From IWU Magazine, Summer 2009
Alumni provide tech solutions with Integrity
|Henrichs (left) and Moravec both majored in business administration at Wesleyan. (Photo by Marc Featherly)|
Two IWU alumni are using their technological know-how to help schools, students and small businesses succeed.
Bloomington-based Integrity Technology Solutions recently announced the formation of a new company, Integrity Schools, to be headed by Dave Moravec ’84. At the same time that Moravec was chosen as president of Integrity Schools, his fellow Wesleyan graduate Mary Bennett Henrichs ’89 was promoted to president of the original company, Integrity Technology Solutions. She previously worked as vice president of technical services at Integrity.
Moravec says that Integrity Schools helps school districts streamline software used to store student information with data warehouse solutions. In many districts, student information is isolated in a range of custom-built software with systems scattered around the district’s many schools recording everything from attendance to transportation systems and food-service programs. Integrity Schools helps integrate these information “silos” to provide a web-based data access system that offers a high level of transparency for administrators, teachers, parents and students.
Such streamlining, Moravec adds, also reduces manual, redundant data entry. “If multiple people are putting information into many systems,” he says, “that’s very inefficient.”
Moravec gives the example of Consolidated School District 158 in Huntley, Ill. The district has undergone rapid growth, with three new schools opening within a year of each other and about 1,000 new students added each year. Data entry was inefficient and information was not being shared effectively. Moravec and his staff integrated the district’s software, leading to “tremendous time savings.” The boost in efficiency, Moravec, says, “not only helped ease burdens on the district staff but also created a better learning environment for students.”
Integrity Schools has worked with a number of school districts in Central Illinois, including both districts here in our community, Unit 5 and Bloomington 87, as well as suburban Chicago districts and schools as far away as New Mexico, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Integrity Technology Solutions, the company that “gave birth” to Integrity Schools, provides information technology consulting and outsourcing, Henrichs explains. “For clients without an IT department, we are their IT department. For clients with an IT department, we can fill the gaps where they might not have the time or expertise.”
Henrichs says that outsourcing IT work to her firm allows her clients to focus on their businesses instead of spending time resolving computer problems, “keeping technology from being a distraction to a business.”
Despite the recent economic recession, Moravec and Henrichs are happy to report that their businesses are thriving.
“The current economy has not had the impact on us that it has had on many businesses,” says Henrichs, who attributes their success to the strong relationships they build with their clients. “In tough times,” she adds, “executives may rethink how they do business. Many have found that outsourcing is a more cost-effective solution than maintaining their own IT staff.”
Both Moravec and Henrichs believe that their Illinois Wesleyan educations have helped them succeed.
Moravec’s degree in business administration “prepared me for my career,” he says, “because I believe a liberal arts education allows for a broad brush stroke of educational topics and teaches you how to learn a variety of subjects all at one time.
“As I’ve said to students over the years, what you factually learn in the classroom may take you into week two of most jobs,” he says. “That may be an oversimplification, but I believe that it’s the ability to continue to learn that will take you to the next level. A liberal arts education gives you that advantage.”
Henrichs, who also majored in business administration at IWU, agrees. “Wesleyan provided an invaluable foundation for my professional life by offering opportunities to develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, leadership and decision making — all are vital in any business and in any position.”
“We’re building a national company, but we don't want to forget the roots we have in the community and with Wesleyan,” Moravec adds. “I’d like to look back in five years as we double, triple, quadruple in size and say, ‘Wow, what a ride!’”