By Gina Carroll Howard
Published March 2013
When Ric Elias and Dan Feldstein co-founded Red Ventures in a Charlotte, North Carolina, basement in 2000, they wanted to create a company where they’d want to work. One that had an indoor basketball court, free yoga classes, gourmet restaurant with subsidized meals, and a putting green, for example.
Today, Red Ventures has those amenities and much more. From their headquarters in Lancaster County, South Carolina, just a few miles from Charlotte, Elias and Feldstein run a 1,500-employee, technology-driven company spanning five states. Feldstein says the company’s growth — more than 40 percent during each of the past three years — has allowed them to build a first-in-class technology team. Using proprietary technology, the team markets and sells services for some of the country’s largest Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 brands across diverse industries.
“The talent we’ve been able to attract has helped us develop real roots here,” says Feldstein, the chief marketing officer. Pointing to regional universities and Charlotte’s attraction to IT workers, he says, “The Charlotte region has given us the opportunity to grow.”
Martin Davis, executive vice president and head of enterprise technology services for Wells Fargo, appreciates how homegrown and newly landed IT talent has helped the company be successful.
“In the Charlotte region, there’s an entire ecosystem,” Davis says. “The region is so attractive that it draws talent from around the country. Plus, technology leaders within Wells Fargo are engaged with universities in the region to offer expertise and help shape curriculum to ensure graduates have the technology skills that industry needs.”
Both men note that while people are drawn by Charlotte’s climate, dining and entertainment, living options, international airport, and proximity to the mountains and beaches, once they arrive, they find technology opportunities with numerous companies.
At Red Ventures and at Wells Fargo — in fact, at most companies — technology keeps businesses operating and customer information secure. The quality of companies’ tech teams can provide the competitive edge.
“Not only does Wells Fargo employ technology talent extensively, but Duke Energy, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, and other companies in the region are heavy users,” Davis says. He stresses that the Charlotte region’s IT community is “organized and collaborative,” sharing best practices and learning from each other. The collaborative cauldron benefits both employers and employees. Adds Feldstein, whose company has broken ground on a third building at its headquarters, “Charlotte is such a remarkable place to live and grow a business.”
Photo Credit: Red Ventures and to Rolland Elliott Studios