CentricsIT president named top five entrepreneur of Atlanta
Derek Odegard, 37, built thriving company amidst recession
ATLANTA – Derek Odegard always planned on starting his own business, but he never anticipated resigning from a top executive role and launching his own enterprise during the worst economic recession since the 1920s. However, after four short years, Odegard, 37, is now the fifth-ranked entrepreneur of Atlanta in the November/December issue of Business to Business Magazine.
Rewind back to 2006. Odegard was a successful, young Vice President of Sales for one of the nation’s largest secondary IT companies—an ideal scenario for most precocious business men and women, especially when job opportunities are diminishing daily. But when that company underwent an extreme change of culture following a corporate buyout, Odegard and four of his colleagues did the unexpected—they resigned to start their own company with Odegard at the helm.
CentricsIT posted 50 million in net sales and grew by 60% in 2009 alone—a commendable success in any economic climate, but an astounding success in the current one. Even more astounding is the fact that the company is set to post another sizeable growth percentage for 2010. Furthermore, 2010 marked the first time the company was named to the Computer Reseller Network’s (CRN) Fast Growth 100, debuting at number 47.
Despite the honors and accolades, Odegard is quick to deflect credit for his accomplishments, citing the collaborative effort of his entire staff as the catalyst behind the company’s success.
“The acknowledgement of my entrepreneurship by Business to Business Magazine is a testament to the leadership of CentricsIT’s entire executive team,” said Odegard, “And the outstanding growth we posted this year illustrates just how committed every CentricsIT employee is to delivering value to our customers.”
Odegard leads his team of about 70 in a relaxed “anti-corporate” office, where casual Friday means “anything goes” and lunch is catered monthly. His company, CentricsIT, LLC, launched in 2007 and is a surplus technology distributor and IT maintenance provider based in Norcross, GA. The Centrics Group, its sister company, is an all-inclusive IT staffing firm. Both companies recently relocated to a new distribution and integration facility on Northwoods Parkway.