ABG Capital Was Named on the Inc. 5000 List Again!

We are thrilled to announce that we were listed at No. 4507 on Inc. Magazine’s 35th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, making this our second consecutive year!

Jeff Tapolci, Chief Executive Officer, states, “We align our core competencies with the demands inside the markets in which we compete. In doing this, we’re able to have quite the scalable growth pace. We’re also a huge proponent of Verne Harnish, the CEO of The Gazelles International Leadership and Growth Summits and author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and Scaling Up. We have built our entire organization around his principles, the One-page-plan and the Rockefeller Habits Checklist.”

Inc 5000
The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available at newsstands August 23), is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $200 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 640,000 jobs over the past three years, or about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that period.

“The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch. That’s one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails.”

The 2016 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2012 to 2015. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2012. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2015.

In 2016, ABG Capital also ranked on Inc. 5000’s 50 Best Places to Work, Penn Central Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in PA, Best Places to Work in Western PA, and the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Fastest Growing Companies.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.


ABG Capital Named on Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2016 Fastest Growing Companies

Today we officially announced being named on the list of 2016 Fastest Growing Companies by the Pittsburgh Business Times! Though we’ve been keeping mum about making the list, we never knew our ranking until last Thursday. We can now share with you that we ranked 60th on the list!

ABG Capital Listed on Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2016 Fastest Growing Companies“Our company has been on a sustainable and scalable growth pace for years because we continue to focus on our core competencies and aligning them to the demands inside the markets we compete. We are very disciplined in our approach and honored to be on this list,” explained Jeff Tapolci, CEO.

One hundred companies were named on list of Fastest Growing Companies, honored for their revenue growth, at the Westin Convention Center hotel in downtown Pittsburgh the evening of August 18. Two of our portfolio companies were also named as award winners, VoIP Innovations at number 65, and InspiraFS at number 3.

In 2016, we also ranked on the Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies in America.

If you’d like more information on the 2016 Fastest Growing Companies and the full list of companies chosen, please visit the Pittsburgh Business Times.

What Employees Want: Ways to Keep Your Workforce Engaged and Motivated


Adulting is hard…How many times has the alarm gone off, and all you wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep? Pretty much every morning, right? Somehow though we all get up, get ready, and go to work. Besides the obvious; what is it that keeps us all heading in day in and day out? How can employers learn what employees want and how to keep their workforce happy and motivated, and not dreading the next wake up?

One of the major issues facing employers today is how to keep and retain their employees, as well as keeping them motivated and fulfilled. With millennials embarking on their career journey, and with many baby boomers delaying retirement, employers must find ways to entice a multi-generational workplace.

What Do Millennials Want?

Let’s first take a look at the newest members of the workforce; the millennials. As this group (myself included) spreads their wings in the workplace, it is common for them to hop from job to job post-grad. Businessnewsdaily.com explains further:

“Research suggests that today’s college graduates will have a dozen or more jobs by the time they hit their 30s. In an uncertain job environment, it has become societally and culturally okay that they explore. The expectations have changed. Your 20s are used as the time where you actually figure out what you want to do, so the constant job hopping to explore multiple industries is expected.”

Their older, Gen.Y counterparts are out to change the world; but millennials have a different way of doing the changing. They want to feel like they are part of the big picture and are making a difference; if they don’t mesh with the big picture of their employer or feel things are stagnant, millennials will likely move on.

What Makes Baby Boomers Stay?

As millennials enter their careers, baby boomers are continuing at the helms of many businesses; and are extending their time in the work force before retirement. A recent study by AARP finds that 41% of baby boomers have no plans to leave their posts in the near future. There are two major factors that are keeping this group working; the economy and their health. Due to the recession and slow economic growth in the past few years, this generation is staying employed longer to make up for their losses. Though they may have lost in the stock market in the past, for the most part, this group is still healthy and still has much to contribute.

How Do You Make Them All Happy?

