Twenty years ago, when we started Credera, I vividly remember sitting in my small apartment behind the first computer we purchased from eBay. The big bulky monitor sat on top of a hard faux-wood foldout table. I remember thinking about this company and what it could become one day. Also on that table was a framed reminder of the reason we started the firm. The words, in big blue bold letters, spelled out, “I’m Third.” To me, these words meant God first, others second, and I’m third. I had learned this principle and what it meant from a former boss and someone I still consider to be a mentor and friend, Joe White. While in college I was fortunate to work for Joe over three summers and had the opportunity to see him model this principle. Joe still lives out those words better than anyone I know.
Credera was founded with the purpose of creating an organization full of people whose daily lives reflect the principle of servant leadership. The early Credera team had a desire to serve and care for people (clients, employees, the community) using an others-focused approach. Servant leadership, and all that it means, was the driving inspiration of the firm’s founding and the reason we believe we have had some measure of success over the years. The more we embrace and improve our practical application of servant leadership, the better we will do.
We still believe (the “Credera” name is a derivative of the Latin word ‘to believe’) that a small group of service-minded people can make a significant difference in the world.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world—indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Evolving and Growing
A lot has changed over the past two decades. Originally focused on “making a company’s data available securely through the internet” (a relatively new idea without a VPN back in 1999), Credera ended its first year with a modest $95K in revenue and only a handful of employees. Credera moved from the living room of my apartment into a larger office and expanded its footprint into other cities. A key point in the firm’s history came in 2004 when Rob Borrego (CEO) and David Dobat (CFO) joined the company. With their added leadership, Credera made a major shift toward becoming a high-end professional services firm. In fact, we even added the core value of “professionalism” to our values of excellence, humility, and integrity.
As the years progressed, the team continued to add amazing people to the Credera family. Individuals like Justin Bell, Credera’s president today, Jeff Hewitt, Credera’s first ever college hire, Stephanie Miller, Credera’s first corporate staff member, and countless others all played a significant part in making our firm what it is today.
A Consistent Vision
As Rob has said many times, “We didn’t want to become the biggest consulting firm, rather we wanted to become the best in the spaces that we played.” This approach helped create a healthy, growing, profitable, and well-managed organization. While Credera’s success is surely the product of hard work and a high standard of excellence, I have always believed this is God’s company and our job is to steward it for his glory and for the good of the people we work with.
Another constant has been Credera’s focus on maintaining a healthy, family-like culture. We desire to build and foster an environment where we care for one another, serve one another, love one another, forgive one another, respect one another—not a typical ‘corporate’ culture. While we are far from perfect, our aim has been to allow the core values mentioned earlier to define who we are as people and as a company.
In addition to our core values, laughter and fun are woven into our DNA. People who work hard need an outlet to play. We’ve had plenty of opportunities to enjoy fun memories together over the years.
Never Stop Believing
Speaking of fun, one of my favorite Credera memories will always be singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” surrounded by my Credera friends—all people I love, respect, and enjoy being around—at our company trip in New Orleans. That moment is a reminder of a (not so) small group of people who are truly making a significant difference in the lives of others as they work with humility and treat one another as they want to be treated.
So to my Credera friends, I hope we never stop believing!