By Martin Kidston/Missoula Current
Nearly six years have passed since Tom Stergios opened a small technology solutions center in downtown Missoula, a venture that started with one other employee in a modest Main Street office.
Now, Advanced Technology Group has grown to 102 employees, and with clients like Kronos, CenturyLink and Subaru, it’s looking to add another 30 employees this year and push its annual payroll toward $7 million.
It may also be in the early stages of looking to build a new office.
“We’re not a clandestine CIA organization, and we don’t run the drone program,” Stergios said. “What we are is a consulting company that works in the technology space. It allows us to have a high salary rate, particularly for Missoula County.”
ATG may be one of Missoula’s fastest growing companies, and it plays on the international stage with some of the biggest names in technology.
Stergios said ATG works with more than 42 clients, the largest being salesforce.com – a $60 billion enterprise. It provides its clients with the information needed to make smart business decisions, from contracts and billing to reporting revenue to Wall Street.
“We help them manage the systems, the process and organizational structures to help them manage their customers and revenue more effectively,” Stergios said. “We’ve got a great pipeline of people coming to take advantage of the quality of life that’s offered around here, as well as the cool technology positions that are available.”
ATG found its start next to The Shack Cafe on West Main Street in 2011. It has since spread into five downtown offices and is quickly running out of space. While the company has offices around the country, the office in Missoula is currently the largest.
Stergios said ATG’s continued growth has served as an economic boon to Missoula, from its relationship with the University of Montana to its high wages. The current payroll sits at roughly $6.7 million a year.
“That’s what’s exciting,” he said. “All of our money from our clients comes from out of state, but well over 90 percent of our employees are from right here. At least 70 to 80 percent of our employees come from the University of Montana. We have a tremendous pipeline of workers coming right out of college.”
The company’s 70 consultants earned an average salary of $81,000 last year. ATG distributed $227,000 in bonuses in December and recently launched a form of employee ownership.
This year, ATG has hired nine new employees and looks to add 30 more by December. It may also look to build an office in Missoula to accommodate its growth.
“We’re starting to go through that right now,” Stergios said. “There’s not many more offices on Main Street for us to move.”
Stergios said ATG aims to play a leadership role in the community. Such efforts include workforce development with UM, and wider tech education in area high schools.
It’s also one of several local firms looking to break down the gender barrier in technology.
“About 27 percent of the employees in the tech space are women,” said Stergios. “So how do you diversify tech? We had nine straight women we hired from December to February, so we’re on our way to trying to equalize that.”
Contact reporter Martin Kidston at email@example.com