ABG Capital Among Best Places to Work in Western PA

ABG Capital was recently ranked 41st on the Pittsburgh Business Times list of 2012 Best Places to Work in Western Pennsylvania.  This list ranks 96 Pittsburgh-area workplaces.  Since 2005, ABG Capital has been honored for this recognition six times.

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

“We make a point to foster a family atmosphere here, and to know our employees feel the same way is extremely gratifying,” stated Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital.

ABG Capital prides itself on creating a positive work culture for its employees.  To ensure success, the company abides by their mission, which is to cultivate ideas and people through C.O.R.E. (Cultivate, Overcome, Respect, and Evolve) Values for the purpose of giving back. Additionally, the ABG Capital staff participate in many team activities to help keep employees engaged.

The basis of ABG Capital’s mission statement is their C.O.R.E. Values.  To Cultivate, they encourage and support a healthy life balance for each employee.  They Overcome obstacles by combining passion and perseverance to achieve success.  They believe that Respect is achieved by earning mutual trust and exhibiting reliability. They encourage each employee to Evolve by embracing the ability to adapt and innovate.

Additionally, ABG Capital values giving back to their community.  Every quarter, they have an opportunity to donate time to a community service activity.  This past May, they spent an afternoon at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, where they cleaned headstones of the entire grounds.  Next month, the staff will volunteer their time at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Lastly, ABG Capital believes in keeping morale high and enhancing a team environment by featuring a variety of activities.  Some of their favorite opportunities to gather as a group include their annual softball and flag football games.  Last Friday, they celebrated their recognition of being one of the region’s best places to work by hosting a wine and cheese event for all employees to partake in.

Looking ahead, ABG Capital will continue to focus on people and culture, which will allow them to create a work environment in which both business and individuals thrive.  They hope to continue their trend of being named one of the region’s best places to work in the future.  To learn more about ABG Capital, please visit http://www.abgcapital.com

ABG Capital Employee Update

ABG Capital portfolio company GlobalPOPs recently expanded its team.  Two weeks ago, they welcomed Eric Butler as their new Technical Support Contractor.  Eric comes to GlobalPOPs from TRG Customer Solutions where he worked as a Sales Supervisor and Customer Service Representative for 10 years.

Eric is a huge sports fan with the Penguins being his favorite team and hockey his number one sport.  He and his wife are partial season ticket holders for the Pirates and Penguins.  Eric loves outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping when the weather permits.

Another ABG Capital portfolio company, VoIP Innovations, also recently expanded its team.  Last week, they welcomed Sally Stewart, who will be working as a Provisioning Representative.  Sally joins the VI team from Neishloss & Fleming, Inc., where she worked as a Compliance Officer for over 6 years.

She attended Carnegie Mellon University and earned a BA degree in Creative Writing.  In her spare time, Sally enjoys Dragon Boating, kayaking, cooking, dancing and making jewelry, primarily with metals and glass.

Atta Boy!In addition to bringing in new employees, VoIP Innovations recently received a glowing review on one of its existing employees, Provisioning Specialist, David Smith.  VI customer David Wessell, from Ring Free Communications, LLC, sent this feedback last week:

“Just wanted to give you some feedback on David. If he’s not in charge of porting, give him a promotion. We port lots of DID’s with lots of different vendors, and David’s the rock star out of all of them. Anytime we have any difficult issues with porting (and let’s face it, porting is never easy) he always does the deep dive into the issue and gets me the information that I need.  The rest of your port team is good, I’m not knocking them, but David’s your rock star out there.”

As a result of this positive customer feedback, ABG Capital employees created an “Atta Boy!” bulletin board, where they will recognize positive achievements of their employees.  As a result of David’s rave review, ABG Graphic Designer, Ryan Rice drew a caricature of David as a Rock Star, which was posted on the “Atta Boy!” board.

ABG Capital Portfolio Company, VoIP Innovations, Launches Wholesale VoIP Channel on TMCnet

VoIP Innovations TMCnet MicrositeTMCnet, a global, integrated media company helping clients build communities in print, in person and online, announced that the Wholesale VoIP channel, sponsored by ABG Capital portfolio company, VoIP Innovations, has been launched as the newest addition to the TMCnet Online Community program.

The Wholesale VoIP Channel is designed for individuals involved in the VoIP and telecommunications industry interested in learning about and acquiring wholesale VoIP services. Information on the Wholesale VoIP Channel addresses issues important to these individuals interested in how to stay ahead in the ever-evolving and competitive VoIP space. Visitors to the Wholesale VoIP Channel can find valuable resources such as feature articles, industry news, white papers, free product trials and e-demos.