The quick and dirty answer is…you don’t. Each person, regardless of their education or generational background, has different needs and wants, and like how mom always says,“you can’t please ’em all.” But, there are several things an employer can do to help improve employee moral, drive, and retention rates.


Everyone likes to know that they are doing a good job. That pat on the back lets you know the the work you do is appreciated and can go a long way. For me, this is probably what motivates me most; I aim to please, and want to continue to impress. Letting employees know that they are valued can help increase motivation and decrease the desire to look elsewhere for validation and fulfillment; especially where millennials are concerned. Here are some ideas employers can use to recognize and encourage their workforce:

  • Tell Them! – Sometimes it’s as easy as that, a few words about the good work they did on a project or the passion they show for their work can do wonders.
  • Special TreatsHas an employee been working diligently to complete a big proposal? Recognize their diligence with a special treat like a gift card to their favorite lunch spot, or if your company can swing it, maybe tickets to a special event coming to town.
  • Additional ResponsibilitiesThis may sound counterintuitive, but if you recognize an employee has the skill and drive it takes to complete a certain task, give it to them. Trusting them to leave their “comfort zone,” take on a new challenge, and recognizing their ability to learn and advance can really motivate employees who express the want to grow.


Interesting Work

I’ve worked a lot of menial repetitive jobs in my day, (in my defense these were high school/college era jobs) and can tell you there is nothing that makes me dread working more, and want to look for an alternative to the monotony, than work that doesn’t interest me. Believe me I know that these “boring” jobs are necessary; but sometimes you need to break up these “uninteresting” tasks and do something more challenging or different. There are many ways to prevent boredom and burn out; here are a few suggestions:

  • Unrelated Work – Is your company big on giving back? Pull one of your employees and have them organize a company fundraiser. Give interested employees the ability to work on a project outside of their daily tasks. It will give them a break from the funk they may be in.
  • Outside Learning – Employees do have interests outside the work they do daily; try sponsoring an “activity night” and get your employees using their brain cells as they work on non-work related projects.

 Keep Them in the Loop

Millennials want to feel like they are part of the bigger picture. Baby boomers need to be reassured that they aren’t being pushed to the wayside as the younger crowd moves in. Keeping employees “in the know” and active in company culture can help avoid employees feeling alienated and detached. Involving employees in activities would be a good way to reinforce company culture and keep them in the loop; these ideas would be a great place to start:

  • Company Activities – Like suggested above, organize an activity in which all employees are invited to take part in; maybe a 5k run/walk. Or, again, if your company can accommodate it, plan an outing and get the team together outside of work.
  • Newsletter/blog – Keep employees updated with key happening in the company by creating an internal newsletter or blog; make it ever more inclusive by letting the employees submit their own content.

Getting Your Core Values Off The Wall and Into The Office


If you were to walk into your company today, where would you find your corporate values? In the employee handbook? Hanging on a plaque in each room? Is your HR department protecting them? Regardless of where your core values may be found; they’re all empty promises if you as the business owner aren’t modeling them through daily office behaviors.

As a business owner, you’ll find yourself flip flopping in and out of other operating roles. Especially when pulling together your team to find out what your company stands for, besides the products/services it sells. In today’s post we’ll be taking a look at your core values, from the position of one question; Why? Why do we stand for these purposes and HOW do we make sure these purposes are off the wall and walking around the halls?

“Are our core values off the wall?” We all know what core values are. I discovered, in my college internship that core values aren’t as “ugly” or monotonous as my business planning classes made them out to be. Core values should be thought of with emotion. They should be a result of the cerebral planning process that is left out of the business plan. They should be looked at from within. It sounds a little silly, but really, look at your business as a whole in the mirror and tear yourself apart. What’s good about you, what isn’t? Core values are how your customers and the people you hire are connected. They’re why they buy from you instead of your competitors.

The process of developing a set of core values isn’t as intimidating as one may think. In fact, the building blocks for great core values can be broken down into three easy steps:

  1. Name the value: “Integrity is the essence of our success.”
  2. Describe the demonstrated behavior: “Our walk matches our talk. We make and keep commitments.”
  3. Measure how the leader demonstrates the value: Needs improvement–Delivery of commitments are inconsistent.

