Just another Friday at ABG

It’s Friday and you know what that means… Your weekly ABG Capital recap! This week we have a good bit of things to share with you. Let us first give you an update on a few of our portfolio companies:

VoIP Innovations:

Last week while members of our Executive Team were in Orlando for the Gazelles Fortune Leadership Summit, we had two VoIP Innovations employees, Tim Linn and Joe Aponick, attend an invitation only training session with Sansay. They got to spend time with the Sansay Engineers and other engineers like themselves, from all over the country. We’re proud to say that both Tim and Joe are now Sansay Certified Technicians.


As you know, we have recently launched a brand new ABG Capital website. That’s not the only website that has seen a facelift! Inspira has been growing very quickly over the past few months and it was time for their websites to reflect that growth. So far, we’ve updated Total IRA and Pinnacle IRA. We’re planning to release a new Payday IRA website in about two weeks and their Twitter account is already up and running! You might want to take a second to go and follow them. 🙂 The main Inspira site is the next one in line to be updated and we’ll be posting more details and a completion date soon. In the meantime, you can visit them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Google+.

We’d like to mention a few more company announcements before we let you go for the weekend. We’re HIRING! ABG Capital, along with all of our portfolio companies are experiencing extremely rapid growth and we need more “A Players” to add to our team. Below is a list of the positions we are looking for. If you think you might be a fit, please email your resume to our HR Manager, Sharon Kolesar, at sharonk@abgcapital.com. She’ll be able to get you more information on these positions.

  • Technical Services Representative – VoIP Innovations
  • Customer Service Representatives – InspiraFS
  • Website Designer (with a concentration in website coding) – ABG Capital
  • Java Developer – ABG Capital

Giving back to our community is something that we value very much here at ABG Capital. We’re always doing something that can benefit the organizations we support. The biggest giving back initiative that we focus on each is granting wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Last year we were able to grant two wishes and this year we’re shooting for three! The current fundraising effort we have going on is selling raffle tickets for a basket full of Martini related items. Unfortunately we can’t sell tickets for this basket to everyone in the world, but if you’re interested in supporting this fantastic organization on your own, visit the Make-A-Wish website and make a donation!

ABG Capital Martini Basket

Speaking of our giving back initiatives, today is the day that we’ll be heading to the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies to volunteer. We went last year and it was such a great experience. We’ll be cleaning headstones and helping to construct the Avenue of Flags in preparation for their Memorial Day services. Stay tuned for pictures of the day. We’ll be posting them on our Facebook page later today.

Next week, you can expect to see some great blog posts showing up on the ABG Capital blog. The first will be on how Big Data can help to improve the customer experience and the second will be on choosing the best health plan for your employees. If you don’t want to miss these great posts, then simply enter your email in the subscribe box and you’ll get them delivered right to your inbox!

That’s all we have for you this week, we hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

Just another Friday at ABG

Hey everyone! We hope you’ve been having a great week. In today’s Just another Friday at ABG Capital, we’d like to spend some time with a few of our most recent hires. We asked them a few questions just so we had the chance to check in with them since they’ve been here a few months now. Justin Sparks and Rhonda Taylor-Boles were kind enough to take few minutes out of their busy days to answer these questions. Here’s what they had to say:

Justin - ABG Capital

Justin Sparks – GlobalPOPs Technical Services Representative

Q. What has been your favorite thing about working at ABG?
A. Before working for this company, I have had very few former coworkers I would have spent my free time with. However, the people here are more than coworkers, they are friends.

Q. What has been your favorite thing about your position at ABG?
A. Solving complex problems. I am challenged each day when I come in, and it keeps things from getting stale.

Q. What has been your proudest moment?
A. When I started, I was originally hired for EUS. After only 4 days, I was moved to Global Pops.

Q. What has surprised you the most about working at ABG?
A. Three words: Scotch Cart Friday.



Rhonda - ABG Capital

Rhonda Taylor-Boles – Inspira Customer Service Representative

Q. What has been your favorite thing about working at ABG?
A. I think my favorite thing about working for ABG is being able to form ideas, solve problems, and the complete openness and honesty of not only Inspira, but the whole company.

Q. What has been your favorite thing about your position at ABG?
A. Getting to speak my favorite language every day, and being able to be my whacky self with no judgment.

