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2019 Trusted Advisers IT Professional: Thomas Douglas

JMark Business Solutions Inc.

Posted online

You cannot Google wisdom.

Thomas Douglas says that’s one of his favorite phrases and adds it’s something he’s experienced throughout his nearly 20-year career in information technology.

Douglas became president and CEO of JMark Business Solutions Inc. in 2001, and he says he’s worked through thousands of technological situations to help his hundreds of clients. Collectively, they have annual revenues of $1.5 billion.

“The impact we have is to ensure our clients can operate a secure and productive technology environment,” he says. “In today’s world, without quality tech, businesses don’t run.”

JMark’s annual revenue for its services was $9.5 million in 2018, and Douglas says his staff of 120 manages 25,000 devices for clients across 43 states.

Even though he’s a leader of an IT company, people still come first. That has paid off, as JMark boasts a 97% retention rate among its clients.

“Our approach is to ensure that the technology is a tool for the people of a business,” he says. “Dealing with challenges around technology is normal for me because we do it each day. However, for our clients, that is not the case.

“As a result, our job is not only to support the technology, but also provide confidence and relief to our clients.”

Douglas says he works a typical business owners’ schedule of 60-70 hours a week. He reads industry news constantly to stay atop the latest technology and makes himself available to clients at all times. One of his clients, Ollis/Akers/Arney CEO Richard Ollis, says Douglas helps simplify complex IT issues.

“He can take sophisticated challenges and relay them in a way where business owners and senior nontechnical businesspeople can make better decisions,” Ollis says.

When Ollis/Akers/Arney went through two acquisitions and network consolidations, Ollis says Douglas’ expertise was invaluable.

“Tom’s leadership within JMark ensured that the process was done efficiently and effectively,” Ollis says. “He and the JMark team help to ensure we make the right choices around technology, stay secure and support our team effectively.”

Before his career in IT, Douglas graduated from Bolivar High School and took some courses at the University of Missouri. His resume includes a bit of satire under the education section, where he lists a “BS in HLFM,” or How to Learn from Mistakes, from the School of Hard Knocks. His schooling has come on the job. After his time at Mizzou, he served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Arthur W. Radford.

Outside of work, Douglas is active in the community, serving on numerous nonprofit and educational boards. He says helping others is a gift that he is proud to provide the community and his clients.

“I have the best job in the world,” he says. “I get to help people have better lives through the use of technology.”

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