Visionary leader Chris Barbin, co-founder and chief executive officer of the IT services company Appirio, will be the keynote speaker at Green Lake Renewal’s first Entrepreneur of the Year Awards breakfast, to be on April 20 at the Town Square Community Center in Green Lake. The event honors Green Lake area entrepreneurs Pat McConnell and Mandi McConnell Hinrichs of Flash Trucking and Wes Stibb of Outdoor Impact for their visionary leadership in creating companies that have combined business success with community partnership.
In 10 years, Mr. Barbin grew Appirio from a four-person startup to a 1,200-person global services firm backed by Sequioia Capital, GGV and General Atlantic—the same venture capital firms that invested in companies including Alibaba, Facebook, Linkedin and PayPal. During that time, his company received 10 Best Places to Work awards, and was recently recognized by the Great Place to Work organization which produces the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
In 2016, Appirio was acquired by Wipro for $500 million. As Mr. Barbin continues to lead Appirio and works to embed its agile, award-winning culture into the 71-year-old Wipro organization, he is also writing a book on how to build strategic company culture. A vocal advocate on corporate culture, he has been interviewed by news outlets including Bloomberg, Forbes, Fox Business, Nikkei and the New York Times about leadership, culture and how to create a great worker experience.
After vacationing with his family in Green Lake for several years, Mr. Barbin and his wife, Lori Csaszar, purchased a home here last year, and this summer will be opening the new ThunderBoss Bar and Grill on Green Lake’s waterfront. His April 20 keynote address in Green Lake, The Intersection of Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Green Lake, will examine how the Green Lake area can strengthen its economy by continuing to embrace a culture that attracts entrepreneurs.
“Since Green Lake Renewal’s Town Square Community Center opened, there has been a fundamental change in the ‘corporate culture’ of Green Lake,” said Barbin. “People are working together, taking on issues and figuring out how to create the future. That’s one of the reasons that we decided to invest in a restaurant here. It’s all about the fabric that holds your team together.”
“A community is like a company,” said Fran Hill of Green Lake Renewal. “If we want to create a vibrant economy, we need to attract great people and inspire them to do great things. When Chris and Lori decided to join our Green Lake area team, we knew we were doing something right.”