MSF&W, an information system consulting firm founded in Springfield in 1991, has new ownership as of Sept. 30.
Longtime employee Laurie King is now a majority shareholder with 52% ownership of the company, while two of the original founders, John Marucco and Darrell “Duke” Stoddard, each retained 24% ownership.
“Now we can apply to become a woman-owned business,” said King. “That really opens up a lot of doors as far as bid opportunities within the state and even at the federal level,” she said, noting that 80% of the company’s work is currently with the state of Illinois.
King, who is now president and CEO of MSF&W, was originally hired in 2001 as an account manager, later becoming a consulting manager who worked closely with Marucco and Stoddard on organizational planning.
“They’ve been thinking about transitioning and had some inquiries from other companies wanting to buy them, but nothing felt right,” said King. “Then in January, they asked me if I had any interest. I’ve been doing this for 18 years, so I was pretty familiar with everything. I just couldn’t image the company going to another firm or someone who hadn’t grown up inside the organization, who didn’t know our culture and our belief system.”
Marucco, who previously served as the president and CEO, is now in the newly created role of chief strategy officer and will help with business development, while Stoddard will remain the CFO. King said, “They’re going to continue full time until the end of the year and then transition to 20 hours a week. After that, we’ll take it year by year to see how long they want to stay active.”
In an announcement sent to staff the day of the transition, Marucco and Stoddard noted, “Our goal has always been for MSF&W to be a stable long-term and rewarding place for IT consultants to work, and we sought to establish a family-oriented workplace that prioritizes employee well-being, work-life balance and long-term commitment. It is for this reason that we felt so strongly about leadership succession from within the organization as the means to maintaining this culture for the continued benefit of everyone employed by MSF&W.”
According to King, the company has doubled in size over the past four years to 67 employees.
“It looks like we’re going to continue to grow,” said King. “We’re excited about this new change. We think it’s going to open up some doors and new opportunities for us.”