Intertec International is proud to announce the 20th anniversary of our start as an organization. Over these two decades, we have passionately served our clients and partners, grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the world of technological innovation.
In honor of this celebration, we’d like to thank all of those who have worked with us these years and reflect on all that we have accomplished.
The Early Days
The story of Intertec International began in 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona. Our founder, Rickard Hedeby made the decision to start a business providing world-class IT services to companies around the globe. He soon invited Kent Feuerhelm to join him the same year and one year later, Mark McLoud joined as a partner believing that technology was the future.The three still proudly stand on Intertec’s executive management team today.
In light of our anniversary, Rickard spoke on his industry experience, as well as the history and growth of the company.
What was your career path like?
Prior to starting Intertec, I worked for a public technical services company for 18 years–starting in 1983. While there, I worked in every aspect of the company from recruitment, to sales, all the way to management. As the company grew, I grew with it.
Following those roles, my last job was president of the Technical Services Division. So, I had a lot of experience in the industry, and when I started – when we started Intertec – I used a lot of my knowledge that I had picked up over those years.
What led you to want to depart – and not necessarily leave that world? And what made you excited to start Intertec?
Anytime you're a part of a corporate organization – a public company – they have certain ways of doing things and certain things they're interested in, with others that they're not. I felt my ideas were always just a little bit ahead of the curve. With that in mind, I wanted to try something on my own where I could exercise my own thoughts and ideas and go after the business that I thought would be the most valuable in the future.
That’s where the idea for Intertec was born.
When you decided to start Intertec, who was it that you reached out to?
Well, I reached out to Kent first and my old boss, Frank Erta. Frank had retired, but he still wanted to make an impact in the industry and so, I started the company with him and Kent.
Kent had an interesting background–he went to law school in Utah and was practicing law. After that, began working on a payroll service company where they performed accounting and payroll for smaller companies.
In 2001, during the World Series game between the Yankees and Diamondbacks, I met up with Kent and we started to talk about starting a company. At the time, I was ready to make a move and do something different.
Kent and Rickard in the World Series 2001
Talk us through the very first weeks, months, and years of the company.
We didn't only start the company just with Kent, myself and Frank. I went out to people I had done business with for many years that were asking where I was going to land and what I was going to do. Those are the first people I sought out when Intertec was initially set up.
The first person that we hired was Mark McLoud. Back then, Mark was in business development. I had worked with him for several years and he wanted to join us and did within six months of the foundation of Intertec. Very soon, he became a partner and today serves as our executive vice president and partner.
Mark and Kent in Costa Rica
How did you arrive in Costa Rica?
When we first started the company, we had people and relationships that I had from many years of being in the business. We contacted those people and one of them was with a large semiconductor company. This company had a project that they knew I understood and the confidence that we could do this–but that it had to be in Costa Rica.
To make matters even more challenging, we were told that we had to be set up in 30 days. So, Kent and I made a trip down to Costa Rica and we hired a consultant to help us through all of the government bureaucracy to get set up. Fairly quickly, we were able to pull it off and we were set up within 30 days. Once there, we won the contract–and that's how we got our start in Costa Rica.
Rickard and Kent in Costa Rica
What did you first think of Costa Rica when you went and visited?
We were impressed with the people, their knowledge and the education system as a whole. They were way ahead of the curve when it came to speaking English, so it was pretty impressive. And of course, that was many years ago already, so it was still a well-kept secret in Costa Rica.
Once the company started to grow, what became important for setting the company apart?
I think that when you spend 18 years in a corporate environment you learn a lot of the things that really work, and you also learn a lot of things that don't work. Of course, it was important for me to have a strong and positive culture in the company from top to bottom. While that can start at the top with the executive management and senior management, you really don't have a culture instead until it's driven from the very bottom. As someone that’s been in the business for a long time, I've always said that I've learned more from people than I think I've taught them.
I think that you have to be a good listener and you have to be willing to change. The younger generation knows more about what's going on today than we do. So, our best ideas come from people that are working for the company–some of them are in their twenties and they have great ideas. So, the key is being a good listener and being able to be open to attack challenges in a different way. Understanding what technologies are the hottest in the market and steering the company that way.
How did you arrive in Colombia?
We arrived in Costa Rica around 2003 and we had tremendous growth in that market. But we did experience some challenges with finding enough good, solid, experienced people to do the work. So, we decided to go into Colombia in 2020.
Unfortunately, right during that time was when COVID-19 hit. We had set up the company, but we didn't even have our banking set up yet. And they shut down the country so we had to improvise the operation.
