Ross Buffington, Anna Boon, Gloria Sivils, Andrew Hill, Liz Cotten, Daniel Glenn, Jason Hopper, and Zach Hastings have joined the firm as consultants, according to Jim Clayton, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
grows, our focus remains on finding top local consultants who are committed to helping the best businesses throughout Middle Tennessee," said Clayton
Board Profile: Jim Clayton >>
Anyone who knows Jim Clayton knows why his
company, InfoWorks, Inc.
, was named "Number 1 Best Employer in Tennessee" in the May 2008 edition of Business TN magazine
That state-wide honor, along with a two-year run as one of Nashville Business Journal's
"Best Places to Work," is due in a great degree to the company's commitment to employee satisfaction - and to the personal vision of the founder.
believes that high employee morale leads to superior client satisfaction, he
has balanced company growth with employee satisfaction in a controlled manner that has completely avoided layoffs and achieved profitability every year.
Crowning this achievement, InfoWorks
made company ownership available to all employees in 2006.
"Since most talented people have several employment options, I'm determined to give my employees reasons to choose to work for me," explains Jim
"By providing the flexibility that everybody needs to balance work and family responsibilities, we form a partnership that empowers employees to succeed both on the job and at home
credits the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation with teaching him the importance of taking care of the whole person.
"My mother was taught by the Dominican sisters at Notre Dame High School
in Chattanooga, and she
wanted me to have the same experience," recalls Jim
"I attended Holy Name School in Nashville, and years later I, in turn, entrusted the education of my own children to the sisters.
During the years that his
daughters attended the schools of The Dominican Campus, Jim
served as a parent volunteer and on various committees of Overbrook School, St. Cecilia Academy, and Aquinas College
After Lisa (OS '80, SCA
'84), Susan (OS '84, SCA
'88), and Carole (OS '93, SCA
'97, AC '00) graduated, Jim
currently serves on the Aquinas College
Board of Directors.
For the past five years, Jim has chaired the Board's Finance Committee.
One of his
major contributions to the work of the committee has been to simplify the presentation of complex financial data so that board members and administrators can make prudent decisions.
Another major contribution, and one of which Jim
is particularly proud, is the order he
has brought to the technological infrastructure of The Dominican Campus.
By standardizing hardware and software, streamlining processes, and creating a centralized, shared tech-services team, Jim
enhanced the cost- and labor-efficiency of operations so that the Campus can better address the current and future technology needs of all three schools.
"Jim has a real gift for understanding the needs and identifying the potential of the people around him," says Sister Mary Peter, O.P., president of Aquinas College.
"If his approach at InfoWorks resembles his dedication to Aquinas College and The Dominican Campus, then I am sure that Jim is as beloved by his employees as he is around here."
Prior to founding InfoWorks, Jim spent 32 years with IBM in Nashville in various management and marketing positions.
At IBM, he
managed several Global Services consulting practices over a three-state area.
He also handled IBM's business partner programs and distribution and healthcare clients.
After serving as InfoWorks' president from its founding in 1997 until December 2008, Jim now serves as chairman of its Board of Directors.
is also very active in the Nashville community.
In addition to his work on the Finance Committee at Aquinas College, Jim also chairs the Grants Committee of the Saint Thomas Health Services Fund Board of Directors and serves on the Board of Trustees of Watkins College of Art and Design.
He previously served as president of the Board of Directors for Tennessee Special Olympics.
is involved with so many important causes, he
feels a strong loyalty to Aquinas College
and to The Dominican Campus.
notes that the sisters have supported him every time that he
family have faced a serious challenge and that their caring philosophy and actions inspire him.
"Their hearts are always in the right place, and that is part of the atmosphere of the College, modeled by the faculty and staff," says Jim
"In a world that is not always such a good place, finding a place that encourages you to be involved in good things is a rare gift."
The same might be said of Jim Clayton
"We keep our culture and desire to remain an independent Middle Tennessee-owned company in mind with each new hire," Clayton
"We have a team goal of maintaining full employment which means we have never had a layoff.
No layoffs means stability and continuity.
All InfoWorks employees prepare their own annual self-evaluations and review them with Clayton
"The focus of these reviews includes their business results, teamwork accomplishments, and skills needs," he
"Advancement is measured by increasing skills and experiences so each person can take on more challenge and responsibility to increase their earnings.
There is no hierarchy."
InfoWorks budgets about $4,000 per employee per year for continuing education, Clayton
That education is aimed as much at increasing broad-based interpersonal skills - such as "negotiation or project management, and various technical proficiencies needed by our clients," Clayton
says - as it is at increasing employees' individual knowledge bases in the consulting industry.
Eighteen of InfoWorks'
40 employees have worked with the company for more than five years.
And just six employees have left the company during the past two years."Four of them joined a client firm at which they had been engaged," Clayton
Founder Jim Clayton today announced that Tony Heard has been named president of the 11-year-old provider of business consulting and custom technology services.
Reached by VNC for comment on the appointment this afternoon, Clayton (at left) said he, himself, will remain chairman and a full-time employee of InfoWorks.
stressed that with Heard's appointment, "we have a clearly stated succession plan for me.
also expressed confidence in the firm's posture, despite the current economic climate.
"While we realize the business climate is uncertain," he
said, "customers are still making purchasing decisions, InfoWorks
has a strong cash position, and 2008 revenues are substantially ahead of 2007's."
said Heard's priority upon joining the company Dec. 1 will be business development and other "community-facing activities.
Clayton formed InfoWorks in 1997, after 32 years with IBM in Nashville, where his duties included managing several global-servies consulting practices in a three-state region.
also managed IBM's
business-partner programs and healthcare practice.
had said at least three years ago that he'd be developing a succession plan to ensure continued leadership for the firm.
InfoWorks became employee owned in 2005, after Clayton bought out Co-founder Beth Chase, who subsequently formed C3 Consulting.
said the count is now 42.
and Heard are veterans of the boards of numerous Nashville nonprofit organizations.
Heard currently serves on the boards of both United Way of Middle Tennessee
and the St. Thomas Health Services Foundation
Heard earned his
bachelor's at Duke University
Clayton earned his bachelor's at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.
Nashville Business Journal
- December, 2007
about honesty, investment in its people >>
nurtures a favorable employee environment by putting its people first - even when times are lean - and its paying off.
"My philosophy is you treat employees as well as you treat a client, not just when it's profitable - but all the time," says Jim Clayton, president of InfoWorks, a business and technology consulting company with a staff of about 40.
When times were tough for technology businesses in Nashville in 2002 and 2003, Clayton
never laid anyone off.
"When employees voted that they enjoyed working here, it's because we do have this culture of treating people with kindness and respect, but at the same time being honest with them," he