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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Tom Riggs



Location: Phoenix, AZ

Founded: 2016

Industry: Talent Optimization

After more than 20 years as corporate executives, Tom Riggs and his friend Jerry Rutter set out to counter the cliches and do something different. 

They spent two days mapping out their dream company, one that would ditch stale corporate approaches and hollow claims about people being important without action to back it up.

After leaving their reliable corporate jobs, they poured their life savings into launching their new company on December 6, 2016. It had no name. No clients. No revenue. Not even a website.  

From a modest office and with four additional employees — people Rutter and Riggs urged to wait to sign on until they could offer something more stable — MindWire was born. 

Today, with a team of 15, MindWire has more than 150 clients in 24 countries. It operates in a larger, nicer office and has demonstrated a 56% annual growth rate. The company offers workforce analytics and management consulting, using the best available science, tools and data. 

MindWire uses data and science to predict and enhance the performance of its clients’ people. “We predict and improve performance on the most vexing, important challenge for any organization: people,” the company said. 

MindWire has also developed and brought to market its own proprietary workforce analytics dashboard. The dashboard is used by clients to enhance analysis, measurement, performance and decision-making when it comes to human capital. 

MindWire’s Glassdoor ratings from its employees are nearly perfect: a five-star overall rating; 100% would recommend MindWire to a friend; 100% approve of the CEO. Comments such as: “A special place … A company that really gets you … Best career decision to date … Best place I’ve ever worked … Great atmosphere for growth and better people.” 

MindWire notes that 50% of its clients are referrals from other clients, and it has a 90% client retention rate. That kind of feedback says the company is moving in the right direction. 

Riggs said the company’s success is due in part to allowing the team to shine.

“My first year into my career, I was in HR,” Riggs said. “My boss sent me to manufacturing for one year to lead a production team of 30, with Boeing as our customer. Zero manufacturing experience, zero technical knowledge, etc. I knew less than everyone on the team. About everything. 

“The only thing I could do was build a real team, get to know my team and build relationships, and focus on leading instead of doing and knowing it all. And it allowed my team to shine and forced me to strictly play my role as leader. And it has stuck since. My job is leader, not chief doer, chief knower of all, etc.

Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

Did you know?

Tom and Jerry (again, feel free to laugh and poke fun at this, everyone does–including Tom and Jerry) have known each other since 5th grade. And while many WISELY say, don’t go into business with your friend, they had worked together two other times previously, and the strength of their relationship is a foundational piece of what makes MIndWire the organization it is. Along with a strong operating agreement!


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