Q. What has been your proudest moment?
A. Every day I get something accomplished is a proud moment. I think translating the forms that go out to people every day and having a banker tell me that they were well done and informative. That was a proud moment for me. Translating into another language is tricky and time-consuming. Hearing that someone who was not familiar with Inspira, or me take notice of the work I did was a proud moment.        

Q. What has surprised you the most about working at ABG?
A. Well, I think that everyone here is on the same page to make the company a better, and thrive more every day. You don’t see that much anymore. Everyone has the same goal.

Thanks for stopping by for another rendition of Just another Friday at ABG Capital!

Just another Friday at ABG

Happy Friday everyone! How has April been treating you? It’s been great so far for everyone here at ABG Capital. We want to start off by giving you a little recap of the blog posts we’ve featured this week. They both revolve around customers and offer great tips on what you can do at your organization to be more successful.

The first post we had was called, Does Your Business Need a VP of Customer Success? Your customers should be your primary focus. If you don’t have someone to manage that, then it might be something you want to look into! Did you realize that having a VP of Customer Success could help direct your team to a more customer centric focus? Did you know that a VP of Customer Success could also help boost sales? Well, both of those are true and there are even more benefits outlined in the post.

The second post that we had to share on the ABG Capital blog this week was, Enhancing Customer Experience Using Big Data. If you’ve never heard of big data before, just know that it is defined as data that is too large and complicated for traditional tools to capture, store and analyze. The article explains that utilizing this data can give you a better understanding of your customers, which makes your job as a business owner much easier. More importantly, it makes your customers happy and that’s ultimately what every business strives to accomplish.

Just to make a quick announcement, we are currently recruiting for the positions listed below. Our HR Manager, Sharon Kolesar, recently attended a job fair at CCAC and while, she met some great candidates, we are still searching for new employees.

  • Technical Service Representatives 
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Web Developers (please know that we’re looking for experienced candidates for this position)

If you are interested in any of these positions, please send your resume and cover letter to sharonk@abgcapital.com.

While we’re looking for new people to add to our team, we can’t forget for recognize some of our current employees! Let’s share some of the birthdays and anniversaries that we have coming up in April:

  • Birthdays
    • Rhonda Taylor-Boles – April 9th
    • Dustin Campbell – April 10th
    • Dan Ravenstahl – April 18th
    • Kimmie Rivetti – April 28th
  • Anniversaries
    • Jerry Eddy – 6 years on April 3rd
    • Mark Fleckenstein – 4 years on April 16th
    • Jennifer Williams – 1 year on April 16th
    • Nate Rupp – 6 years on April 25th

While we’re talking about celebrations, we have to announce something on behalf of one of our portfolio companies, VoIP Innovations. Today they are taking the afternoon off (their support staff will still be working) to celebrate hitting a fantastic revenue goal that has been escaping them for years. A giant ABG Capital congratulations goes out to everyone who is part of the VoIP Innovations team. You are all A players and we couldn’t be more proud to have you as part of our amazing organization. Keep up the great work!


This week we also had Brad Withers join us for the second year in a row to do a workshop with our managers. This year he focused on team building strategies and our managers had a VERY interesting day because he came ready to do all kinds of activities. Any speaker can come in and read a manual to your for 8 hours, but Brad explained the value in teaching the concepts behind the content. Our mangers built index card towers, spaghetti and marshmallow skyscrapers and they even played a little catch with noisy stuffed animals. It wasn’t the activities themselves that taught them about team building; it was the debriefing once the activities were over. There was a great deal of valuable information talked about during this workshop and we can’t wait to see how these mangers put their newly learned skills into action! Here a few pictures from the workshop.





Before we close out this week’s Just another Friday at ABG Capital, we wanted to let you know that next week we’ll have our annual kickball game. This is the second sporting event of the year and we can’t wait! Below are a few pictures from last year’s game.

ABG Capital Kickball Game 1

ABG Capital Kickball Game 2

ABG Capital Kickball Game 3


Just another Friday at ABG

ABG Capital would like to wish everyone a very happy Friday! Later today we’ll all be heading to Latitude 40 to do some bowling. Employees from VoIP Innovations, Inspira and GlobalPOPs will be joining us as well. Not to worry though, we’ll still have a few people in the office for each company who will be assisting customers on any and all support issues. We’ll be taking pictures and Vine videos the whole time so make sure to check our social media sites to see everything!

