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Founders

Company

Professional Communications

101 Nickels Arcade
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Gary Salton

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I assume you are referring to education since I started the firm, none. Prior to starting my business I earned a Ph.D. in Sociology, a Master of Arts in Economics and a Master of Business Administration. I am published in the fields of organizational development, human resources, finance, real estate, systems, taxation and operations research. In the way of experience I have held managerial and senior executive posts in investment banking, real estate and automotive industries. He has held positions as Sr. Vice President, Chief Planning Officer, and Corporate Controller among others.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
That was a bit of time ago. Many of our clients have been with us for more than 10 years and I'm not sure who was first.

I found the first clients through cold call marketing. This was a bit of a challenge since my business and academic background gave me no experience with this. However, once you develop the skin of a rino, anyone can do it.

You can see a sample of our client list and the countries where we do business at http://www.iopt.com/corporate-information.html (about the middle of the page. Just click the blue hyperlinks.

Where did you find your first employee?
Referral by an friend.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
We do not have interns. We have an issue with this. Our product is intellectual property and is protected by Trade Secret. Having an intern sign confidentiality and non-compete agreements mean nothing since they have nothing in the way of assets to protect. This is a bit of a problem in that we'd like to support this effort.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We are self-funded. I started with a very healthy six-digit bank account and got down to a low four-digit account before the firm got traction. This provides the entrepeneur with a lot of focus but is not recommended.

It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?
From my vantage point changes are being made and they never will be fast enough. One observation. Arrogance--hard to believe but it still lingers. In our dealings with Michigan business they seem to have a left-over attitude from the days of auto industry economic pre-eminance. People are hard to get to and guarded when you do. As a result most of our business is done outside of Michigan.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
The city of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan. If either one was not here, we would not be here.


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