Category: Archive

Working Lives The InPlace for tech help

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney>

Michael Quinn loves to talk tech. It is, after all, his business. From his 79th floor office atop Tower 1 of lower Manhattan’s World Trade Center, the the 35-year-old president and CEO of InPlace Technical Resources, a technical staffing company, overlooks many of his firm’s clients. They include banks, brokerage houses and leading electronic commerce and software development companies, ranging from the financial powerhouses to those with a few as 15 employees.

But amid all the modern-day babble about technology, Quinn believes people are often forgotten. “The people side of technology,” Quinn said, “is the key to making this business more personable. Our company’s mission statement is: ‘Leading the reemergence of service and integrity in the technical staffing industry.’ ”

InPlace, with current annualized revenue of _1.5 million, plans to double that by the end of this year. The company involves three equal partners: Stewart Ashenberg, son of a Holocaust survivor; Stan Dlugozima, son of Polish and Irish immigrants, and Quinn himself, a native of Lakeview, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

“There are four basic areas to the operation of a successful technical staffing operation: client service, technical recruiting, day-to-day operation and development of strategic business partnerships,” Quinn said. “We supply computer consultants for development projects in front end, database, middlewear and internet, using the following software development tools: Visual Basic, Oracle, Sybase, Unix, Windows NT and Java.

“We are the middlemen, the technical interface between the hiring managers and the consultants who are looking for new contracts. Because we are technical, we get a lot of respect from our huge network of consultants. We have access to about 1,000 consultants on our data base.”

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“Business is booming,” Quinn said. “Most of our clients are banks and brokerage houses around the stock exchange here in New York. The market is up, people are trading and companies of all sizes need computer applications to compete. Another reason that business is booming is the introduction of the euro, the European Union’s new single currency. Computer application have to be EU compliant.”

Contrary to what one might think, Quinn did not start out being a computer whiz kid. After completing his secondary education in St. Aloysius College in Athlone, he attended Trinity College in Dublin, studying science with the intention of becoming a secondary school teacher. “I soon realized that was something I didn’t want to do,” he said, so he began working for the South Eastern Health Board in Carlow.

In 1986, Quinn’s brother, Alan, immigrated to the U.S. “I heard so many good things about the States from my brother that I decided to spend one year here. That was 12 years ago,” Quinn said.

He started a residential window cleaning business in Cape Cod, where he worked for five years. When he sold it in 1993, it had four employees. He got his green card the same year, and on the advice of a friend, switched careers to computers. While taking a programming class, he discovered the opportunity to move to New York.

“I really liked computers but never saw myself as a consultant in the long term,” he said. “I just like to talk to people too much. I heard that two students in the computer college were starting a staffing company and I felt with my combination of technical and people skills I could make ago of it.”

Three years later, that company was sold for almost $10 million. Quinn readily admits he made mistakes with that company, but he does not intend to repeat them with InPlace.

“I understand the necessity of hard work, which I learned from my father, and caring for the value of individuality, which I learned from my mother,” he said. “Even in a city as big and as fast as New York, they are the two most important parts of successful business and personal life.”

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