In an effort to highlight Virginia’s technological innovation and raise awareness about high performing industries, Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe, declared October 2014 to be TechTober, a statewide celebration of Virginia’s high-tech sector. Ecosystems was profiled for its commitment to technological innovation in Virginia.



Ecosystems Local Company Creates Impact through Technology

Entrepreneurial Beginnings

Like many good ideas, the business plan for Ecosystems Services originated over a strong cup of coffee.

In June 1999, three Virginia residents met at the local McLean Starbucks to bring their vision to life: a vision to impact clients, colleagues, and the community through innovative technology.

The company founders, Chad Quinn, Mike Plaskow, and Tricia Markey, left their corporate careers to set out on a new, collaborative venture, which they named Ecosystems Services.

“Looking back, it was scary and exciting. We wanted to build a great company and make an impact. Nobody was in it to make a million dollars, we were in it to do something substantial,” said Chad Quinn, President of Ecosystems.

Quinn noted that even today, 15 years after the company’s inception and that initial meeting at Starbucks, Ecosystems “still has that entrepreneurial, nervous energy of a start-up.”

Impact with Clients through Technology

The innovation behind Ecosystems’ technology is its ability to turn large amounts of research and data into business insight.  The software is used by Fortune 500 companies to convey the benefits of their products to customers in selling situations.

“Communicating cost is easy. The elegance of Ecosystems is empowering sales representatives to articulate business benefit with equal clarity,” explained Mike Plaskow, CTO of Ecosystems.

But technology isn’t everything for Ecosystems. “Technology is an enabler for us,” said Quinn. “It’s innovative and unique, but what we’re really passionate about is what it allows us to do for our clients, colleagues, and community.”

Impact in the Community

Previously, Ecosystems team members have partnered with the community by volunteering at a local women’s shelter, Homestretch, Toys for Tots, and packing lunches for the homeless shelter.

“Not only are we making an impact with clients, but we also get to make a direct, hands-on impact in the community,” said Tina Barzmehri, an Ecosystems employee.

Barzmehri described a recent volunteer experience with the Ecosystems team. The team partnered with Homestretch, an organization in Falls Church, which seeks to reverse homelessness. The Ecosystems team “adopted” a mother and her young daughter through the program, providing wrapped gifts for the family at Christmas.

“We’ve been so fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with the Virginia community, even while working with clients that are global companies. Maintaining that strong connection to the community is really exciting,” said Tricia Markey, Value Consultant and Ecosystems co-founder.

Ecosystems is in the process of developing volunteer partnerships for 2015 and plans to establish its own nonprofit in the future.

“We’re always looking to share stories or partner with others who share our passion for impact,” said Quinn.