ARCHBOLD – Ridgeville native and 1990 Archbold graduate Shawn Riegsecker founded and remains the CEO of a Chicago technology company that has been named the Best Place to Work for four consecutive years by Crain’s Business Chicago. Riegsecker told Archbold Rotarians that all of the credit for this honor comes from the values he learned growing up and working in the Ridgeville and Archbold areas – values that he has used to build his company.
He especially credited the work ethic he learned here that he said isn’t necessarily taught by families and communities in other places. Specifically, he credited his parents with teaching him to work until the job is done. Centro, the Chicago-based company he founded in 2001 when he was 29, began as a one-man operation, grew gradually, and really took off in 2005. Today, it has 725 employees in 37 cities and expects to have more than $400 million in sales this year.
Centro is a technology company that has developed software to streamline digital ad purchases for companies that wish to target a specific audience. Its corporate manifesto, developed by Riegsecker, is credited with creating a cooperative, creative work environment that is based on the belief that success can only happen when the company is dedicated to the growth and development of the individual.
Centro seeks four values in all of its employees: integrity, a commitment to self-improvement, humility and idealism. Riegsecker said if they make a mistake and hire someone who isn’t committed to those values, then they are fired – quickly. “If you place the happiness and joy of people first,” he said, “you can get the best employees and keep them.”
The program was arranged by Nancy Hogrefe.