Like father, like son
Jason Adamany’s entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t fall far from the family tree.
From the pages of In Business magazine.
Jason Adamany, 42, president and founder at Adesys LLC, landed his first job in the third grade when he was “hired” by his father as the superintendent of data record disposal for the Prairie du Chien bank he worked for. “Basically, I ran the trash shredder,” Adamany recalls.
In junior high, the teenager wrote a business plan for a company that he admits isn’t too far afield from his current company. “I’ve always been pretty focused,” he notes.
Adamany was still in high school in 1991 when his father launched Star Cinema in Prairie du Chien and Jason, fascinated with the wonders of the family’s IBM computer, helped automate the theater’s manual ticket roll system. [Star Cinema grew to 10 locations and 100 screens, including one in Fitchburg.]
As an IT student at UW–Madison, Adamany impressed his employer, BellSouth, enough that they offered to move him to Georgia to finish his degree if he stayed with the company. “I was flattered, but I had just met my future wife here and felt like an entrepreneur in Madison. Then my dad gave me the best advice: ‘Start a business now before you have a wife, a house, car payments, and kids.’ So that’s what I did.”
2017 marks Adesys’ 20th year in business.
IB: Describe your company.
Adamany: We are a full-service, outsourced IT department for small businesses. Most of our clients don’t have onsite IT staff to help with new computers, protecting data, networks, or monitoring services.
IB: How has the company evolved over 20 years?
Adamany: I started it and then hired my brother who still works here. Now we have 23 employees. We don’t do software development anymore. We are vertically integrated across a variety of industries so when one industry is down, others are likely up. I like the diversification.
IB: What IT issues do you see most often?
Adamany: Cyber crime is really on the rise. About five years ago the bad guys figured out how to monetize it into what is now called ransomware. This is probably the biggest threat that I see for our clients.
IB: How are the bad guys gaining access?
Adamany: The latest thing is placing phone calls to users claiming they’re from Microsoft, for example, and that they need to verify the licensing on their computer. We’ve even received calls here. They’re good. Too often people are tricked into letting these guys gain access to their computers.
IB: What’s the solution?
Adamany: Education is key, and data backups are crucial. We only work with clients willing to invest in a good backup system because it’s that important. The bad guys are always trying to stay one step ahead. I tell people to always be wary of links in emails. We have to operate both proactively and reactively, yet nothing we do will ever offer 100% protection. Our government spends billions of dollars to protect federal systems and still gets hacked.
IB: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Adamany: Finding qualified staff. Ten years ago we’d advertise for a job and get 400 applicants. Now we’re lucky to get a dozen or so and most are unqualified, so we’re working with a recruiter. It also helps that Epic is attracting qualified East and West Coast talent to the area that we wouldn’t normally see.
IB: Are there more entrepreneurial Adamanys in the pipeline?
Adamany: My nine-year-old son bought a lawnmower at a garage sale last year and started a mowing business, and he also started an honor vending service at our office. Now he provides healthier snacks for our employees and handles all of his accounting and bookkeeping.
IB: After 20 years, what else makes you proud?
Adamany: That we’ve created a company that is ethical and trustworthy. I’m proud of our staff and their families, our clients; my wife, who is launching her own entrepreneurial business after staying home to raise our young kids; proud that I get to work alongside my brother, Tim; and proud of my parents, who raised me as an entrepreneur.
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