Tilson Technology Management, a Portland, Maine-based network deployment and IT professional services firm, was recently named by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as Maine and New England’s Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year. Led by CEO Josh Broder, a veteran of the U.S. Army, Tilson took on major regional projects early on, including Maine Fiber Company’s Three Ring Binder and Central Maine Power’s grid modernization effort, which gave them credibility in the highly competitive national market. Starting with just three people in 2007, the company now has 230 employees in eight locations, and is currently seeking to fill 50 open positions.
Tilson was nominated for the SBA award by CEI Ventures, Inc. (CVI), which provided equity investments in Tilson in 2013 and 2015, and Rand Capital SBIC, Inc. which joined CVI as an investor in Tilson in 2015 and 2016.
“We are impressed by Tilson for many reasons,” says Nat Henshaw, Managing Director of CVI. “The company is providing good jobs in rural, distressed communities, and has a high safety record. In addition, Josh is an incredibly strong manager, who has led the company through a period of significant growth and impact.”
“While access to capital is critical to small business growth, it is truly a world class CEO that will guide a business to success,” said Daniel Penberthy, Executive VP and CFO, Rand Capital SBIC Inc. “Without question, Josh Broder has done an exceptional job at carrying over the leadership and management skills from his military training and experience, including labor management, operations, logistical organizational and staff development to manage and grow a private sector business and labor force which now reaches across the United States.”
Josh Broder acknowledges the impact that his military experience has had on running a business. “The military is all about teamwork and being in service to something bigger than yourself,” he said. “At Tilson, we have been able to build a team of very high performing people who are in service to each other. While the people who work at Tilson are given a lot of autonomy and latitude to create and come up with solutions, they work in a highly collaborative environment. That said, like many others in the tech industry, finding the right people is always the most challenging part of our business.”
Of being a Maine-based company, Josh said, “It was a great place to anchor our first venture round, and the local investment community is super engaged.” From the onset, investments were key for Tilson.
“CVI was Tilson’s first outside investor, and introduced us to many of our current investor team. CVI’s incredible reputation brought credibility to our A, B and C rounds of venture funding. Since their investment we have not only grown our services business by several orders of magnitude, but also rolled out our first software product, and moved into telecom infrastructure ownership. CVI invested in our potential.”
-Joshua Broder, CEO, Tilson Technology Management
From 2010-2013, Josh led several large, successful Recovery Act-funded technology infrastructure projects in New England for Tilson that included 2,300 new miles of fiber optic cable and 7,000 smart grid wireless nodes. Josh cut his teeth in leadership and technology as an Army Signal Officer on missions in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan running the tactical communications network in support of US and coalition forces. Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, is a distinguished military graduate of the University of Vermont’s Military studies program and is a member of Leadership Maine’s Omicron class. Josh is also a graduate of AT&T’s Operation Hand Salute at JFK University.
In 2017, Tilson anticipates significant national growth, at the same time the company deepens its roots in Maine with the construction of its new headquarters in Portland.
Josh is honored to be recognized by the SBA as Maine and New England’s Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year, and to see his team’s effort being recognized. “I’m blessed to be able to come to work with people who love what they do and who support each other, and I love that others are noticing and giving them the recognition they deserve for the incredible work they are doing.” Josh was also recently named ‘Top Young Professional’ in New England by Engineering News-Record.
Tilson is an information technology professional services and network construction company working in the following practice areas:
- Wireless site acquisition, construction, and maintenance for cellular, smart grid, and government
- Fiber optic engineering, permitting, and construction management
- Information systems for the construction industry
- Software development and systems integration
- Consulting in IT strategy, IT team leadership, project management, information security, broadband development, and energy capital project development
Find out more at www.tilson.com.