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

This was a pretty good week for those of us at ABG Capital and we have some great things to share with you today. Let’s dive in!

Coffee is the staple of most people’s days, would you agree? It’s the first thing some people think of when they get up in the morning and some people can’t even function at work until they get their first cup. If someone messes with that routine, the rest of the world better watch out because it’s bound to get ugly. We take our coffee very seriously here at ABG and our routine was messed with… Can you imagine the kind of turmoil that caused? There were broken coffee cups, shattered computers, brawls, and there may have even been a few desk fires… All because we weren’t able to get our coffee in the morning.

Okay, so maybe that didn’t happen. We still had to go about half a day without coffee, but we warned people ahead of time so they could prepare themselves. The lack of morning coffee happened only because we switched our services from Laurel Food Systems to Old Time Coffee. We have a very specific way that we like our coffee; it’s bold, but not bitter and Old Time Coffee can deliver just that!

Today was also our Month End Meeting where we talked about our 1st quarter, welcomed new employees, and congratulated other employees. April 1st was the start of our 2nd quarter and we’ve officially closed our books. Things ended up looking pretty good for us and our portfolio companies and next week you can expect to see a press release and a blog post that go into detail about financials, products, and an overall review. We also welcomed our newest employee Jennifer William to the Inspira Family. Click here to read more her and her new position. As for the congratulations, we celebrated the 5 year anniversaries of Jerry Eddy and Nate Rupp. We hope to see you both stick with us for many more years to come!

Jerry Eddy and Jason Tapolci

Jerry Eddy and Jeff Tapolci


Nate Rupp and Jeff Tapolci

Nate Rupp and Jeff Tapolci











Also this week, Jeff Tapolci and Ron Eggert attended the Pittsburgh Enterprise Forum. This event featured a discussion panel with influential people and some of their executives. They shared some great stuff with Jeff and Ron!

Up next, we have new developments with our build-out project to share with you. We’ve been hearing the sounds of expansion this week! And by those sounds, we mean hammering, drilling and all of those other great construction sounds.  Unfortunately, the Inspira folks who are in the temporary space are getting the most of that noise. They can handle it though! Here are some pictures of what was accomplished this week!

ABG Capital Build out 1

ABG Capital Build out 2

ABG Capital Build out 3

Lately you’ve been hearing about our growth and about all of the new employees we’ve been hiring. One of the newest projects we’re starting to work on, is a new employee onboarding video. This is going to be a welcome video with a few key people in the company talking about who they are and what do at ABG Capital. We’ve started the recordings and it’s going great so far. We can’t wait until it’s all finished!

That’s all we have for you today, have a great weekend 🙂

Just another Friday at ABG

Well isn’t today just a rainy day in Pittsburgh? Despite this weather today, we’ve had a beautiful and sunny week! It’s also been a week full of excitement for us here at ABG Capital.

The first piece of exciting news we have to share with you is that we have another new employee to welcome to the ABG Capital family! Her name is Jenn and she is Inspira’s newest Customer Service Representative. If you missed the post we wrote about her this week, click here and get to know her better.

This week Jeff Tapolci, CEO of ABG Capital and Jason Tapolci, President of VoIP Innovations took Tyler Weimerskirch and Natalie Decario to lunch at the Rivers Club. They do this for every new hire at ABG Capital because it’s a great way to get

Natalie and Tyler from ABG Capital

to know the new employees on a more personal basis. Here’s a picture of Tyler and Natalie before they left!

We also need to address our lunch from today. All employees at ABG Capital are assigned to a lunch committee. Once a month a different committee has to prepare a lunch for the entire office. For April, we had Dan Ravenstahl, Mark Fleckenstein, Justin Cornish, and Tyler Weimerskirch. These guys did a great job ordering Chinese for everyone. We had a great variety of food and it was all delicious. Thanks for arranging that today guys! Chinese at ABG

The last newsworthy piece of info we want to share with you today is about the geese we have in the front of our office. These geese have a long standing history with ABG Capital and we feel it’s important that we share it with you. These geese have been in this complex just about as long as we have and they have surely made it their home. Look for a blog post next week that talks more about these geese and their history with us.

