Trends Spring 2015 - Page 5

to work through all the regulations.” Community ties grow deep for founder Design of the four-story, 72,000-square-foot facility was further complicated by the relatively small footprint of the lot. Despite all the site concerns, JAMF saw a lot of benefits in keeping its office in downtown Eau Claire. E “We definitely wanted to stay downtown because of its proximity to the university and the benefits of our people to being downtown – access to the bike trails, access to the farmers market, the view of the rivers,” Johnson said. “We want to be part of the community. It’s a source of company pride.” Meanwhile, Chip Pearson, an employee at a Seattle phone company, noticed the same problem. The two met by chance; by 2002 JAMF Software had been founded, designing and marketing software to allow I T managers to set up and maintain Apple computer systems more efficiently. The company’s founder, Zach Halmstad, credits his work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for his start in software design and has committed support to the revitalization of his hometown. Halmstad wanted the Eau Claire JAMF facility to enhance the City; Hoecherl believes the building contributes greatly to the neighborhood. “The building is interesting in that it makes such a statement. It’s modern; it offers an industrial warehouse au Claire native Zach Halmstad was a music major at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the late 1990s when he took a part-time job with the university’s IT department, servicing the school’s Apple computers. After the part-time job evolved into a full-time position, Halmstad realized that important tools available to manage Windows- based computing systems were not available for Apple computers. Since then, the company has grown to about 350 employees with clientele around the globe, including universities and Fortune 100 companies. Pearson works out of headquarters in Minneapolis, and Halmstad is deeply rooted in Eau Claire. The firm’s downtown presence is a source of company pride. Roughly a third of the employees are UW-Eau Claire graduates. Staff members tend to patronize downtown businesses. Many walk or bike to work. The approximately $12 million new facility represents just a part of JAMF Software’s contribution to the revitalization of the core of the city Halmstad calls home. JAMF Software has also pledged $500,000 toward The Confluence Project, a proposed arts center and multiuse building in downtown Eau Claire. – Kay Kruse-Stanton TRENDS │5