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Reflecting on 2020

JC Grubbs Founder & Chief Executive Officer

December always offers opportunities to breathe, take a step back, and reflect — and in 2020, the act of reflection takes on a whole new significance.

2020 has been stressful, challenging, sobering, unprecedented. We’ve endured a pandemic, the scale of which I hope is once in a lifetime. We have seen the most horrific acts that remind us of the deep inequalities that have long existed in our society. The basic decency and effectiveness of our democracy has been tested to the breaking point. And, the effects of climate change have been made manifest on multiple continents through famine and fire. This list could go on.

But 2020 has also brought inspiration, hope, and moments of joy… and has highlighted the ways technology can bring people together and improve lives. At Tandem, we stepped up to the health crisis and did what needed to be done to keep ourselves, our families, and our team safe. We stood against inequity with our company policies, our time, our voices, and our dollars. And, we voted! As strong as all of 2020’s challenges have been, I believe that hope is stronger.

It is a testament to every single member of this team that we have been able to grow and thrive in spite of these challenges. And today I believe we are the strongest we’ve ever been.

Our team grew by 37% in 2020, and we added 15 new team members who each bring unique skills, backgrounds, and perspectives to our work as software consultants. These new team members included two apprentices, who were both promoted to software engineer roles after completing our Apprentice Program. And after transitioning to a remote-first workplace, we’ve been able to hire new Tandemites based in hometowns across the United States.

The Tandem team was honored to be recognized by Clutch as one of Illinois’ top B2B companies, and by Crain’s Chicago as a Notable Business Championing Diversity and Inclusion. I’m grateful for these recognitions, and view them as a motivation to continue to improve and grow.

Throughout the year, my greatest satisfaction has come from the work we’ve done with our clients. From enabling a California energy company to quickly communicate with customers during wildfire risk mitigation events, to completely reimagining the enlistment platform for the U.S. military, to creating a user-friendly interface for precisely mapped IOT systems of sensors, our team of product designers and software engineers never failed to create thoughtful, imaginative, and high-quality solutions. It’s a privilege to be able to work with such an exciting and impactful roster of clients.

During this year of ups and downs, we were lucky to find support and solidarity among the clients, colleagues, and friends who together form our Tandem community. If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught me, it’s the importance of community. None of Tandem’s achievements would have been possible without the contributions of many.

I’m grateful for every Tandem team member, and for their flexibility, optimism, empathy, and humor in the face of 2020’s challenges. I’m grateful for our friends and competitors throughout the software consulting sphere: you inspire us and spur us on. And I’m so grateful for our client partners, who entrust us to help solve their most impactful problems every day.

2021 will mark Tandem’s 10th anniversary year. Double-digits is a milestone, one that many small businesses never reach. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in our first 10 years and looking forward to what’s to come.

To everyone reading this message, thank you for the role you play in my life and in Tandem’s. Wishing you health, prosperity, and happiness in 2021!

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