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Entrepreneur Profile , Michael Parente

Michael Parente, president of Integrated Training Solutions Inc., began riding the technology wave more than 20 years ago in the Navy. During his service he discovered a talent for software and a love of training those in his command, which earned him a U.S. Navy Achievement Medal.

After transitioning to the private sector to work with several training institutions, Parente began to grow frustrated with the “cookie-cutter” model of training implementation that he observed. A love of efficiency and technology drove him to start Integrated Training Solutions, with an eye toward providing a single, innovative approach to giving employees the tools to do their jobs.

“I said a prayer and jumped in with everything I had and the results have been tremendous,” said Parente.

This response led to the recent launch of the new online information technology training service, TrainingPage.com.

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VITALS

Name: Michael Parente.

Titles: President, founder.

Company: Integrated Training Solutions Inc./TrainingPage.

Company address: 7571 Mission Gorge Road, San Diego 92120.

Company phone: (619) 269-3736.

Year founded: 1998.

Prior business experience: Operations/sales management.

Average hours worked weekly: Sixty-plus.

Source of startup capital: Personal savings.

2006 revenues: $1.9 million.

2005 revenues: $1.7 million.

Number of employees: Less than 10.

Web site: www.TrainingPage.com.


BACKGROUND

Birthplace: Evergreen Park, Ill.

Education: Attended University of Chicago, Arizona State University, Moraine Community College in Illinois.

Age: 43.

Current residence: Santee.

Family: Wife, Cynthia; three sons, Jordan, 19, Christopher, 18, and Samuel, 5; three daughters, Briana, 21, Casey, 20, and Ashley, 20.

Hobbies: Gardening, reading, motorcycle riding, camping, fishing, “playing cars.”


JUDGMENT CALLS

Reasons for getting into business: Provide a unique training solution for government, corporations and nonprofit organizations and to provide a great place for people to work.

How I plan to grow the business: Increase staffing and information technology training offerings.

Biggest plus of business ownership: Forging our direction and seeing it grow.

Biggest drawback: Sometimes the business gets all-consuming.

Biggest business strength: Ability to create lasting partnerships and consistently exceed customer expectations.

Biggest business weakness: Coming to grips with the fact that not all ideas can be realized or created.

Biggest risk: Starting up a company with five kids (at that time).

Smartest business decision: Creating our TrainingPage brand and Web site.

Biggest business mistake: Spreading staff too thin for projects.

Toughest career decision: Leaving the comforts of a home office.

Biggest ongoing challenge: Deciding on new education offerings.

The most important part of my business: Keeping our clients, partners and employees happy.

My business works best when: We focus on our clients’ needs.

Best way to stay competitive: Provide the highest level of service.

How I measure success: Happy customers.


GOALS

Goal yet to be achieved: Opening a corporate training center.

My five-year business plan: Enhancing our educational offerings and opening a second corporate training center.

I would sell my business only if: I could still work there.

Guiding principle I will continue to follow: The Golden Rule.

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