“Persistence, perseverance, and the right attitude.” These are the three things that James Miller, President and COO of Miller & Associates, believes are the reasons M&A made the Rochester Top 100 list for a third consecutive time. His wife Judy, Co-owner and CEO, talked about the process of growth and how to keep moving forward. She says, “I particularly love this top 100, in the year 2020, since this is our 10th anniversary and our third year on the Top 100 list of fastest-growing privately owned companies in the region.” She went on to explain how the company has embraced a strategy and culture of growth since its inception in 2010. The Top 100 list is only a reward, the true goal of Miller & Associates is to continuously improve who they are as an organization, and the value they provide to their clients and employees.
Over the course of the interview with Judy, I asked her to talk more about growth and how it seems Miller & Associates has been able to push forward year over year – especially this year amidst the pandemic. Her answer? “It is important to have goals in place to achieve growth, she continued to say, “but the goals change depending on what stage of growth the business is in.” When we first started the business, the goal was simple “make more sales” and we were focused not only on increased revenue but also trying to figure out “who we are” and what differentiates us from the competition. Fast forward five years or more, we had a pretty solid business model in place and our goals shifted toward making significant investments and improving internal processes. “It’s also important to note that our growth happened organically and not through acquisition…this is an important distinction which demonstrates our personal commitment to excellence. Other ways in which Miller & Associates has grown is expanding beyond Rochester, NY. They have employees based in Colorado and Arizona, an international team in Saudi Arabia, and they’re continuing to look at other states as well. Alongside nation-wide and international growth, they are also growing through their investments, especially in their employees. A significant part of M&A’s mission statement is that they put their people first; in a constant effort to retain top talent, they offer their employees stand-out benefits that can out-compete larger companies. “We continue to address the people side of things because we understand the very real human side of consulting and all that comes with it – including balancing family needs, illness, caring for family members as well as professional needs like ongoing feedback for work delivered, professional development and the need for continuous learning – especially for highly skilled tech professionals.”
Lastly, I asked both Judy and James about their goals for the coming years. Both of their answers included the continuation of growth, but Judy also mentioned her 5-year plan. “From 2015 to 2020, my goal was to reach a 40+ person threshold, which we’ve done.” Now, she’s looking forward to taking on some new challenges for the next five years. In James’ opinion, he says that he of course wants to continue growth, but he also wants to “stay true to who [M&A is] and was when they first started the company.” The IT world is full of explosive and rapid change, so it’s important to maintain the values that have been developed since the very start. James concluded at the end of our interview, “Good comes to those who are commited to hard work and staying the course to what you believe in.” It made the perfect way to sum up Miller & Associates’ well-deserved award of making Rochester’s Top100 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the region – for the third time. M&A is such a wonderful and family-oriented company, it’ll be exciting to see how they continue to evolve in the coming years.