The Wholesale VoIP channel can be found at: http://wholesale-voip.tmcnet.com

“VoIP Innovations is pleased to join forces with TMC, the leader of communications and technology media,” commented Jason Tapolci, President of VoIP Innovations. “TMCnet is known for providing valuable content, and we’re thrilled to sponsor this forum where people can learn more about collaborative, online project management.”

VoIP Innovations is a wholesale VoIP origination and termination carrier for over 1000 ITSPs, Hosted PBX providers, call centers, calling card providers and carriers. Specializing in providing the largest DID and termination VoIP footprints in North America, the company has played a central role in the growing world of VoIP for over 10 years. Boasting the experience, extensive network and dedicated staff, VoIP Innovations has been bringing its customers’ businesses to new, sophisticated levels to achieve a strong competitive edge. Additionally, the company offers the nation’s largest telecom providers with the most affordable and efficient wholesale VoIP rates and network footprint needed to remain competitive, such as its proprietary Titanium III platform, which enables customers to deploy VoIP services in real-time via their cloud service.

“TMCnet welcomes VoIP Innovations’ channel into our Online Community program,” stated TMC President Dave Rodriguez. “VoIP Innovations is a well-respected wholesale VoIP provider that shares our vision of advancing new technologies. Our Online Community program is a powerful Community-building vehicle assisting our partners in building their brands, while contributing to the vast array of valuable content which drives traffic to TMCnet, the most-visited communications and technology website in the world.”

TMCnet is the leading Website for communications and technology professionals. TMCnet is visited by 1.5 million unique monthly visitors and generates more than 60 million page views every month, according to Webtrends.  TMC is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a global, integrated media company that helps clients build communities in print, in person, and online.  TMC publishes the TMC’s CUSTOMER Magazine (formerly Customer Interaction Solutions), INTERNET TELEPHONY, Next Gen Mobility, and Cloud Computing magazines. TMCnet.com, which is read by 1.5 million unique visitors each month, is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries. TMC is the producer of ITEXPO, the world’s leading B2B communications event. In addition, TMC runs multiple industry events:  Cloud Communications Expo; Cloud4SMB Expo; CVx (ChannelVision Expo); DevCon5; HTML5 Summit; LatinComm Conference & Expo; M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; Mobility Tech Conference & Expo; MSPAlliance MSPWorld; StartupCamp; Video World Conference & Expo and more.  For more information about TMC, visit http://www.tmcnet.com

VoIP Innovations is owned by ABG Capital, which is based in Pittsburgh, PA.  VoIP Innovations provides wholesale VoIP services to Carriers, ITSP’s, Calling Centers, Calling Card Companies and SMB/Enterprise. These services include VoIP Origination, Termination, Toll-Free, 411, e911 (News – Alert), Caller ID, CNAM and more.  VoIP Innovations was recently awarded #744 on the 2012 Inc. 5000 list and #12 on the Pittsburgh Business Times 100 List of Fastest-growing Pittsburgh-area Private Companies.  For more information about these companies, please visit http://www.abgcapital.com and http://www.voipinnovations.com

ABG Capital’s Portfolio Company, InspiraFS, Enters Strategic Partnership with Benefit Trust Company

ABG Capital portfolio company, Inspira, the retirement industry’s low-cost IRA provider, has signed an agreement with Benefit Trust Company that gives Inspira another Custodial and Trading platform to offer to its clients. The two companies are also planning to mutually market Inspira’s IRA rollover services to the Benefit Trust Company’s existing clients and prospects.

“Not only are we adding a third custodial and trading option for our growing list of partners, but we’re opening a door to new markets and new relationships,” said Lowell Smith, President of Inspira. “We believe Benefit Trust Company shares our long-term vision for this relationship, and we’re both excited to get started.”

Benefit Trust Company, a privately owned, non-depository trust company based in Overland Park, Kansas, joins Mid Atlantic Trust Company and MG Trust as IRA custodians on Inspira’s platform. The partnership with Inspira allows Benefit Trust Company to further expand its already robust suite of IRA services for its current partners while also providing another attractive service offering to prospective clients.

“This partnership is a win-win for us,” said Bradley Scafe, President of Benefit Trust Company. “We believe that by utilizing an up-and-coming platform like Inspira’s, we’ll be able to retain assets that often transfer out of our platform as a result of automatic and voluntary IRA rollovers, enabling us to maximize our current business and increase our marketability going forward.”

