A little over a year ago, I wrote my Inside/Outside column about Suzor IT and its founder, Adam Suzor. Today, I am offering readers an update on this unique and expanding local business and its 23-year-old founder and president.
In the 13 months since my previous article, Adam reports that the company has grown from having a handful of employees to having 18 on its team. In fact, teamwork is an important element in day-to-day functioning of this company, officially named Suzor Enterprise Inc.
Headquartered at the Orange Innovation Center, 131 West Main St., Orange, Suzor Enterprise Inc. has two divisions: Suzor IT (an abbreviation for information technology) and MODO (short for Modern Office). Adam sees them as two separate brands, with Suzor IT serving small- to medium-sized businesses — those with 50 to 150 employees. Suzor IT functions like “business consultants,” Adam explained, going far beyond installing or repairing computers with a focus on what’s needed for efficiency and productivity.
MODO is the name that Adam has assigned to the fitness center at the OIC, which he took over from building owner Jack Dunphy and which was originally called Eagle Peak Fitness. But the gym “is just an amenity,” as the brand-new MODO is designed to give members many opportunities for personal and professional development. It will help solve problems and provide appropriate space for a mobile workforce. For example, members will be able to use “co-working spaces,” perfect for people who primarily use computers and smartphones to do their work.
Already, MODO has more than 300 active members. When the membership price recently went up, some people quit, but curiously, even more joined. This is a record for the gym, which continues to be managed by Lee Rowe and which is undergoing constant physical upgrades. MODO is 100 percent digital — members cannot use cash or checks and the business doesn’t use or accept paper.
I am three times Adam’s age, and I realize that he resides in a world very different from mine, largely because of this generation gap. His universe is premised on the use of a digital technology that is constantly expanding, introducing new devices and new purposes.
Adam, the son of Bill and Annette Suzor of Orange, is a 2013 graduate of Mahar Regional School. He took classes at Mount Wachusett Community College and at Worcester State, but he dropped out. He has no college diplomas, and, at least for now, no intention of going to back to school.
“I do better at business than I do at school,” he explained.
His sole focus is entrepreneurial — that is, building a business. People should go with their strengths, not their weaknesses, he believes. He wants to help pave the road for success for others. When I reminded him that he once told me he could imagine a lucrative career for himself in cyber security, he said he now sees himself as helping to “pave the road for someone else to have such a career.”
He also sees his business as helping to change the focus for his hometown to “racing for the top, not the bottom,” despite the poverty and economic woes frequently in the news. Raising the fee for MODO membership fits this model, welcoming a “different demographic, people with more disposable income.”
Adam feels a kinship with the clientele at other OIC businesses, including the Valley Farm Café run by Matt Buzzell, Salon Nouve owned by Carly Mongeau and the Honest Weight Artisan Beer founded by Sean Nolan and Jay Sullivan. He commented that the new 110 Grill in Athol, which calls itself “upscale,” has been an immediate success despite the fact that it costs more to dine there than at any other place in the region.
As for Suzor IT, one of its most important customers is Mahar Regional itself, where Adam has worked to make sure every student has a Chromebook laptap. This school has not had any snow days this year, as a system of “e-learning days” has been instituted. Suzor IT customers include the towns of Orange, Barre, Ashburnham and Rutland. Five local businesses are also being served and “we are looking for more,” Adam said.
The corporate culture of Suzor Enterprise Inc. mimics what famous high-tech companies are doing, with words like “laid back” and “fun” and “free-for-all Friday” indicating the mentality. Suzor lists three pillars of the culture as “mastery, purpose and autonomy,” reminding his staff often of this trio. Constantly in touch with one another using voice-over-internet telephone service, the staff of Suzor Enterprise is accomplishing a lot for its customers. One important fact is that unlike many high tech companies known for being male-dominated, Suzor has a 50-50 ratio of male and female employees.
For some of its work, Suzor Enterprise collaborates with SHI International Corp. (commonly referred to as SHI), formerly known as Software House International. According to Wikipedia, “SHI has amassed 17,500 customers, including the likes of Boeing, Johnson & Johnson and AT&T. SHI is owned by president and chief executive officer Thai Lee, ranked #1,477 on Forbes’ 2018 list of billionaires, and is the largest Minority and Woman Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) in the U.S.”
Maybe it’s an exaggeration, but Adam Suzor seems to me like a local, small-town version of Thai Lee, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Keep an eye on this visionary and his team, because I’m convinced they will have continued success.
I’m also impressed by Adam’s commitment to the North Quabbin region. He said, “I’m here only because I want to be here,” and added, “It’s pretty exciting to be part of something that will help this community move forward.”