Zionsville resident and zWORKS member Bob Paden is now the owner of The Growth Coach Indianapolis North franchise. He and his team are focused on supporting Boone and Hamilton County business owners grow their companies while maintaining balance.
Paden was operating an independent firm called Tier321.
“Becoming a Growth Coach franchise allowed me to throw gas on a fire I had already been working on for three years,” Paden said.
After leaving a 25-year long career in corporate America, Paden branched out on his own in one-on-one consulting with TIER321 firm. During his past two months with The Growth Coach, Paden said it has been like drinking from a fire hose – in a good way – better tools, better materials and a great support system.
From left: Tre Plowman, Jason Fordham and Casey Reagan
It all started at American Eagle in Circle Center Mall. Jason Fordham’s wife was trying on jeans.
As is the popular question for most issues now-a-days, Jason wondered if there was an app that made the fitting room experience less cumbersome.
Different size? Different brand? Shoes to go with those jeans? Jewelry?
And so, the Perfit solution started to form.
Jason brought back his idea to a few of his coworkers at the time, Casey Reagan, Jamal Khan and Tre Plowman.
“We wanted this to be a consumer-driven product,” Fordham said. “That’s the one thing that’s consistent. No matter if people shop online or in-stores, they want to own the experience from start to finish.”
One zWORKS member doesn’t commute across town, she commutes across the country.
Lindsey Bullinger flies to Atlanta, Georgia about once a week and is technically considered a super-commuter.
Bullinger does public policy research and teaches at Georgia Tech. Her education route included an undergrad at Miami University, a master’s at Syracuse University and a doctorate at Indiana University.
“What I enjoy about doing this is that these decisions that people are making everyday are affecting people everywhere,” Bullinger said. “It’s important to know if public policy is doing what it’s supposed to be doing.”
Geneva Taylor was a purchasing executive primarily for both Navistar and Rolls Royce for more than 25 years. In 2016, she started looking for something different and heard about recruiting.
“I did a lot of things I liked to do and I still get to do,” Taylor said. “Throughout my career, I’ve mentored people and helped them with careers. It felt really natural that instead of sourcing parts, I source people.”
Taylor bought an MRI Network franchise and started Tellis Executive Search, named after her maiden name. Tellis provides recruitment and staffing services focused on engineering, manufacturing and supply chain roles along with IT positions.
The journey of a zWORKS startup has not only involved the founder but also some of his students at the Indiana Women’s Prison.
Ken Kitts is a mentor with The Last Mile, a program that trains incarcerated individuals in business and technology. He has worked with The Last Mile for 9 months.
“One of the greatest rewards has been the motivation effect that it has on the students,” Kitts said. “They’re seeing a world they didn’t even think existed, let alone one that they could be a part of.”
Kitts has shared the process of building The IT Factory from step one to the current phase of beta testing. The IT Factory is designed to help teams align their development efforts with the strategic goals of the organization and forecast dates with little to no effort. It prioritizes work based upon the strategic mapping and cycle time for completing a requirement.