As always, thanks for reading and have a great weekend 🙂

Another New Employee for Inspira!

Jenn WIlliam, InspiraWe’d like to give a warm welcome to our newest employee Jennifer Williams! Jenn is joining us from Equifax in Moon Township where she worked as a Vendor Manager of appraisals. Jenn also has experience from working as an appraisal representative for Lenders Services. She is the newest addition to the Inspira team and will be taking on the role of a Customer Service Representative.  She will be working with Collin and Kathy who just joined the team not too long ago themselves.

Let’s get to know Jenn a little better! She is the mother of a 12 year old son who will be celebrating his 13th birthday on May 5th, Cinco de Mayo! Her son is a seventh grade honor student and athlete who loves baseball. Jenn is an outdoors enthusiast who loves to take bike rides and walks. She also enjoys being with friends and watching movies on a rainy day. When she’s not busy with these other activities, she’s scouring the Food Network channel for great baking tips. She says cupcakes are her specialty… Maybe we’ll get to try some one day!

As a new addition to the Inspira team, Jenn will be working in our temporary office space while the renovations continue to move along. Everyone, please offer Jenn a warm welcome to the ABG Capital family!

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!

Our Office Build-Out

under_construction_animation_3Construction at ABG Capital is well under way and we’re excited to share some more great updates with you! When we wrote about The Start of Our Expansion a few weeks ago, we were talking about the contract we signed in September for about 2,700 square feet of new space. That meant bringing our office to 12,000 square feet.

Well, we’ve just upgraded from that. On March 29, we signed a new contract that added 2,900 square feet to our layout. That means that we’ll have about 15,000 square feet! That’s a huge amount of space from what we had with our very first lease back in 2007 that only totaled about 9,400 square feet.

The need for this expansion is due to the rapid (and we mean RAPID) growth of Inspira and VoIP Innovations; we have to meet the demands of our work flow! The original plan included a multi-purpose room big enough for about 50 people, some new offices, a call center for Inspira, and a gala kitchen. The amendments to the contract added even more to this.

There will now be a climate controlled call center that will house the Network Operations Center (NOC) for VoIP Innovations and GlobalPOPs as well as the call centers for Inspira, VoIP Innovations, and GlobalPOPs. We are also adding an even larger and more functional kitchen, a small conference room, and a few more offices.

These are exciting times for everyone at ABG Capital and we can’t wait to share more updates with you as this process continues.

Just another Friday at ABG

Welcome back to our blog, it’s time for Just another Friday at ABG Capital!  We want to start off by recognizing some more new employees who joined us this week. We’d like for you to welcome Collin Ballantine and Kathy Scheidlmeier to the ABG family. They will both be working as Customer Service Representatives for Inspira. If you want to get to know them better, check out their blog post from earlier this week.

Today was the ABG Capital Month/Quarter End Meeting where we discussed what has been going on in each of our companies. At ABG Capital we talked about how much growth we’ve been seeing throughout the organization, the new training our managers have been receiving, the build-out and all of the fun and exciting things that are coming with that expansion. We also had the chance to recognize our Employee of the Month for February which is Sara Warhold, our Office Administrator. Here’s just one of the comments made about her:

“I voted for Sara as she has been a huge asset to helping out Erica and myself. Since she started, we were able to move some tasks that I was doing, over to her and she has handled those like a ROCK STAR. She was able to adapt to a new situation and she welcomed the extra tasks given to her with open arms.”

During this meeting we also got to hear how great of a job all of our Portfolio Companies have been doing. Inspira has been exploding with new accounts and relationships, GlobalPOPs is expecting to see more and more growth in the coming quarters, and VoIP Innovations is moving and developing way faster than expected.

Easter 2As we wrap this post up for the day, we want to say have a great weekend and a Happy Easter!