Univision Computers president Jim Green and vice president Alex Fleig have spent nearly three decades building their Internet and computer technology firm in Missoula from the ground up.
Early last month, they couldn’t hide their ecstatic grins when they finally broke ground on a new 10,000-square-foot, $1.5 million headquarters on Stockyard Road just off North Reserve Street.
They are the original owners, and Green says with confidence that it is the oldest continuously owned IT firm in Montana, having incorporated in 1989.
The company currently employs 19 people statewide, with offices in Kalispell and Butte and plans for another in Billings.
Green said they hope to have 22 to 24 employees total in the near future, but they finally ran out of space at their old office on South Russell Street and had to expand.
“We’ve been growing pretty heavily,” Green said.
“Our existing offices, we’re so jammed in there,” Fleig added. “We’re just like sitting on top of each other. It’s driving us all insane.”
The company provides service to a wide variety of clients, from 911 call centers around the state to engineering firms to bank systems.
“We’ve been pretty lucky that we have a diverse market in different industries,” Green explained. “We have a lot of school districts. They’ve got pretty complex networks, but it’s hard when you are in the middle of nowhere to find qualified people to work on those. I think we’ve got a pretty good structure for doing support with schools. We’re a full-service IT resource. Anything related to computer technology and information technology. We’ve been doing it for years.”
Fleig said the company doesn’t focus on a particular industry.
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“It runs the gamut,” he explained. “If we were in a bigger or more populous area, we could do that kind of thing, just like law firms or medical offices. But we can’t do that here.”
The company will move into the new headquarters next year, but first they need to have a fiber-optic cable installed.
Green said he and Fleig are proud of what they have accomplished without any seed capital.
“We did it with sweat equity, literally,” he said. “The first five years, we didn’t pay ourselves anything and paid our employees more than us. The next five years, I had to get out of debt because I was in debt so much. It’s the real McCoy.”
They looked at renting a space, but in the end decided just to build their own new headquarters. They will have the option to expand in the future that way.
“That’s one piece of advice we kept getting, was always build bigger than what you need so you can expand into it,” Green said. “And I believe in that.”
As for the company’s employees, both owners said they are like kids at Christmas with the thought of the new space.
“They’re already staking out their territories,” Fleig laughed.
For more information, visit univisioncomputers.com.