When e-Builder co-founder and CEO Ron Antevy joined Vistage Florida in 2002, his company was about seven years old and was moderately successful, with annual revenues between $2 million and $3 million. “Although,” Antevy pointed out, “very little of that was profit.”
According to his Vistage Chair, Georganne Goldblum, Antevy and his company had tremendous potential.
“Usually, we don’t work with companies that are under $5 million a year in revenues,” Goldblum said. “But I could see that Ron belonged at the table. Since then, he’s been a poster child for Vistage. He’s one of the few business leaders who really tests out what he learns and then scales it the right way.”
Since joining Vistage, Antevy and his brother Jon have led e-Builder in achieving a 25 percent annual growth rate since 2004, building the company’s revenues to more than $50 million. The result of their growth and success was last year’s sale of the company for $500 million to Trimble, a $3 billion company that develops positioning and communications technology for companies around the world.
“A lot of work went into building that company to where it is today,” Goldblum said. “We worked with him on things like his business model, hiring, their competitive advantage, and especially the sales process. When Ron came to us, he saw himself as more of an engineer than a salesperson. He grew to where he actually enjoys the sales process and is so knowledgeable about it that I send new members to him to talk about sales.”
Antevy also credits one of the Vistage speakers with introducing him to the concept of the “company saga.”
“Every company should create a saga, a narrative the employees can really rally behind,” Antevy said. “Our saga was that we were the underdog, definitely well behind the company that was ahead of us. Our narrative was that we were going to give 150 percent effort to beat them. If you don’t create a saga that helps your business, one will develop on its own and it’s usually about company politics, which is destructive. Our saga became a movement that we could rally behind and it drove our success.”
Also, because Antevy has always believed in sharing his success with the people who have helped him, he started a stock-options program early in the company’s history for the leadership team. Upon selling e-Builder to Trimble, that core belief instantly created ten millionaires among the people who have been with him for the long haul.
"That’s a great feeling, making other people’s dreams come true and not just your own!"- Ron Antevy, Vistage Florida Member.