Success Has a Story
From a humble 150-square foot office to footprints across the country and contracts with some of the nation’s most recognized corporations, we’re proud to share Zycron’s history with you.
At age 26, Darrell S. Freeman founds Advanced Computer Services (which months later he renames Zycron), a retailer of hardware and software. With two employees who worked out of a 150-square foot office, Zycron’s first year of operation yields $10,000 in revenue.
Darrell’s best friend Vince Windrow becomes vice president of Zycron and the company moves into a 1,000-square foot office at the Nashville Business Incubation Center. The Center provides management and technical assistance, shared support services and professional advisement allocated specifically for start-up businesses.
After moving into the Incubation Center, the size of Zycron’s staff increases from three full-time employees to eight. Annual sales jump from just under $600,000 to close to $1 million. Zycron adds well-known clients like the Tennessee Valley Authority, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Corp., MTSU, the Internal Revenue Service and the Corps of Engineers to its customer base. Both TVA and Toyota nominate Zycron for a national Minority Supplier of the Year award.
Zycron is named to the Music City’s Future 50, a list published by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the fastest-growing companies in the area. To qualify, a company must be privately owned, locally based, have 10 or more employees (or annual revenue of at least $500,000) and expect revenue growth of at least10 percent in the following 36 months. Zycron appears on the list for the next three years.
Zycron is named Minority Supplier of the Year by the Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building partnerships between minority-owned businesses that supply quality goods and services and major corporations that need those quality products. Zycron receives the same award in 1996 and 2005.
The ten-person Zycron staff helps the company reach $2.6 million in sales. Zycron continues to expand its footprint in the private and government sectors by landing multiple contracts including a $2.4 million deal with Indianapolis Power Company and a $300,000 contract with Mercedes.
After recognizing a shift in market trends, Darrell transitions Zycron from a hardware and software retailer to an information technology services company. The organization’s focus shifts to contracting employees out to corporate clients for three-month to two-year projects.
Zycron becomes the Nashville Business Incubation Center’s 26th graduate as the 20-employee team moves its corporate headquarters to a 5,000-square foot office space on Clarksville Pike in Nashville.
Zycron opens its first branch office in Chattanooga, Tennesse. It is managed by account executive Gary Holder who supervises the contract with Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public power company. Within five years, the Chattanooga location grows to employ more than 50 IT professionals.
Zycron becomes a founding member of the Nashville Technology Council, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping the Middle Tennessee technology community succeed. Since its formation in 1999, the NTC’s membership has grown to more than 400 organizations throughout Middle Tennessee.
With a staff that has grown to 45 employees, Zycron develops and promotes three main business units: 1) system integration, which provides local area networks, wide area networks, Internet connectivity, e-commerce solutions and information systems; 2) system support, in which Zycron contracts employees out to corporate clients for three-month to two-year projects. These employees are a wide variety of technologists such as Oracle and Cobol programmers as well as Novell and Sun engineers; and 3) development programs in Oracle, Visual Basics and Microsoft Access.
Zycron ranks #75 in Inner City 100 by INC. Magazine, a publication that provides hands-on advice, case studies and big-picture overviews on the state of small business in the U.S. This list highlighted 100 of the fastest growing privately held inner-city businesses in America. Zycron was in that listing and noted for: systems integration, IT staffing and technical services.
Industry recognition continues as Zycron receives certification from Sun Microsystems, a leading provider of hardware and software services for computer networks.
After the September 11 national tragedy, Zycron is featured in USA Today for donating to 9/11 victims. This gesture is consistent with Zycron’s commitment to community service, a tradition displayed throughout the company’s history. Other service activities include an annual turkey giveaway, established in 1999, where Zycron donates hundreds of turkeys to public housing residents at Thanksgiving. Another charitable entity we support is the Freeman Family Foundation, which works in conjunction with Zycron Inc. to provide resources to service organizations in Middle Tennessee. In 2005, the Foundation donated more than $35,000 to help 13 nonprofit organizations meet their goals.
Zycron continues its steady growth in revenue and number of employees. With a staff of approximately 80 team members, the company’s total revenue exceeds $13 million.
Zycron ranks #1 among Nashville-area minority-owned businesses in the Nashville Business Journal’s Book of Lists. The ranking is based on Zycron’s 2002 revenue. Zycron received the same honor three years prior in 2000.
Also in 2003, Zycron initiates the FastTrac Scholarships for African American Entrepreneurs, offering scholarships for business owners to participate in the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 11-week entrepreneurial development course.
Zycron opens its Memphis office, the company’s third location, led by area director Lee Lambert. The same year, Zycron is a finalist for the Mid-South Minority Business Council’s Minority Business of the Year Award. Zycron wins the award again four years later in 2008.