ABG Capital 2013 Bowling

Now let’s take a look back on our week… We featured an awesome blog post that highlighted some of the reasons why it’s important to understand that all employees are representatives of your brand. If a customer is on the phone with a Customer Service Rep and that Rep is rude or unknowledgeable, then that customer might consider taking their business elsewhere. On the other hand, if that employee is pleasant and well-versed in the company and its products, then the customer is at ease and is more likely to tell others about how awesome your company is. If ALL of your employees can’t sell your company to current or potential customers, then you might run into some problems down the line!

This week one of our newer employees, Yvonne Iwanejko, attended her Lunch with Leadership. This is something that ABG Capital does with every employees on their 30 day mark. Jeff and Jason Tapolci make it a priority to get to know their employees and this is a fantastic way to do it!

If you check back into the ABG Capital blog next week, you’ll find a great article on business development; primarily how to make the large goals and numbers seem not so bad. If you’re worried that you might miss this post, you always have the option to subscribe! Once you do this, you’ll get an email from ABG Capital ONLY when a new blog post is published. It’s really a great way to keep up to date with our posts.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Just another Friday at ABG

Here we are again wrapping up yet another great week at ABG Capital. We have some great news to share so let’s not waste any more time and get right into it!


Our newest employee, Kimmie Rivetti, had her lunch with leadership this week! This is a great thing that we do so the new employees get to spend some quality time with Jeff and Jason Tapolci. It’s important to them they that the get to know their employees on a more personal level. Check out the amount of support their picture got when we posted it on our Facebook Page!

Yvonne Iwanejko

Yvonne Iwanejko, our newest employee!

While we were celebrating with one employee for making it to her one month mark, we were also welcoming another new employee into the VoIP Innovations Porting Department. Her name is Yvonne Iwanejko and we’re excited to have her with us! In the next few weeks we will be introducing to you to even more new people who are joining our team. 2014 is going to be a year of major growth for ABG Capital and its portfolio companies and it’s going to be exciting!

This week we also posted a great article on how to develop a great corporate culture. At ABG Capital, we take our culture very seriously. I’m not saying that we have a serious culture; I’m saying that the founders of this company have put a great deal of dedication and passion into developing a unique culture. What is your company doing to provide a positive culture for its’ employees? Share it with us in the comment section below!

Next week you can expect to see another great post that talks about the Return on Investment (ROI) that you can expect to see with professional development. Anyone can have fun at work, but are they having fun in a way that enhances their skills and ultimately can increase the profits for your company? This article will give you more insight on how exactly to achieve the most ROI.

We have one last announcement before you head out today. VoIP Innovations, a wholesale VoIP service provider, will be traveling to Miami next week to attend the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo (ITEXPO). We’ve been hearing about what they have up their sleeve for this and it seems like they’re going to WOW the crowd! If you have plans to attend the show, make sure you stop by Booth 606 and ask about their Industry leading BackOffice platform, Titanium III. You can’t miss them; they’ll be the guys in the orange ties!

That’s all that we have for you today! Bundle up and enjoy your weekend. 🙂

Just another Friday at ABG

Happy Friday! We’re hoping everyone had a fantastic week. We’ve been keeping busy here at ABG Capital with visitors and planning sessions and conferences all week. Let’s tell you a little more about all this.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, GlobalPOPs held their annual planning session in our new conference room and on Thursday and Friday VoIP Innovations held theirs.These sessions are designed to create a yearly and quarterly plan for the companies so they can stay ahead of their competition and continue pleasing their customers. Here are some pictures of the two planning sessions:

ABG Capital Annual Planning

The GlobalPOPs Team

ABG Capital Strategic Planning 2

The VoIP Innovations Team

On top of all the strategic planning that was going on this week, InspiraFS had a few visitors in the office this week too. They were just in time because our build-out project is almost complete! There are only a few small final touches that need to be finished up, include the wall designs that we have being printed right now. We’re looking forward to showing off the office in two weeks for the big unveiling at our Open House.

This week our HR Manager, Sharon Kolesar, spent a few days out of the office at the Pittsburgh Human Resources Associations (PHRA) 2013 Annual Conference and Exposition. This year was their 65th anniversary and they celebrated by hosting another fantastic HR convention. Some of the topics they covered were creating an inclusive culture, healthcare, decreasing stress, analytic tools that can help any HR professional, and even health and wellness topics.