Inspira was founded in 2002 and provides bundled providers, recordkeepers, third party administrators, financial advisors, affinity groups, broker dealers, CPAs and payroll companies with turnkey, cost-eliminating IRA solutions.  They are owned by ABG Capital and are based in Pittsburgh, PA.  To learn more about these companies visit them at http://www.abgcapital.com and http://www.inspirafs.com.

ABG Capital Welcomes New Employee

ABG Capital

ABG Capital

On Monday, September 17, ABG Capital welcomed Sara Warhold as their new Office Administrator.  Sara joins ABG Capital’s expanding team from The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center where she served as their Adoption Administrative Coordinator.  Sara lives in Castle Shannon with her husband, Bradley, and 7 year old son, Max.  She enjoys running, riding horses, and watching Max play ice hockey.  Sara will be located at the front desk supporting ABG Capital Corporate and all its Portfolio Companies.Welcome to the ABG Capital family, Sara!

ABG Capital Portfolio Company, VoIP Innovations, Will Exhibit at the ITEXPO

In early October, ABG Capital’s portfolio company, VoIP Innovations, will be present in Austin, exhibiting their premier wholesale VoIP services.  The ITEXPO is the world’s largest communications and technology event.  Many companies attend this semiannual convention to foster new business opportunities and research the latest technology in the communications sector.  Current service providers, ITSP’s, resellers, carriers, call centers, and others interested in a partnership are encouraged to visit VoIP Innovations at booth #713.

At the 2012 ITEXPO West, VoIP Innovations plans to unveil more customer-friendly elements to their growing repetoire of offerings.  Continually investing in infrastructure to ultimately provide the best possible services to their customers is their goal.  “We have developed and deployed industry changing back office tools that provide phenomenal visibility and functionality to our customers,” said Jason Tapolci, President of VoIP Innovations.  “It’s all about making it easier for our customer.”

Join VoIP Innovations as they showcase their premier wholesale VoIP service at their 13th ITEXPO on October 3-5 in Austin, Texas.  Look for the guys in the orange ties at Booth #713.  Follow VoIP Innovations on twitter at @voipinnovations or look for them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to keep up with their events and happenings.

VoIP Innovations, who provides wholesale VoIP services to Carriers, ITSP’s, Calling Centers, Calling Card Companies, and SMB/Enterprise, is owned by ABG Capital which is based in Pittsburgh, PA.  To learn more about these companies visit them at http://www.abgcapital.com and http://www.voipinnovations.com

ABG Capital Welcomes New Employees to its Portfolio Companies

VoIP Innovations recently hired two new members to their expanding team.

Justin Cornish started with VoIP Innovations on September 1st as our Technical Support Representative.  Justin is currently a full-time student at ITT Technical Institute pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Specialized Technology/Software Applications Programming. As a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Military Policy Company Bravo located in North Versailles, Justin stills finds time for camping with his wife of two years, Amy, mountain biking, billiards, video games.  Justin recently returned home from a combat tour in Afghanistan where he was in a security platoon for logistical convoy operations.  While there, he was in charge of defending Local Nationals, a large armored truck, his driver and his gunner from enemies.

Michael Mills started on September 4th as our Provisioning Representative.  Michael joins us from Express Pros (ServiceLink) as their Scheduling Team Member and Order Entry Analyst.  Prior to Express Pros, Michael worked as a help desk support analyst with Lantek in Carnegie.  He recently moved to Imperial with his wife, Jamie, and his two cats.  Michael’s interests include, IT, Chess, X-box, football, and cars.

Another aspiring ABG Capital portfolio company, InspiraFS, also recently expanded.

Jeff Linkowski is a sales agent that will be working with the InspiraFS team marketing their solutions to TPAs, recordkeepers and advisors.  Jeff is a veteran of the employee benefits industry and brings a great deal of sales expertise to the organization.

Welcome Justin, Michael, and Jeff to our ABG Capital family.

ABG Capital Anticipates More Growth Through the Next Quarter

ABG CapitalAs the summer draws to a close, ABG Capital’s business continues to flourish. Of its portfolio companies, VoIP Innovations has experienced the most growth, to the point where it was recently recognized both regionally and nationally as a company to watch in the Wholesale VoIP arena.

Locally, VoIP Innovations placed 12th overall and 2nd in technology in the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Pittsburgh 100 list of fastest growing companies. Nationally, VoIP Innovations was ranked 744th on the prestigious Inc. 500|5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing businesses, published annually by Inc. magazine.

