Five Questions for Trish Coughlin and Chris Forte of Cornerstone
Cornerstone (NASDAQ: CSOD) is a cloud-based software company that equips organizations with the tools to recruit, develop, and manage their people. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, the company selected Utah as an expansion opportunity and will celebrate its new Sandy, UT location with an open house on Oct. 23. (More on that below.)
We recently caught up with Utah local Trish Coughlin, Chief Accounting Officer, and California transplant Chris Forte, AVP, Strategic Sourcing, for a brief conversation.
What’s the company’s genesis? What do you do and how did you come to it?
Trish: Our founder and CEO, Adam Miller, started 20 years ago in his one-bedroom apartment with a single mission…to help educate the world. Over the past two decades, Cornerstone has evolved into a leader in talent management and talent experience software. Basically, that means companies around the world use Cornerstone’s cloud software to recruit, train and manage their employees. Today, Cornerstone has more than 3,600 clients that reach more than 40 million end users, and we have more than 2,000 employees in 20 offices worldwide. Our Sandy office is our newest addition and it will be our second largest office once fully staffed.
What spurred the company’s expansion to Utah?
Trish: We began looking for expansion space several years ago, and our search took us to several cities in the western U.S., including Salt Lake City. Our search factors were many but included: availability of a highly educated and trained technical workforce, business-friendly environment, high growth, reasonable real estate and operating costs, employee amenities including education, medical, quality of life and affordability/cost-of-living. We checked all the boxes with Utah.
As an out-of-stater, how has your experience been with your move to Utah? Any California/Utah culture anomalies?
Chris: I actually spent considerable time in Utah from 2002 - 2006 with Siebel Systems/Oracle. We were located at Jordon Commons. Today, what stands out is the incredible growth in infrastructure, new commercial buildings and retail expansion, and the influx of numerous tech companies that has taken place in the area over the past 12-13 years. Although the residential real estate market has also shown tremendous growth (including prices), we did not hesitate to buy a home here. We are really impressed with the availability of services, retail, excellent medical care, great schools and of course outstanding outdoor recreation and proximity of winter/summer sports, not to mention the National Parks!
What has it been like building an office from the ground up? What are the challenges you’re facing?
Trish: We are growing aggressively, with plans to hire up to 300 employees over the next several years. Fortunately, the business climate is strong, but there is certainly competition for top talent, which honestly is a challenge everywhere. From our perspective, the presence of so many tech companies in “Silicon Slopes” is a definite plus. We are extremely happy to have settled in Sandy City where we have just completed the build-out of 25,000 sq. ft. of Class A commercial/office space. Cooperation with the City and Building Department was extraordinary and helped us complete the project ahead of schedule and under budget.
What kind of roles are you hiring for in the Utah office?
Trish:Over the next several of years, our plan is hire up to 300 employees across our Engineering, Services and Finance teams. We also have a number of senior-level positions that will open up soon.
BONUS QUESTION: Tell us about this upcoming event?
Trish: We are thrilled to host our first open house in our new office in Sandy. The event is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 23 over lunch (11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.). In addition to hearing from our Founder and CEO, Adam Miller, the Deputy Director of Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Ben Hart, will also address guests. Lunch will be served, as well as time for exploring the new office and networking. For more information and to RSVP, please visit here.
We hope to see you there!
Cornerstone was a 2018 EDCUtah project (aka Project Mortarboard).