Bill Schwartz - CEO of Inter-Quest

Letter from the CEO: Episode 2

Good day!  It’s been a fun month so far in Beaver Dam with decent weather and what seems to be many positive changes in our downtown.  For those of you that don’t know, we are in downtown Beaver Dam.  I grew up here, only leaving to attend college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  My business partner, Jeff, also attended UW-Whitewater which is where we both took a job at a software development firm in Mequon that ultimately led to us starting Inter-Quest.  This month has led us to think on many things but two stand out: downtown Beaver Dam, and some of the ideals that led to the creation of Inter-Quest.

Having grown up in Beaver Dam, I remember a vibrant downtown that I could walk to when I was young, and I remember the mall opening up and the changes that meant to our community.  Since we decided to locate our business in the downtown in 2002 both Jeff and I have tried to lead by example.  We improved the properties we purchased and back in 2012 we started construction of a garden in the vacant property next to our business.

Picture of our garden

The garden doesn’t serve any for profit motive.  It’s supposed to be a gift to our community that we own and maintain.  An example of what can be done when we work together for a greater good.  A place of peace and reflection as a pocket garden between two buildings.

  When it comes down to it the community supports us and we in turn support our community. 

Today across the street from my office I see construction going on for a new microbrewery, Ooga Brewing Company.  I’m super excited to see another improvement on Spring Street and the thought that this corridor in our community can be an example of collaboration being a catalyst makes me excited for our future.  It helps remind me that all things can come full circle, which brings me to the other item that’s been on my mind this month.

I was talking to someone who I respect very much in our community.  I was discussing their business concerns and how those relate to their use and need of technology.  They have some issues with a copier contract which brought up the idea that they have no long-term plan.  It seems that when something breaks they fix it.  Constantly running from fire to fire and then trying to find the money in the budget to pay for it.

When Jeff and I started Inter-Quest, we did so to create a board game.  That board game was designed to teach people about technology and the Internet.  In my discussion I realized that over the last 20+ years we’ve also rushed from one broken item to the next.  Along the way we’ve created some excellent examples of what can be done, like our garden, but we stopped letting our clients know that we aren’t just here to fix things when they break.

We’re here to both learn and then to teach what we’ve learned to our partners in success, our Clients.  Questions that start with “What if..”, “How do I..” can lead to discussions that solve problems and move everyone forward.  Our clients should never feel like they can’t ask a question or have a discussion with either Jeff or me that can help move them forward with their goals.

So, in the spirit of going full circle, if you have a question about technology, how it affects your business or non-profit.  Any “What if” or “How do I” please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to talk about it.  In fact, Jeff or I will take you out to lunch, so we can reconnect and discuss whatever’s on your mind.  In what should be exciting times communication and collaboration can lead to our mutual success and the success of our shared community.