It’s unfortunate that part of the reason why businesses fail is because of their poorly executed core values. Internally and externally, if your partners in business don’t share the same purpose–and if they don’t share the same values–it will be difficult to make any progress.

The same goes towards your employees. These core values you have so proudly displayed on almost every wall need to keep your employees unified. If your employees don’t understand your values and purpose as a company; chaos could be the result.

Ask yourself why?  Why are you doing what you do in the first place? How are you doing what you are doing? Keeping that WHY at the center keeps the focus on those core values you set in place for your business.

Where are your core values being carried out?

Where are your core values being carried out?

Assembling a team of like-minded partners and employees that understand your WHY keeps those words you have plastered all over your office walls in the discussions where critical decision making takes place. As well as in the break room during lunch.

Make your core values a navigational practice for your business. Bringing in your WHY when hiring will assemble a team of like-minded employees. Hold your core values as a high priority during the interview process and watch reactions.

What about your preexisting employees? Employees can be looked at in two ways: Those who have high values and those who have low values. Those who have high values might need to be trained to have better performance. Those employees who have low values, even if they have high-performance, should be relieved from the company. They become toxic. This is where most companies go wrong–they base everything on performance and not the culture.

Without letting your employees know where you stand through your meetings and team-work events, your employees won’t know where you stand. So be straight with your values first and then measure performance.

So next time you walk into the office take a look around. Each day keep an eye on where your core values have bounced to next. You may be surprised, but you’ll certainly feel satisfied.

Spreading Holiday Cheer for Play it Forward


No child should feel left out during the holiday season. Thanks to the collective efforts of Play it Forward Pittsburgh and various businesses in the local area, toys are being donated by the truckload and distributed to families who might be needing a little extra help this year. Continue reading

Ready, set, HUT! Annual ABG Capital Turkey Bowl Recap

Happy Thanksgiving week! If you haven’t left your office yet, many of you will soon be venturing through the woods to grandmother’s house or relaxing away from it all with a quiet staycation at home. And whether you watch it or play it, most likely your thankful Thursday will involve some sort of football. Around here, Thanksgiving football kicked off already with our Annual ABG Capital Turkey Bowl last Friday!

ABG Capital Turkey Bowl Football Game

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Tricks, Treats, Frights & Freaks: Happy Halloween from ABG!

Happy Halloween! We have a quick post for you today to show you how we put our creative minds together to come up with funny, scary, interesting, and downright odd costumes for our annual office Halloween party. And yes, we took our own advice from last week and made sure that all of these costumes were safe for work—it’s Friday, almost a holiday weekend, and none of us is trying to have a meeting with HR today!

ABG Capital I Halloween Group

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30 Ways to Show 30 Days of Gratitude at the Office

Men all around you will stop shaving, we will stuff our bellies until we have no choice but to take a nap, aspiring writers will be crafting their novels, and a shopping frenzy will commence in the wee hours of the early morning on a Friday—that’s right folks, it must be November! As we turned the page on the calendar yesterday, so began the penultimate month of the year. One amazing part of November, aside from bearded men, never-ending turkey, new reading material, and scoring a great deal on the year’s hottest gift, is stopping to give thanks. Continue reading

Like a Boss: Celebrating Boss’s Day

When Boss’s Day is mentioned to someone, there are three common reactions: Oh, cool—that’s nice. OMG, I can’t stand my boss. Did you make that up? That last one leads into the retort, “Hallmark made that up just to sell greeting cards.” Actually, Hallmark didn’t even begin selling Boss’s Day cards until 1979, but the holiday has been around long before that. Continue reading

Building Company Morale through Recognition

Chances are, you could think up a few dozen reasons to celebrate as a business or a team. Revenue milestones, the completion of a large project, or the closing of a big deal are all really fantastic reasons to throw a party and, you might agree, a party is a really fantastic way to boost company morale.

Recognize your employees for a job well done. Continue reading