The last thing we need to mention is that it’s that time of the year when our Executive Team will be heading out of the office for the second Gazelles summit of the year. The first summit they attended this year was in Orlando and focused on growing leadership within the organization. This summit is in Las Vegas and will be centered around growing the entire organization. The members of the Executive Team who will be attending are Jeff Tapolci, Jason Tapolci, Ron Eggert, Dan Ravenstahl, Sebastian Kiely, Pete Littlejohn, Nick Medina and Corey Potts. We can’t wait to see what this summit has in store for everyone at ABG Capital!

We hope you have a great weekend. 🙂

Just another Friday at ABG

Welcome back to your Just another Friday at ABG Capital! You can really tell that it’s summer around the office because we don’t have that much going right now. Things are moving along nice and smooth, people are taking vacations and most important of all, our build-out is moving along.

Earlier this week Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital, and Ron Eggert, President of ABG Capital, spent the day in Cleveland, Ohio at McNeil Industries. They met Jim Hoffman, their strategic coach, and Justin McNeil of McNeil Industries. They got to tour their facility while getting some great coaching tips from Jim. These guys are a close knit group of professionals who always manage to have an enjoyable time with each other while gaining new insight into the way they run their businesses. The last time they all got together was in May; click here to read all about the fun they had!

McNiel Industries Cleveland

 Now I’d talk a little bit about the office build-out project we started in April. We need to expand our office due to the rapid growth of VoIP Innovations and Inspira. We’re constructing a new (bigger) kitchen, a new (bigger) training room and new (bigger) call centers. Unfortunately due to the landlord not getting electric and plumbing permits until late last week, the project has been slightly pushed back.

Phase one should have been completed by now, but because of the later permits, the builder decided to skip Phases three and four. Phase three has been completely finished, but Phase 4 has been only partially completed. Despite the minor set backs, we’re anticipating that we’ll be fully operational by the end of August!

Well, that’s all we have for today. Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!



ABG Capital Volunteers at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies

Happy Monday! As you remember from our Just another Friday at ABG post last week, we mentioned that some people in the ABG Capital office were taking a half day to go do some volunteer work. That volunteer work took place at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies where we were equipped with buckets of waters and sponges to clean thousands of headstones. Our mission was to help the cemetery prepare for their Memorial Day celebrations next weekend. We had a gorgeous sunny day on our side and we were able to get through all the headstones we needed to.

This is the second year ABG Capital has volunteered at the cemetery and we hope to do it again next year because it’s such a rewarding experience. We were even approached by some veterans who wanted to offer their thanks to US! If you’d like to see pictures from our day, please visit our Facebook page.

ABG Capital CEO and Veterans

Jeff Tapolci and Veterans

The National Cemetery of the Alleghenies is a national cemetery that serves as the final resting place for thousands of veterans and their families. The cemetery lies on 292 acres and is a beautiful place that is well taken care of by a staff of no more than 20. If you are interested in being a part of the volunteer program at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, please contact their office for more information.

ABG Capital 1st Quarter in Review

“With the close of the 1st quarter, all four of ABG Capital’s portfolio companies have contributed to another successful quarter that puts ABG Capital on its way to a record breaking year,” stated Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital.

Scotch Friday Celebration

Scotch Friday Celebration

We’ve had so many exciting things happen during this year’s 1st quarter: business is booming, our companies are making huge names for themselves in their industries, we’re hiring great new people to our teams, and we’ve started expanding our office to keep up with the rapid growth. Overall, we couldn’t be happier with how we ended the 1st quarter and we’ve definitely set a great foundation for the 2nd quarter.

We’ll start by reviewing VoIP Innovations, our largest investment by far. They are a wholesale VoIP (voice over internet protocol) services provider who finished their best year ever in 2012 and they are positioned to have a stellar 2013.  This company’s revenue is up 27% from the 1st quarter in 2012 and they are positioned to have an overall better year in 2013 than they did in 2012. The company continues to enhance its current product offerings while constantly releasing new and updated features, functionalities, and products.

Its latest release is called Titanium Private Label platform (TPL).  TPL was designed as an option for VoIP resellers who do not have or want their own VoIP switch. When they purchase the TPL platform, those resellers can have the best of both worlds; the VoIP Innovations network and a VoIP solution without the need of a VoIP switch.  VoIP Innovations continues to create features, functionalities, and products to stay one step ahead of everyone else in the industry. They design their services based on what their customers want and what the market wants. Everything they do is designed to create a more user-friendly experience that keeps the customers coming back. As they continue to thrive in their industry, they are on their way to achieving their goal of being the industry’s largest wholesale provider of North American origination and termination.

