Alura Business Solutions
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA
Industry: IT Managed Services Provider
When it comes to information technology, Jason Derstine has seemingly always been a step ahead.
His uncle was a programmer and small business owner, and he shared hand-me-down computers with Derstine, who picked up the technology quickly. By age 14, Derstine had his first IT client. In high school, Derstine learned about security and networks on the side through an internship. By the time he enrolled at Temple University in 2002, Derstine had more than 10 clients. He juggled his client work while studying information science and technology and business administration.
Upon graduation, Derstine made his side clients his full-time business, and Alura Business Solutions was born. Today, Alura has over 100 managed clients, ranging in size from five employees to 250, and it has an in-house staff of 20.
Over the next five years, the company plans to expand its geographic footprint, grow its total employees to 40–50 and offer new products and services to customers.
“I plan to continue to foster a positive, supportive team environment and culture,” Derstine said. “Being patient, listening to others, and following through on what you promise. Our industry changes so rapidly, it is more important than ever to retain your talent and attract new [talent] as you grow. For our industry, providing new services quickly while still vetting the best in the industry to offer to our clients.”
Derstine prioritizes work-life balance and encourages his employees to enjoy their work. He plans to maintain a physical office space, even as many companies emerge from the pandemic as fully remote, because his team enjoys the camaraderie of working together in one space, he said. The company organizes regular events for staff outside of work, both for fun and to give back to local charities.
“Jason has so much energy and devotion to the industry, his company, employees and clients. His integrity and dedication has resulted in [an] incredible retention rate of both clients and employees over 17 plus years in business,” his team said. “Our company is like a family and is treated as such.”
Derstine has been recognized with a number of awards over the years. Two that stand out, he said, are being named to Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list and being named by the same publication as Philadelphia’s top LGBT-owned business.
“Business was not always easy in earlier years being gay, and diversity and inclusion is very important to him, so it is an honor to be recognized for this accomplishment,” Derstine’s team said.
Jason is also a classically trained pianist and loves skydiving and karaoke.
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