Back in Nashville, Nashville Electric Service awards Ciber and Zycron a three-year information technology staffing contract worth about $12.4 million.
Zycron’s Texas operations begin in Dallas and focus primarily on supporting FedEx. The Zycron-Dallas office is managed by Lori McColl, with 11 years’ prior experience in IT consulting. FedEx nominates Zycron for the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Supplier of the Year Award, which is presented to Zycron in Washington, D.C.
Zycron Founder Darrell Freeman becomes chairman of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors and committed his efforts to positioning the Chamber as a strategic and powerful leader in the community. Meanwhile, Zycron continues to emerge as one of the region’s top IT services firms with more than 170 employees, revenues exceeding $19 million, and four offices in the U.S. The company client roster includes business heavyweights such as Hospital Corporation of America, FedEx, Bridgestone/Firestone, BMI, and Deloitte.
Steven Howard Smith joins Zycron in July 2007 as executive vice president with more than 21 years of leadership experience in the IT consulting industry. The following year he is promoted to president and in 2009 is named the CEO, the first new president and CEO to ever be appointed. As Smith assumes his new roles, he announces his goal to take Zycron’s revenue to $100 million within seven years.
Zycron begins developing distinct vertical markets: state and local government, health care, energy and utilities, and IT governance via its project management office.
The Zycron PMO is established and wins a contract to manage more than $8 million of information technology projects for the City of Memphis. Within one year, the Zycron PMO receives national recognition; PMO Director Larry Wilson is featured on the website of Innotas, a worldwide leader in project portfolio management solutions, in recognition for leading a successful implementation of Innotas for the City of Memphis. This project is also a 2009 nominee for InfoWorld 100, a national award that honors the top 100 IT projects of the year and recognizes companies that have made the best use of technology to enhance their business.
Also in 2008, Zycron is awarded a three-year IT services contract with the State of Tennessee. Zycron also partners on a $156 million TennCare contract. The following year, Zycron wins a five-year contract with Metro Government of Nashville, as well as a State of Texas DIR contract.
After 18 years of successful domestic operations and occasional off-shore projects, Zycron expands into Latin America. Zycron Latin America, a joint venture between Zycron and Productora de Software Latin America, offers American firms offshore IT services at CMMI Level 5 competency, the highest rating of an organization’s software development processes.
Also, Zycron is named a 2009 finalist for the Nashville Business Journal’s Best in Business Award, an honor that recognizes some of Middle Tennessee’s fastest growing and best managed companies.
Expansion continues as Zycron’s fifth domestic location opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This expansion into Pittsburgh is consistent with the Zycron model to follow its clients. This office is strategically placed to support a long-time client, FedEx. The Zycron-Pittsburgh office is managed by Marjorie Spegar, with 15 years’ prior experience in IT account management in the Pittsburgh area.
In March 2010, Zycron-Memphis, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zycron, becomes its own corporation and is charged with leading the expansion of Zycron’s information technology service offerings across the Mid-South region.
After more than 10 years’ experience in the health care industry, Zycron launched its health information technology practice which focuses on supporting the growing need for unique positions in the area of clinical informatics.
Zycron reaches 300 employees for the first time in company history and is named to Black Enterprises BE 100s list, an annual listing of the nation’s largest black businesses.
Zycron relocated its corporate headquarters to a new 11,300-square-foot facility in Nashville. Also, revenues topped $40 million for the first time in 2012. Zycron celebrated a significant five-year growth spurt from $18 million in revenue and 182 employees in 2008 to $43 million in revenue and 362 employees in 2013.
Zycron expanded its domestic operations into Denver, its fifth domestic location. The same year Zycron acquired Computer Professionals Inc., a Nashville information technology staffing and recruiting agency. The acquisition increased Zycron’s team by 10 percent and adds several customers to its client base.
Zycron’s Executive Chairman Darrell Freeman is inducted into the Entrepreneur Center’s Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who exemplify an entrepreneurial spirit, the scale of the individual’s company, and how the individual has “Paid-it-Forward” by helping others achieve success.
For the first time, Zycron won the national Best of Staffing Client Award for providing superior service to our clients. This acknowledgment of service quality is based completely on the ratings given to us by our clients, and annually recognizes less than two percent of all staffing agencies in North America.
Zycron celebrates 25 years in the information technology industry. The Nashville Business Journal names us the Top Tech Services firm in the city for the fourth year in a row.
Zycron is acquired by BG Staffing, a nationwide leader in strategic workforce solutions. BG Staffing is a multi-division, publicly traded staffing and workforce solutions firm led by functional business experts in information technology, finance & accounting, light industrial and multifamily. BG Staffing’s staffing resources and experience drive profitable growth and success – for their temporary employees, their dedicated staff, their partner clients and the investors they serve.