Southfield-based IT firm w3r Consulting has grown consistently and organically. Founded by two University of Michigan Dearborn IT students 18 years ago, w3r now has 300 employees and offices in five states. It is also one of Michigan’s largest minority-owned businesses. “Our goal right now is to grow the organization and help expedite the process by incorporating other businesses,” said Executive Vice President Keith Echols.
Originally located in the Oynx building, w3r recently moved to the Town Center. Echols and w3r looked for a location that had a welcoming environment for their clients and customers. “We built out the whole suite and made it very conducive for our team members,” said Echols. “We made sure our employees were connected to great amenities so we could attract and maintain talent.”
The company was so enthusiastic about its new location that they decided to celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 19. “It was a way to reintroduce the company to the marketplace and to say thank you to those who have been with us for the past 18 years,” said Echols. Stakeholders, team members, customers and community organizations were among the guests. City of Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence joined the celebration along with other congressional, state, and local leaders. “People are still talking about the event,” said Echols. “We took it as an opportunity to say thank you. We made sure, from the time people walked in the door, they felt the w3r hospitality. I like to use the mayor’s words, ‘wow, I’ve never been to a ribbon cutting like this.’”
With customers dispersed throughout the metro Detroit area, location was key for w3r’s office. A Southfield base allows all customers to be within 15-20 minutes of the office. “Southfield itself represents our company,” said Echols. “It’s a great environment that is very open and receptive to organizations like us that are experiencing growth.” Echols also praised the city of Southfield’s leadership team for its support in providing resources and connections for businesses. “Southfield is very pro-business no matter what stage your company is in, which helps power, equip, and enable organizations to survive and thrive in the area.”