“This company is where we are seeing tremendous growth,” said Tapolci.  “In an aggressive market such as telecommunications, VoIP Innovations has not only been able to contend with their competitors, but are among the leaders of their industry.”

GlobalPOPs, the industry’s largest aggregator of dial-up internet services, continues to actively acquire wholesale dial traffic, as well as end-users through its End User Services (EUS) nameplate. GlobalPOPs has just completed an expansion of their network to cover the vast majority of the Level 3 territory. In addition, EUS has rolled out new product lines centered on static IP addresses that has proven in the 1st quarter to be solving a problem in the market place. Though the world of dial-up internet service is consistently shrinking, GlobalPOPs and EUS are positioning themselves to be in the dial-up internet market for many more years.

We’ll start to bring this 1st quarter review to a close with Inspira, ABG Capital’s most recent venture. They have seen the biggest improvement out of all of the companies with a 40% increase in revenue from the 1st quarter in 2012.  They have added validity to their comprehensive IRA rollover and retirement plan termination services in the market. In addition, they have acquired Fortune 500 customers who are bringing in a steady flow of accounts on a weekly basis. Last year it was Inspira’s goal to focus on acquiring clients. This year, they are focusing on sales, sales, sales that will help them secure more clients.

Look out 2nd quarter, here we come!  “We’re extremely proud of where we are at this point in 2013, and we couldn’t have achieved this success without the astounding team we have in place,” said Tapolci. “It’s not every day that you can have profitable companies and keep the fun, family atmosphere that we have, especially to the point where you’re named one of the best places to work in the state. We’ve been blessed, that’s for sure.”

Now that 1st quarter has ended, we know that we can achieve even more triumphs by the end of the 2nd quarter. To give a better representation of how far we’ve already come from last year, take this into perspective; from our current standpoint, if we did nothing else for the rest of the year, we would close out 2013 in the same spot as we closed 2012. Remember, that’s if we did NOTHING. Obviously we’re not going to sit around and do nothing, so that means we’re expected to end 2013 with record breaking success.

Just another Friday at ABG

Welcome back, it’s good to see that everyone has survived another work week 🙂 It seems as though everyone at ABG Capital has had a pretty good week and we even have some congratulations to give out today!

First off, we have officially migrated off of our old email systems and are now up and running with the new system. With that migration, we also got a new portal site for our employees. It’s a great way to share information and keep everyone up-to-date. **If you are an employee who is still having trouble with this migration, please send an email to Steve or Jacob at the Help Desk and they’ll address your issue.**

Denise Breide, Employee of the Month

Denise Breide, Employee of the Month

We want to give a shout out to our Employee of the Month, Denise Breide and our Spotlight of the of the Month, Natalie DeCario. Denise works for VoIP Innovations as the Project Provisioning Specialist and Natalie is the Communications Specialist for ABG Capital. Congratulations to you both!

Since it’s the start of the month, we want to share all our April birthdays and anniversaries with you. Dustin Campbell, a VoIP innovations Technical Services Coordinator, will celebrate his birthday on April 10.  Dan Ravenstahl, President of GlobalPOPs and End User Services, will celebrate his on April 18 and Heather Halpern, a Provisioning Coordinator for VoIP Innovations, will celebrate hers on April 29th. Help us wish these folks a happy birthday!

As for our Anniversaries this month, we want to congratulate Mark Fleckenstein, the Marketing Director at InspiraFS, for making it to 3 years at ABG Capital. We also have two employees who will be receiving their 5 Year Service Awards! Congratulations to Nathan Rupp, the Platform Manager for Inspira, and Jerry Eddy, the Director of Development and IT Services for ABG Capital, for making it to 5 years!

KICKBALL2-1529373In other news, next Friday we’re going to be playing some kickball! The teams are made and everyone is ready for the game. Those who can make it to the game will be leaving the office around 1 and we’ll be able to play until 5. As we mentioned when we went bowling, there will still be members of our support staff who stay in the office and continue to solve any customer issues.

To wrap this post up, let’s talk about some upcoming events. As you know, our Friday lunches are a big part of life at ABG Capital. In May, everyone is looking forward having a Cinco de Mayo Pot Luck Luncheon  Also in May, we will be taking employees to volunteer at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies to clean off headstones. There will be more information to come!

If you’re going to be in the Pittsburgh area this weekend, make sure you go outside and enjoy the nice weather we’re supposed to have. Have a great weekend everyone!