Brothers Scott and Andy Warner have taken over ownership of Connecting Point from their father, Ted Warner, the company's founder. Courtesy Connecting Point.

A new generation steps up to lead Greeley’s Connecting Point

GREELEY — Connecting Point has evolved several times in the roughly 35 years since Ted Warner founded the Greeley-based IT firm, morphing from computer retailer to a network integrator to managed services provider. This year, the company is going through another evolutionary stage — but this time it’s not the business strategy that’s changing but the leadership.

Ted Warner is transitioning out of the role of president and owner of the company. Stepping into his shoes are Warner’s two sons: Andy and Scott Warner.

The brothers, both in their mid-30s, each took over a 50 percent ownership stake in the firm from Ted Warner at the beginning of the year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Scott Warner, the younger brother who has worked for Connecting Point for 11 years, now serves as president and runs the sales and marketing side of Connecting Point’s business. Andy Warner, who has been with the firm for two years as a business consultant, handles the financial and administrative aspects and will take on the chief financial officer and chief operating officer roles.

“Andy and I have been able to watch the business develop and change over our entire lives,” Scott Warner said. “We’ve had a front-row seat.”

Now, as their father transitions out of his role leading the company over the coming months, the brothers have left their seats and entered the game.

“As I’ve gotten older, legacy has become more and more important to me,” Ted Warner said. “I couldn’t be prouder and more excited for the opportunity for my two boys to carry on the tradition of Connecting Point and to take it to the next level. I think any entrepreneur or business owner would hope that whatever they started would continue on.”

Ted Warner said he began thinking about a succession plan a few years after Scott Warner joined the firm.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I thought, ‘Well, I have a couple of options,’” Ted Warner said. “One of those options is to sell the business to a third party — I’d been getting two or three calls a week from people interested in buying the company.”

The other option was to figure out a way to keep the business in the family.

“Once Andy came on board, those conversations got more serious,” he said. “We’ve spent the past two years discussing this and really getting down to brass tacks.”

The two-year run-up to the sons taking over the business has “given me the opportunity to realize that I’ve got to start focusing on the next chapter of my life,” Ted Warner said.

He plans to continue working for the company full-time until the end of 2019 and may consider continuing in a part-time capacity beyond that time frame as he shifts attention to other business ventures.

Ted’s wife, Sue Warner, will continue to work as “director of fun” for the company, Scott Warner said. Over the years, Sue Warner has worked mainly part-time, handling bookkeeping, purchasing efforts, accounts receivable, and community and events coordination.

The transition is a major one, but Ted Warner said it’s brought excitement to the company.

“We have a really great staff and great team, and they’ve been really excited about this transition,” he said. “I think it has injected new life into the company.”

Connecting Point began as a retail computer store in the 1980s, and at one point there were as many as seven locations. The arrival of big-box stores dried up mom-and-pop computer retail business, so Connecting Point pivoted toward the business to business network integration space. The business shifted again in the 2000s to become a managed IT service provider.

“Our relationships with our clients are much more holistic than they were before,” Ted Warner said.

Under Andy and Scott Warner’s leadership, that approach is not expected to change.

Many business leaders assumed that as technology became ubiquitous in offices, IT support would become more and more commoditized, Scott Warner said. But the opposite has happened.

“There are so many different ways that businesses use technology, and they really need some expertise on their team to be able to leverage that technology appropriately for the business,” he said. “If the trends continue, we will probably be even more relevant in five years than we are today.”

Scott Warner predicted that the company will increase its focus on cloud services and hosted applications and infrastructure in the coming years.

The company serves clients from southern Wyoming to the Denver metro area. Scott and Andy Warner said they have no immediate plans to expand the footprint of their service area, nor do they intend to retreat from the company’s role as a leader in the Northern Colorado business community.

“We are a regional company, but we are housed here in Greeley,” Ted Warner said. “We love Greeley — I’m committed to this community, and so are the boys.”

Andy Warner agreed, adding: “Connecting Point has been an integral part of the Greeley and Northern Colorado community for 35-plus years now. Our goal is to continue that tradition.”

There is plenty of room for the company to continue to grow within its own backyard, the Warners said.

“Our sweet spot is companies with 15 to 75 users who do not have a formal IT department,” Ted Warner said. “In that space, there are thousands of those types of businesses between Denver and southern Wyoming.”

Some may recoil at the prospect of running a business with a sibling, but not the Warners.

“We’re only three years apart, so Andy and I have spent enough time around each other for our entire lives that we kind of know how the other would handle certain situations,” Scott Warner said. “I think that enables us to really push each other to bigger things and to be more efficient and effective.”

Working in a family business brings its own set of challenges, but it also has a different set of rewards, Andy Warner said.

“Scott and I are able to run in our own lanes and don’t step on one another’s toes that often,” he said. “Our personalities are pretty complementary, and I think that sets us up well for success.”

GREELEY — Connecting Point has evolved several times in the roughly 35 years since Ted Warner founded the Greeley-based IT firm, morphing from computer retailer to a network integrator to managed services provider. This year, the company is going through another evolutionary stage — but this time it’s not the business strategy that’s changing but the leadership.

Ted Warner is transitioning out of the role of president and owner of the company. Stepping into his shoes are Warner’s two sons: Andy and Scott Warner.

The brothers, both in their mid-30s, each took over a 50 percent ownership stake in the firm from Ted Warner at the beginning of the year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Scott Warner, the younger brother who has worked for Connecting Point for 11 years, now serves as president and runs the sales and marketing side of Connecting Point’s business. Andy Warner, who has been with the firm for two years as a business consultant, handles the financial and administrative aspects and will take on the chief financial officer and chief operating officer roles.

“Andy and I have been able to watch the business develop and change over our entire lives,” Scott Warner said. “We’ve had a front-row seat.”

Now, as their father transitions out of his role leading the company over the coming months, the brothers have left their seats and entered the game.

“As I’ve gotten older, legacy has become more and more important to me,” Ted Warner said. “I couldn’t be prouder and more excited for…