And then again, even within Colombia, we decided on meeting at a place where we could call headquarters. So, during COVID we had a lot of people that moved back to their home countries, as we had moved a lot of people to Costa Rica over the years–some from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
Of course once they moved then it became okay to have people in the office. Fortunately, with a secured, ISO-certified facility, we were able to have team members work remotely. Today, we have team members working in those countries and more, but they started for us in Costa Rica.
First trip to Colombia
Building the next 20 years:
What’s next for Intertec?
What's next for Intertec is continuing to bring in new, young professionals to run the business. Not only the people developing products, but we also need young people developing business. And so again, it's about bringing in young talent–people that are more accustomed to where the technology is going today–like those of us who started the company 20 years ago.
Can you talk a little bit about the decision to expand into Mexico?
The reason that we decided to open up in Mexico is that we have had some experience with the people there that worked for us in the U.S. We had a lot of research that was done by Kent and we looked at it as a neighbor–they border our state–and saw demand growing higher than we could supply. Also, it was another area that we could expand in, and we felt good about their English skills and also their education.
We looked at a lot of different options, and we felt like from where it sat geographically, we had some understanding of customers that were interested in Mexico. So, it was a combination of both feeling that the skills and skill sets were there, and the English was there for the technologists. Ultimately, we just felt that it was the best option.
Again, we're doing business in other countries, and there’s no one country that’s going to work for everyone going forward. One of the things is people like to travel, particularly in Latin America. People like to go from Colombia and then live in Costa Rica or maybe move to Mexico, so it opens up opportunities for employees as well.
Kent Feuerhelm also spoke on his experience with Intertec.
After 20 years, what has kept you going? What has kept Intertec going?
I think one of the most interesting parts of a company like ours reaches to 20 years is what has kept us going. After all, what makes for the longevity of a business, right? And how do you stay in a market for so long?
I think on the business side, you keep evolving and you come up with new models and ways of providing the best solutions that you can for your customers. And on the people side, you always treat your people in the best way. We've always tried to provide a good working environment. We've gone through several iterations of headquarters in different countries and built out many offices. In some ways, I feel as much like an architect as I am a business person, with all the offices that we've designed and worked on.
But, we’ve really tried to build an environment that's very conducive to working and being, and keeps people working in a comfortable place. So you want bright spaces, windows, and greenery – we have places for people to relax while they're at the office.
Even now, as things have changed with the pandemic and more people are working remotely, we still try to do things like get people together, have teams come in for face-to-face meetings, and have pizza and different things to maintain that kind of togetherness. I think that building the right environment and providing opportunities for people to share time together has been really important.
I also think one of the important things that we've seen is that over the years, we've had many people work for us and maybe they left for another opportunity that they thought was better at the time, but then some year – one year, three years, five years later – they've wanted to come back to Intertec. So we have many people that have worked for us, gone, had other great experiences, and then come back to work for us again. And that's repeated many times in all our countries and in all of our offices. I think it says something about the consistency that we have and how we care for and treat our people.
Intertec Team Members Across the Globe
In 2002 we opened our first office in Scottsdale, Arizona. This marked the beginning of our journey, delivering solutions to anyone who needed one.
We launched the original Intertec logo, which helped our brand take off. For the first time, the solutions we provided finally had a world to help.
Intertec's First Logo
- Opened a subsidiary in Costa Rica and hired our first Latin American employees.
- Costa Rican office located in the Ultrapark, a business center, became fully operational.
2005 - 2015
- We celebrated our first 10 years of creating “A World of Solutions” within the IT services market.
- Moved to a new and improved facility in the AFZ business park. Taking a step forward with client security on top of our own increased resources at the office.
- Started our Gold Partnership with Microsoft. This collaboration demonstrates Intertec’s expertise within our own field of tech solutions but also its commitment to staying up to date with modern technologies.
2015 - 2020
- We modernized our logo to reflect the vibrant attitude of our employees, as well as show off the trend-setting organization that we have become.
- We launched Engineering Solutions & Consulting, focusing on the aerospace industry.
- Implemented a companywide remote working model.
- We opened a Colombian subsidiary in Medellin.
Intertec's Current Logo
2020 - 2022
- Implemented the use of Information Security Management System (ISMS) since becoming certified under ISO 27001.
- BlockTec was born as a Minority Owned Startup and will continue to grow and be a part of the future with Intertec.
- Expanded to Mexico, opening an office in CDMX.
- We turned 20 years old, and we are celebrating the only way we know how–proudly!
Intertec's 20th Anniversary Logo
Thank you for supporting Intertec International over the last 20 years – and today! We are endlessly grateful for our customers, partners, and team members. We hope to continue driving innovation through technology and service for years to come.