An interview with Phil Groth, longest-standing Charter Solutions’ employee
When you look across the timeline of Charter Solutions’ history, there is a constant presence, and his name is Phil Groth. Phil joined Charter Solutions just months after Dee Thibodeau and Bill Leonard founded the company in May 1997 and he remains an integral part of the Charter Solutions team. To help commemorate the 25th anniversary of Charter Solutions, we sat down for an interview with our longest-standing employee.
When did you start at Charter?
I joined Charter Solutions in November 1997, so just months after the company was launched. I came to Charter along with a friend of mine who I had worked with at a previous company. I like to joke and say that we were brought in on the ground floor, because our first office was in the lower level of the building.
What keeps you coming back everyday?
Number one was Bill and Dee. They are great people and are great to work for. I have good stories about both of them, for another day. But it’s also been the work. I’ve always had good projects and have been able to work with clients that are engaging and that allow me to learn new skills. I’ve never been bored and never had a concern about what happens when one project ends. Charter has always been more than willing to work with me so that I can stay working remotely, which is important for my family. I’ve worked remotely for 12 years now and it’s worked out quite well.
Do you remember the first project you worked on?
Yes, I remember it very, very well. It was for Transport America. I was assigned to that client with the friend who joined Charter at the same time as me. For the first few weeks, it was a little dicey because they thought the job would take a couple weeks and that it was pretty straightforward. But after we started looking at the situation and asking questions, we realized what they had asked for wasn’t going to work. So, we had a discussion and suggested what we thought they should do, and they agreed with us and said, “let’s do it.” Within six months, we had probably 10 people from Charter working on the project and we basically redesigned the whole software platform that ran their business, from the front end to the back. I ended up working with that client for three years. I learned so much from that client and project.
What do you think sets Charter apart from other technology consulting firms?
We hire good people. I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years and can say that I would work with all of them again. And I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve worked with. No one ever acts like a gatekeeper or tries to keep anyone else from expanding their skills. It’s a very open, communicative, and supportive group. I feel like the people I’ve worked with have been top notch, and that makes my life a lot easier. The Charter team is always the 20 percent in the 80/20 rule.
Do you have any wish or sentiment you’d like to share in honor of the anniversary?
I’ve thought about this alot and it’s really a big thank you for giving me opportunities and for giving me a stress-free career. Knowing that Charter has my back and that I don’t have to worry about what’s around the corner if a client cuts funding; that removes the stress and allows me to focus on the work. It goes beyond security to knowing that I’ve had a successful career because of Charter and the opportunities they’ve given me.