Grand Rapids tech organization OST names long-lasting CEO

Electronic and I.T. consulting firm Open Techniques Technologies Inc. (OST) has chosen interim president and CEO Lisa Jilek to head the company on a long term basis.

Jilek served in the interim situation for Grand Rapids-based OST — which also has workplaces in Minneapolis, Detroit and London — given that August. She succeeds former president and CEO Meredith Bronk, who served almost 25 yrs at the enterprise.  

OST was established in 1997 in Grand Rapids and because 2012 has been a portfolio business of Kodiak, Alaska-centered Koniag Inc., an Alaska Native Regional Corporation created for the reward of much more than 3,800 Alutiiq shareholders from the Kodiak Island location. Koniag has a diversified portfolio that involves corporations in the govt contracting, professional I.T. and energy and h2o sectors, as effectively as actual estate holdings in the course of the nation. 

Jilek, who lives in Minnesota, joined the OST staff 4 many years back as vice president of profits and marketing and advertising ahead of shifting into a purpose as main progress officer with a concentration on approach. She a short while ago spoke with the Enterprise Journal about OST’s emphasis on assisting clients adapt to new technologies, and why the company anticipates additional advancement in Grand Rapids, in which regional officers are trying to establish a Midwest tech hub.


Throughout your profession, you’ve began your possess business and pivoted to company leadership roles. How has your journey geared up you to take on your function at OST? 

I started off my job at a consulting company primarily based in Minnesota with the comprehending of what it was like to perform at a smaller company and the scrappiness that went into that, and the comprehension of donning multiple hats. It was a genuinely great mastering encounter to get started off in a modest small business and in the consulting field. From there, I made the decision to go out on my possess with a organization husband or wife. We started off our own corporation (Revved Effects Inc.) and definitely concentrated on the executive suite sector and assisting govt suite proprietors and operators grow their company. 

I then made a rather major pivot into additional of the corporate arena and worked at Thomson Reuters. So I went from a modest small business — my own company — to a 50,000-moreover international corporation. It was an appealing nevertheless fantastic understanding knowledge in a unique environment. 


What at first drew you to OST? 

I was enamored by the risk of a company that has this sort of a fantastically sturdy tradition about workforce bringing their total selves, and it getting a area where by you can be current for life’s times that make any difference and be in a significant-progress ecosystem that has aspirations to do large issues. It was the mirroring of those two aspects and a occupation transfer that just manufactured all the sense in the entire world for me at the time. Now, four yrs afterwards, I discover myself in this substantial prospect to put on the leader hat.


As president and CEO, how do you hope to direct OST toward a lot more growth and innovation?

OST just had its 25-yr anniversary very last yr, and the company’s previously done some really great issues in that 25-yr heritage. In terms of what’s next, I would say we’re really going to double down on our attempts to innovate and to convey providers to current market. 

I want us to be a best competitor in our place. We have to keep on being at the forefront of our marketplace from a technological innovation functionality standpoint. And when I consider about what that truly indicates to compete as a best participant, it signifies that we have to carry on to draw in and keep top rated talent.


As financial advancement and small business leaders start a strategy to make Grand Rapids a tech hub, how useful has it been for OST to devote in people today and know-how in this article?

Grand Rapids is our headquarters and it is our major business from an employee standpoint. As we carry on to increase, we are looking at Grand Rapids as a hub from a talent standpoint and as an financial commitment in our roots. 

Later this yr, we’re scheduling to move into a new workplace that we’re super fired up about. The place will serve as a collaboration and relationship hub for equally our workforce and our consumers to be ready to use. I assume a single of the critical matters was to have this house … be a reflection of how men and women want to do the job nowadays — the hybrid ecosystem, the collaboration natural environment and the spaces for creative imagination. It’ll be a reflection of that new way of working.


Several providers are nonetheless altering to new know-how-driven strategies of doing business. Why is it vital for them to keep up to date? 

For businesses that have been about for a even though and providers that are on the lookout to keep on being applicable into the future, they have to devote in their digital ordeals, whether or not that’s constructing digital goods or building electronic expert services that are tied to their goods or generating a digital shopping for expertise. 

The pandemic has accelerated investment decision in electronic and corporations needing to go electronic. Now that we’re a number of decades in, not only is there an expectation that people have to have issues be digital, but then from a business-to-organization standpoint … they’ve got a ton of again-end techniques, instruments, procedures and infrastructure that they need to accelerate.


How does OST assist clients adapt to emerging technologies? 

For businesses that will need infrastructure like servers and storage, we are so deeply rooted in furnishing I.T. infrastructure that we can also assist companies not just produce the electronic encounters on the solutions and services side, but also what I’m likely to get in touch with the digital spine — like an I.T. infrastructure that has the adaptability and the stability to help what the enterprise demands. So we present companies on both of those sides: the electronic spine aspect as very well as the solutions and services side.


What will enable OST improve for another 25 several years? 

I believe it’s essential that, as we’re on this growth path, we’re not likely to compare ourselves to other companies in our house. Individuals question, ‘Who are your competition?’ And you could say almost everything from the significant administration consulting companies to the area of interest gamers. But for us, it is not about evaluating ourselves to other companies due to the fact I consider we’re heading to do it uniquely our way. That stems from who we are culturally as an firm and our core values staying our North Star. It is all about enabling and empowering our people today.