We’re thrilled to have Jim Wilson on the team as our new VP of service delivery and operations. Jim brings over 25 years of network, technology and operations leadership experience at various companies like New Edge Networks, Earth Class Mail and Varehouse. Jim has been part of several high-growth technology and SaaS startups.
In his new role, Jim will help Bigleaf scale the service delivery and operational departments and the associated processes and systems to help guide Bigleaf through our next phase of growth.
We hope you’ll join us in welcoming Jim to the team. You can learn a little more about him in the Q&A below.
Q: What is your background working in the startup world?
I was very fortunate to work for some great companies (EDS, General Motors, Freightliner, and Nike to name a few). These companies and my roles within them allowed me to build a strong technology foundation across HW/SW/Networks. I took that foundation and relationships to forge into the world of technology consulting. From that consulting experience, I was able to work with smaller startup companies. Helping those startup companies got me thinking – do I have what it takes to join a true startup. That led me to New Edge Networks, which was an incredible ride both professionally and personally. I was able to join and contribute to its growth that led to the eventual acquisition by Earth Link. After New Edge Networks I was fortunate to join Earth Class Mail. I was able to help Earth Class Mail grow and pivot to become profitable and eventually get acquired. I then founded Varehouse and grew it very quickly and to profitability, and it was also acquired.
Q: You’ve worked in startups for awhile. What attracts you to startup environments?
Working for startups is challenging because you’re trying to do a lot quickly, wear many hats at the same time, and just generally roll up your sleeves and help wherever you can. This forces you to be very creative and think outside the box. You also get the opportunity to partner with all the business areas and personnel. You get a great understanding of all the other functions of the business — like finance, sales, marketing, product and engineering. Each of these startups allows you to learn a lot from a variety of really smart people and build valuable knowledge and experience. In startups, there is a strong sense of urgency and everything you do matters to the success of the company. To me, it does not get any better than that.
Q: What interested you in Bigleaf Networks?
It checked many of the boxes I was looking for. The founding team and everyone that has contributed to the growth have done a really good job of getting Bigleaf to where we are today, and it survived the initial pitfalls of many startups. It has a solid product to build a business on and the vision to improve and create new products. It stays true to its values. It has positioned itself financially to be attractive for whatever the future holds. It is in a marketplace with the demand that will continue the opportunity for future growth. I’m thrilled to be part of it and thrilled to be working with a team that is so talented, innovative, compassionate and driven.
Q: What role does the VP of service delivery and operations play at Bigleaf?
This role has many aspects, but the central theme is to make sure we can attract great customers and then retain those customers. There are lots of moving pieces to coordinate throughout the whole organization to make that happen. So, with that I really see my role as making sure that all the teams can operate at their highest level and with the best practices, processes, systems, tools and teamwork as possible to serve our customers.
Q: What is one of your favorite things to do outside of work?
Spending time with family is at the top of my list for sure. A close second is fishing. Fishing has always been a big part of my life. Getting out onto a river or lake where I can just clear my thoughts is the best aspect of it. It may not always be a successful trip from a catching perspective but that is okay. That is why they call it fishing and not catching 🙂