As a result of its exponential growth, VoIP Innovations is looking to bring on new employees. Currently, they are hiring Technical Service Representatives for their Support Department and Provisioning Representatives for their Porting Department.

InspiraFS, another ABG Capital company, provides comprehensive IRA Rollover solutions to Retirement Industry Professionals. Look for a few exciting announcements from InspiraFS this fall as it anticipates similar growth for the rest of 2012 and beyond. In advance of that expected growth, InspiraFS is looking to hire additional Customer Service Representatives.

With so much growth among its portfolio companies, the executive core at ABG Capital is also looking to expand. ABG Capital is currently seeking an Accounting Assistant and an Office Administrator to add to its family of employees. ABG Capital continues to focus on people and culture, which allows it to create a work environment in which both businesses and individuals thrive.

Its efforts have not gone unnoticed, as ABG Capital was recognized by the Pittsburgh Business Times as one of the Best Places to Work in Western Pennsylvania for the 6th time in 8 years. Additionally, ABG Capital was notified that they also made the list for Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for the 5th time in 7 years. The rankings for both of these awards will be announced later this year.

“This is great recognition for ABG Capital,” said Jeff Tapolci, CEO. “We focus on creating an atmosphere around great people, and to know that our employees feel the same way is extremely gratifying.”

Located in Pittsburgh, PA, ABG Capital leverages its unique business management model to reduce costs through the consolidation of back office operations for its portfolio companies. This summer marked ABG Capital’s 20th year in business. To learn more about ABG Capital, please visit them at http://www.abgcapital.com.

ABG Capital Finds Right Focus For Ownership

6/29/2012: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/print-edition/2012/06/29/abg-capital-finds-right-focus-ownership.html

Jeff Tapolci’s family business had survived two devastating events a decade ago, only to be nearly undone by its own survival strategy of diversification.

Tapolci’s father, Gerard, the company’s founder, died of lung cancer in 2002. At the same time, the economic downturn of 2001-2002 stymied prospects for the original business, Computer Comfort, an information technology service provider.

The remaining Tapolcis — Jeff, his brother Jason and mother Judy — decided to build on some related business capabilities.

“By 2004, we were producing so much cash that we were able to rebuild credit — everyone was paid off,” Tapolci said. “My brother and I wanted to conquer the world. But even though we were a family business, all the owners were fighting over what to do with the money.”

The company tried consultants, but what it really needed was an outsider to unravel the complications so Tapolci could focus and realize his vision.

“We hired Ron Eggert as CFO in 2006,” Tapolci said. “He put the final piece to the puzzle; I needed to go in a new direction.”

Eggert pared the ownership ranks from seven to four; the process involved buying out Tapolci’s mother, enabling her to retire. Computer Comfort was spun out.

But the biggest change was shaking up the way the business was structured.

“Everyone wanted to run their own business and we needed to have a mechanism to allow that,” Tapolci said.

So, in 2007, Eggert created a holding company, ABG Capital Inc., with Tapolci as CEO. ABG Capital is a business management company that provides back-office services to sub-corporations that were subsequently formed.

Dan Ravenstahl, a cousin of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, is president of GlobalPOPs, a wholesale dial-up Internet services firm, and End User Services, a retail Internet services provider. GlobalPOPs drove ABG’s revenue for four years, providing a nest egg so the other businesses could be developed and nurtured.

Jason Tapolci is president of VoIP Innovations, a wholesale provider of voice-over-IP telephone services.

A fourth sub-corporation, InspiraFS, an idea-stage start-up ABG acquired in 2008, provides comprehensive IRA rollover and retirement plan termination services to the retirement industry. Eggert recently assumed leadership.

By consolidating services such as accounting, legal, information technology and software development, staff, administration and human resources, ABG is able to increase efficiency and eliminate redundancies, Tapolci said.

That business structure can be a “valuable diversification strategy,” said Chris Cynkar, an entrepreneur and adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

“Each individual business unit is going to be able to focus on its customers and products without having to occupy time dealing with the back-office functions like accounting, payroll and HR,” he said. “In that sense, it gives that operating business a narrower focus and greater likelihood of success.”

Now just three of the four ABG owners are on site. The Tapolci brothers own 90 percent of the business. The remainder is held by Ravenstahl and Adam Scott, who leads Computer Comfort, based in McMurray.

Over the past five years, employment has grown from 25 to 43. Half provide back-office services. The remainder are divided among the four sub-corporations.

Revenue in 2011 was $13.7 million. Tapolci said ABG is on track to top $20 million this year.