Eagan tech business sees first female CEO
Melanie Mord became the first woman to own Guaranteed Business Systems’ in company’s 27-year history
For the first time in 27 years, the person calling the shots at Guaranteed Business Systems in Eagan is a woman.
After serving as the company’s controller for 14 years, Melanie Mord, 47, decided to take over the small tech support company in 2011 as CEO.
This isn’t Mord’s first time being her own boss. She and husband, John, owned another small business over the past 20 years.
The couple purchased their first business — a flower shop — in 1994 in their hometown of Baudette, Minn., near the Canadian border.
Four years later, the couple sold the business to move their family to Eagan.
“We decided we wanted to move to a bigger area where there’s more opportunities for our children,” Mord said.
Today, Mord continues to work along side John, 48, who serves as CIO and president of Guaranteed Business Systems.
The couple said they enjoy working as a team.
“We get along well and work off each other’s strengths,” Mord said.
Mord’s desire to own her own business has roots in her childhood. As a young girl she would help at the Black Duck Hotel, which her family owned.
Like Mord, John’s family owned a small business in Baudette called Howard Soil.
“Growing up in a family business helped us define what customer service is,” John said.
In 1998 Mord was hired by GBS as a controller – a role that had her overseeing the company’s accounting and marketing. That year, John, who has a bachelor’s degree in business from Bemidji State University, was hired as a sales manager.
The couple weren’t exactly computer geeks and knew little of the emerging technology.
“It was like going to the moon back then,” Mord said.
Both were fast learners and now know all the ins and outs of the industry.
Guaranteed Business Systems was founded in 1986 and assists small businesses with purchasing, configuring and implementing new technology.
The company’s CEO stepped down two years ago, and Mord jumped at the chance to become the company’s first female owner.
Over the years, GBS has faced increased competition from online businesses as customers cut back their IT budgets.
Yet GBS has held its own, which Mord said is due to the company’s strong relationship with its large client base. To date, GBS, which has four employees, remains profitable, Mord said.
The industry is rapidly changing and Mord said she strives to keep up with the latest technology. Recently, GBS added IP surveillance and Wi-Fi set up to its list of services as well as bundling options.
As she looks to the next few years, Mord said she plans to continue to increase the company’s offerings and build upon its customer base.