RALEIGH – The latest office expansion site for Slalom, a global technology and business strategy consulting firm headquartered in Seattle, is at One Glenwood Center in Raleigh.

The Raleigh office, led by General Manager Todd Christy, already has 11 employees, and plans to hire as many as 50 people this year, Christy said in an interview with WRAL TechWire.

“We’re excited about Raleigh because of the vibrant commercial marketplace with a strong tech and life sciences segment,” Christy said. “The commercial manufacturing industry is also quite significant here, as well as public sector and higher education. These are all industries that we have deep expertise in.”

Another factor, said Christy: access to talent, often with entrepreneurial experience.

“There’s also tremendous access to talent through the universities here and through the lineage of RTP, the Research Triangle Park, which for decades has been a foundational infrastructure for companies to develop innovative and breakthrough technologies,” said Christy.  “It has a sort of campus-style setting for advancing business and tech and life sciences. That has fostered a real growth of entrepreneurialism and innovation and talent in this area.”

The company plans to be competitive with its salaries and benefits, said Christy.  “We are aiming to attract the best and brightest talent Raleigh has to offer and salaries will reflect that,” he noted.  “I think people will continue moving to Raleigh from high-density cities, and from a business standpoint, I’m very excited about that.”

Setting expectations

Christy will expect results from the team.

“If you stick to the fundamental mantra of hiring amazing people and building a great team, you can weather an awful lot of adversity and also capitalize on an awful lot of opportunity,” he wrote in a blog post published on the Slalom website.  “I don’t know what the Raleigh team is going to look like, but I’m going to hold that mantra very close to heart and try to keep that bar very high as we recruit.”

Christy’s background is as an engineer-turned-consultant-turned-entrepreneur.  After graduating college, Christy worked in a software engineering role he described as “traditional,” then joined Andersen Consulting (which is now Accenture).  As the dot-com-boom of the 1990s was rising, and startups were proliferating across the country, Christy left to co-found a startup that became an enterprise mobility software company, where he became the company’s CTO.

“We were writing software for Pocket PCs, which was one of the very old-school devices—early, early BlackBerrys,” Christy wrote in the blog post.  “These were the very early days of enterprise mobility before companies were using mobile devices for anything other than email at best. Most mobile devices at the time weren’t even connected.”

A BlackBerry miss

Christy recalled about what it was like operating a startup that focused on early BlackBerry devices, just as the iPhone was launched.

“I was convinced it was going to be a consumer-only device, that business activity would still take place on non-Apple devices,” Christy recounted.  “One of the things I got completely wrong.”

Christy later sold the company, then was recruited to join the Slalom team out of the Boston office as a technology leader.  “It turned out leading the tech team in Boston was very much what I was looking for—not brand-new, about 30 people, a little over a year in, about $10 million in revenue,” Christy wrote in the blog post.  “I was very fortunate to get in early, and the business has grown 10 times in head count and revenue since I joined.”

Now, he’ll lead the Raleigh office.  “I’m excited about my very different challenges ahead—the excitement, opportunity, innovation, entrepreneurialism, and terror all rolled into one that is starting a new business in Raleigh,” wrote Christy in the blog post.

“We want to make a home for ourselves here and that means meeting our clients and our employees in their backyard,” Christy told WRAL TechWire.

According to Christy, the company expanded to Raleigh without seeking economic incentive grants.  The company career website lists multiple open positions, including roles for sales executive, cloud data architect, Azure cloud architect, and cloud engineer.