It was my great pleasure to represent Consumer Cellular at an awards ceremony last month recognizing "Oregon’s Fastest Growing Private Companies." For the second year in a row, not only did Consumer Cellular make the list, but we also ranked within the Top 25!
During the awards presentation, I couldn’t help but think to myself how far we’ve traveled. Fifteen years ago, I set out to create simple and affordable cell phone plans for people who were interested in the convenience of a cell phone but not necessarily in the complex, high-tech gadgetry other providers offered. We knew from the start that we wanted to encourage customer loyalty by offering great cell phone plans, phones, and service, without requiring customers to sign a two-year contract. That plan worked; in fact it often exceeded my expectations. Not too long ago, for example, we had 50,000 customers; today we have more than 600,000.
Sponsored by the Portland Business Journal, a weekly publication dedicated to business reporting, the "Fastest 100" event is one of the Oregon business community’s most popular gatherings. More than 800 business executives attended this year. When our ranking was announced, I was surprised to hear the publisher pause and tell the audience how impressed he was that a company our size had been able to show such rapid and steady growth. He then explained that the vast majority of companies with such strong growth are typically much smaller than Consumer Cellular.
As we looked at our results in other categories, we continued to be pleasantly surprised. Consumer Cellular came in at #3 for "Largest Revenue" with $137 million. We ranked #6 for "Employee Growth" with a 242% increase. And we finished #7 for "Largest Employers" with 263 employees.
That night, an age-old expression came to mind: Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Yes, I thought, that’s true but only if the trees are properly nurtured. We’ve been fortunate to experience 30-50 percent growth for the last six years in a row for two core reasons: we have an amazing, dedicated staff and customers who are fiercely loyal.
Thank you, one and all. With your help, we’ll continue to grow.