Siblings buy Retso Group; will move, rename company

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Siblings buy Retso Group; will move, rename company

By Katherine Michalets, of SBT

After years of employment at the Retso Group, the sister-and-brother team of Erica Gorsuch and Jim Conway have agreed to buy the company and are now envisioning an expansion of services and market territories.
The transaction, inaugurated in April, will be complete by the end of September, and the Retso Group, formerly known as MacPros, will officially become Graphics Productivity Solutions, LLC.
Graphic Productivity Solutions will offer the same services the Retso Group has provided, but Gorsuch and Conway envision improvements and expansion into other markets.
Primary services offered by Graphics Productivity Solutions will include: software training; a staffing service to send temporary software employees to fix problems; and a computer design and production service.
"There will not be radical changes from the way that we have done things for the last 12 years" when MacPros was started, Gorsuch said.
One of the major changes is the recent move of the company’s Thiensville operations to Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward at 216 N. Water St. The move was made to better meet the needs of the firm’s clients, according to Gorsuch. The company’s other two facilities will remain in Whitefish Bay and Waukesha.
Before its move to Thiensville, MacPros was based in offices on Milwaukee Street in downtown Milwaukee.
Changes also will be made in the company’s temporary staffing service and its classroom instruction.
"For staffing, we hope to grow and develop a Madison presence by January," Gorsuch said.
Changes to classes will be based on client’s recommendations.
The classes attract a variety of students, from people who want to learn Adobe Photoshop to people who need to learn QuarkXPress to utilize at their jobs, Conway said.
"People are very happy with our training. I don’t think that we have ever had to follow through on our money-back guarantee," Conway said.
Graphics Productivity Solutions is open to clients’ suggestions and tries to implement those ideas to earn repeat business from customers, Conway said.
Another strategy Gorsuch and Conway use to improve their company is to create alliances with other businesses.
"Because we have a lot of complementary things to offer, we are all going to be more successful than trying to compete with one another," Gorsuch said.
As a result, Graphic Productivity Solutions has created alliances with Stamm Business Technologies, Web etcetera, Galvanize Design and iSolutions, and Gorsuch and Conway are looking into other possibilities.
The partnership with Stamm Business Technologies has allowed them to provide more Mac computer troubleshooting help to clients than they could have done without the alliance.
Graphics Productivity Solutions has three full-time employees: Gorsuch, who owns 51% of the company; Conway, who owns 49%; and Dave Henderleiter, who is an instructor and artist.
In addition, Graphic Productivity Solutions has approximately 30 temporary employees.
Gorsuch and Conway believe their sibling relationship is one of the company’s unique strengths.
"Because we have a longer-term relationship, there will be less barriers. We get more done because there is no weirdness about asking for stuff," Gorsuch said.
As Graphics Productivity Solutions makes the transition to the new space in Milwaukee, Gorsuch and Conway are pondering expansions into Madison, Green Bay, Chicago and Minneapolis.
"I think that we could expand to any community," Gorsuch said. "We are going to continue to grow, but not to a size that we couldn’t respond to the needs of the clients."

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Erica Gorsuch:
She started her career at the Retso Group in May 2000 in the sales department. She soon took on marketing, project manager and temporary employee placing. Gorsuch is now business owner, Microsoft Office instructor. She is also the sales manager, staffing coordinator, trainer, office manager and bookkeeper. Gorsuch received a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and journalism with a public relations emphasis from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and her master’s degree in organizational communications from Michigan State University.
Jim Conway:
He started at the Retso Group in 1996 as a photographer and software instructor. He eventually took on the responsibilities for all technology. Conway is now owner and lead instructor. Conway manages the hardware, software and office network, along with supervising all curriculum decisions. He teaches classes on Adobe Photoshop, macromedia Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX, Mac OS X and iLife Software.

Sept. 19, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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