Business Innovation Zone

Caleris CEO Proposes Open Dialog on Scaling a Business for Growth 
“He is fairly quiet, but he probably has as much experience scaling companies as anybody in the State of Iowa,” declared Mike Colwell, Executive Director of the Business Innovation Zone, of Sheldon Ohringer, CEO of Caleris and speaker at the November edition of the BIZ Luncheon and Networking Session. 

“I want to make my presentation an open dialog about growth,” explains Ohringer. Caleris is a business process-outsourcing provider specializing in Call Center Services, Outsourced Tech Support & Help Desk Services that’s located in rural Central Iowa and offers Midwest nice as a value-add to their technical services. It is a prime example of starting as a small company with 25 employees 10 years ago and now employing more than 400 at four locations around Iowa.

 A review of Ohringer’s resume reveals Caleris to be just the latest accomplishment of a career immersed in the execution of business growth strategies. “I’m a guy originally from Des Moines who got a business degree from Iowa and started a career here before moving away for 20 plus years. I’ve lived all over the country including Silicon Valley, moved my career through sales, sales management, VP of Acquisition, President, CEO,” he recounts of a career that saw him moving through the regulated telecom industry into early competitive long distance and internet access as well as early web hosting and data centers.

Presiding over one public company that grew from 150 to 3000 employees and taking another 1000 person organization public after growing it from 60 people, along with being a prolific angel investor well qualifies Ohringer to lead what he hopes will be a teaching moment for those young Central Iowa entrepreneurs for whom visions of growth dance in their heads like the proverbial sugar plums. 

Ohringer’s resume also shows he is a Past Commissioner of the Colorado Commission of Science and Technology, served for seven years as an Executive Committee member of Ctek Angels, a Colorado non-profit focused on establishing and developing the entrepreneurial community throughout the Rocky Mountain region and for the past eight years was a Board member of the Technology Association of Iowa.  

“I want to share some life experiences that I think can help people, ranging from funding questions to operational issues,” said Ohringer of a litany of possible discussion points including the unique challenges associated with scaling up, going public, dealing with investors and boards. “I’d like this to be a dialog, I’d be happy to discuss the particular challenges faced by some of the entrepreneurs in attendance,” he said scoffing at the idea of him lecturing for an hour. “I don’t want to give a formal presentation, I want to give some free advice,” he explains. No doubt worth the price of a November lunch.  November BIZ Networking Event

November BIZ Networking Event

Greater Des Moines Partnership

700 Locust Street, Suite 100

Des Moines, IA 50309

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Nov 20, 2013

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