Eleutian - The Bridge to Globalization


← All news

Nov 5, 2010

Eleutian breaks ground, relocates HQ to Cody

Robert Grady, managing director of Cheyenne Capital Fund and Eleutian Technology’s board chairman, looks at the sign with the building plans Friday during the groundbreaking at 3300 Big Horn Ave. in east Cody. (Image by Scott Salisbury, codyenterprise.com)


Eleutian Technology's busy year culminated with the groundbreaking of its new headquarters in Cody on Friday.


About 200 people attended the ceremony at which a rendering of the $3.7 million building was revealed. The Wyoming Business Council provided about $3 million for the building, which will be owned by Forward Cody and leased to Eleutian.


A few things have changed since the 10,161-square foot building was planned.


First, the number of teachers located at the headquarters has decreased.


More management was needed after Eleutian expanded into China with its recent acquisition of Idapted, Ltd.


The building will house mostly upper-level positions including management, finance, human relations, sales and operations. Salaries will generate $8 million in revenue throughout the community, Forward Cody President/CEO James Klessens said at a press conference earlier that day. The average salary for the 40 employees who will be hired during the next three years will be about $50,000.


There are already 38 teachers employed at Eleutian's center in the Park County

Complex. Eleutian now employs 500-600 teachers statewide, President/CEO Kent Holiday said at the press conference.


Holiday said they originally planned to start with 20 full-time employees, but that's already grown to 28.


Guest speakers at the groundbreaking on the four-acre site at 3300 Big Horn Ave. began with Mayor Nancy Tia Brown. Next, Cynthia Cloud said she was excited to perform her first duty as state auditor-elect in Cody. She read a letter from Gov.-elect Matt Mead who was unable to attend.


Eleutian officials - including Holiday and managing director of the Cheyenne Capital Fund Robert Grady - spoke, as well as Klessens and officials from Plan One Architects and Groathouse Construction.


Each introduced the people and teams who made the groundbreaking possible. Klessens told the crowd it wasn't just one person involved but many and "hundreds and hundreds of hours."


Klessens also made special mention of the Eleutian teachers, who made up about one-third of the crowd.


Grady explained the groundbreaking is a milestone for the company and also a milestone for the state.


"Eleutian is an example of what can happen in Cody," he told the crowd. "Just as we're breaking ground today, I hope Eleutian can be groundbreaking for technology companies in Wyoming."


A total of 24 golden shovels were given out, including to Holiday and his brother Brian, Grady, Brown, chamber president Joe Locurto, state Rep.-elect Sam Krone and several Eleutian teachers.


Construction is scheduled to begin this month and be finished next summer.


A reception was held later at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center where former senator Al Simpson spoke about Eleutian.


Busy year

"It's been an exciting year for Eleutian," Grady said at the press conference. "And one of the key building blocks is having the headquarters in Cody."


Eleutian's busy year started in January with Cheyenne Capital investing $10 million, with a condition that Eleutian stay in Wyoming.


"We thought it (was) an advantage to be in Wyoming, so we wanted them to stay in Wyoming," Grady said.

In June, Eleutian opened a new center in Casper and has plans to open more centers in Green River, Riverton and Cheyenne.


Grady said, according to a Korean ministry of education study, students taught by Eleutian improved speaking English three times faster than students taught by Korean teachers alone.


"It shows that it does help with conversation," Grady added.


Recently, Eleutian acquired Idapted, giving it 30 employees established in China, the next market Eleutian wants to expand into.


"It gives us talent on the ground in China who can make sure IT systems are working properly," Grady said. "And having more feet on the street in China will require having more management here."


After the groundbreaking, Grady said officials had a company meeting where they decided two things: One, all employees will have access to a stock-option program, and two, all teachers working more than 15 hours will receive health insurance.


"Teachers, investors and managers will all be owners going forward," Grady added.


Globalization in Wyo.

"English is the language of commerce," Holiday said at the press conference. "It's one thing we can't outsource because (others) want to learn from someone in America."


Grady said this type of company, which utilizes the Internet, was not possible 10 years ago, and added Wyoming needs to continue in the direction of telecommunications.


"That will help diversify and grow companies in Wyoming," he said.


Grady said globalization is inevitable, and the market for learning English is one positive outcome for America.


"We have a high level of competence for speaking English," he said. "Other countries are already requiring children to learn English."


Eleutian will continue to expand, but Holiday said it will always be a Wyoming-based company.


SOURCE: codyenterprise.com
(Article author Brenna Braaten can be reached at brenna@codyenterprise.com)