Before there was C2IT, there was Custom Computer Software. Not only did Chet, our CEO work there, but so did Joe Newlin, our Director of Operations. The two of them worked there up until the business was sold to Chet, who asked Joe to come along with him and step into this ‘whole new world’ of small-scale tech entrepreneurship.
It’s been nearly 20 years since all that happened, and Joe Newlin has been there alongside Chet every step of the way. Joe is a pivotal cog in the wheel here at C2IT; he has a hand in almost every facet of what C2IT does today. Most of our IT services have Joe’s fingerprints all over them. Whether coding, software applications, SAS, or server hardware, Joe’s work ethic helps him to find his way into every opportunity we pursue. One of the things that Joe and I spent a great deal of time talking about was this incredibly long trip that he’s taken alongside Chet, including the time he and Chet lost their largest client and were faced with the prospect of closing the business. Back in the day, C2IT’s main client was National Car Sales and the local franchise of National Car Rental. After that was bought by Enterprise, Chet and Joe had to pivot and reimagine the company since around 80% of their business went out the door with that acquisition. Joe says it best, “The two of us just got to work I guess, we mostly started with word of mouth, finding people who needed the work that we did, only recently we started building into real marketing after bringing Ryan on.”
Joe has been invested in C2IT literally from the very beginning. To Joe it almost feels like a family business, he’s watched it grow and felt like he’s been a part of building it up. Joe has stayed with C2IT far longer than any other company, and when I asked him why that was, he said it was mostly Chet and the flexibility that he’s been afforded. Family is everything to Joe, and back in 2000, when Joe started with Don and Chet at CCS, Joe’s son was born. There were medical complications and Don let Joe work about 3 days a week while Joe was at the hospital taking care of his son. Things like that have been the reason that Joe has found C2IT to be a company that he can continue to work for. The flexibility back then has stayed now and any time that Joe has needed to, he’s been able to step away from work to be with family, and that has been everything for him.
The importance Joe places on family and flexibility have rubbed off on Chet as well. When I talked to Chet about his walk alongside Joe, he shared with me some of the stories of how it’s been so hard to step away from work to take time with his own family, but Joe has always had his back to make this happen when he needed it. Joe was even part of Chet’s journey into coaching softball, and in years, unlike this year, they can often be found talking about the game.
I wanted to leave you with some of Joe’s own words to close out this month’s Employee Spotlight, I asked Joe what he thought looking back over this journey that he’s taken, he had this to say; “It’s certainly been nice to work for a local small business that works with the local community. Ya know we do computer work but we’re people, not machines. Through this whole thing, Chet and I have been involved with the community, through our stuff, and with C2IT officially. It’s been nice to spend all this time with a company that’s felt like family, that cares about my stuff, rather than a huge company that wouldn’t have cared about any of the things that Chet or the rest of the team have.”