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Carlisle said the team learned to became more efficient with its systems and processes to provide the same level of support on a smaller payroll.
Over the years, Elevate bounced around locations as it outgrew each home base, but always remained in Richland, finally setting up shop at the Abadan building at 79 Aaron Drive.
Today, Carlisle’s employees mostly work remotely, or travel directly to the client.
Carlisle said his team responded quickly to a rapidly changing landscape at the start of the pandemic, “because it’s the nature of who we are.”
Elevate employees began teleworking before it was mandated and had prepared for clients’ requests for IT support as they too began working from home.
Carlisle initially looked at the challenge similar to how his team handled an ice storm: customer needs would shift as on-site locations shut down and remote systems became more common, both for clients and the Elevate team itself.
Preferring to flip the script where possible, Carlisle’s team now has specified “work from the office Wednesdays” twice monthly where employees are encouraged to be less productive than they are when working remotely, as a way of team building.
“We structured it so people are highly productive while working off site. When you’re at the office playing air hockey with someone, you might be less likely to get annoyed by the email they send the next week,” Carlisle joked.
This emphasis on a collaborative work culture likely has contributed to the tenure of Carlisle’s employees, with most staying with the company for more than five years, on average.
A second-generation graduate of Washington State University Tri-Cities and longtime professor, Carlisle will continue teaching entrepreneurship and business management classes, while helping launch the school’s first entrepreneur-in-residence program.
Executech: 79 Aaron Drive, Suite 200, Richland; executech.com; 509-946-8484.