Meet Tom and Melissa Miller, Office Evolution franchise owners in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Tom: Melissa and I both grew up in small town Iowa on our family farms. Melissa became an elementary school teacher, and I studied automation engineering. We have 3 daughters.
I have been with ESCO Group 20 years and became an owner 15 years ago. During my engineering career I started a small engineering business designing fishing products – that endeavor propelled my entrepreneurial spirit.
My current employer had an opportunity to place engineers remotely and that is when I came across Office Evolution. Although I looked at other coworking companies, the culture and connectedness I found at Office Evolution was the perfect match for our company.
We started an office in Louisville, Colorado with two engineers, and realized we could expand very quickly using this coworking model. At the same time, I recognized that Cedar Rapids – a techy town with a vibrant startup accelerator – needed a space for small businesses to thrive. That’s when Melissa and I decided to take the plunge and open our own OE franchise. Melissa jumped in to operate the center for a year and a half before we hired a manager.
Needless to say, we haven’t looked back!
The Cedar Rapids OE is smack in the middle of the New Bo village, the beating heart of tech and business startups. The business center has 25 offices, two conference rooms, two dedicated desks, and eight co-working spots. As for members, they’re a bright, dynamic, and creative mix of marketing, accounting, legal and financial professionals, writer, architect, and an ACT tutor.
It’s the new people we’ve met and the community we’ve shared. We believe in this concept, and we know we’re all in this together.
We would tell them that building a large network, listening and applying new ideas to your business, and sharing space with other entrepreneurs is empowering and encourages you to continually strive for improvement.
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Written by: Andrea Pirrotti
Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.