Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010
Road to Palm Springs
You might say that Mark Wilson’s career has come full circle. A 15-year veteran of Dun & Bradstreet, where his career began at one of the company’s call centers, he had ascended to the level of assistant vice president and ultimately was tapped to manage one of D&B’s most successful contact center bureaus.
When D&B decided to outsource its call centers in 2001, Wilson convinced his employer to award him the contract.Wilson and his wife, Shelly, founded Ryla, Inc., with three other employees in the basement of their home.
Today, Ryla retains its contract with D&B and also provides inbound and outbound customer contact support for other Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Verizon and Aon Corporation. In addition, Ryla supports US government projects, including visa applications and the 2010 Census.
Since Ryla’s inception, Wilson has believed that innovation starts with employees. He supports that belief through training programs and a diverse workforce that fosters a culture of empowerment.
One significant result of this approach has been a less than 30% agent attrition rate amid an industry average of 80% or more.
Ryla opened its current metro Atlanta facility in 2005. In 2009, the company opened a second facility in Saraland, Alabama, creating 600 new jobs in that market.
By the end of 2009, the company had grown to more than 2,500 full-time employees in two markets and achieved over 400% revenue growth in 2009. The company remains on course to continue its growth trajectory well into the future.