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FBS Is Growing

May 7, 2008 Michael Wurzer

I’ve never written a post like this before, and it’s definitely not your typical “we’re hiring” post because one of the positions we’re looking to fill is on our Board of Directors.  See, you don’t often see that on a web site or blog, do you?

Currently, our Board of Directors consists of me, my dad (FBS’s founder) and Patty Wolter, a vice president at FBS.  I would like to completely reinvent our Board to make it stronger and more active.  Ideally from my perspective, we’d end up with five directors with at least two coming from outside FBS.  Finding a good outside director, however, has proven very challenging.  I’ve been looking for about two years and just haven’t found the right mix.  We want someone who has at least some familiarity with the MLS or real estate sales industry, but most of the people we know like that are our clients and so there are some potential conflicts in trying to bring one of them on board.  We also want someone willing to challenge us and our strategic plans, hopefully honing them further.  We’re definitely not looking for someone to just go with the flow.

One of the interesting things I’ve mentioned here before is that FBS is 100% owned by our employees through our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).  This creates an even greater need for outside directors and a strong Board.  Currently, I am the ESOP Trustee (and so vote all the shares), Chairman of the Board and the President.  That’s too many hats.  Even simple things like my compensation become complicated in this environment.  So, we’re looking to strengthen the Board and provide us some strong leadership.   Know anyone who might be interested?

We’re also looking for a code installation and testing expert.  Code management and installation is being handled now by Greg Kilwein, our Chief Software Architect, but it’s become too big of a part of his duties and so we want to create a separate position for this.  We also expect this position to provide code reviews and testing.  We currently use Surround SCM from Seapine for code management but experience with CVS or other code management systems is fine, too.  Working knowledge of Javascript and general web technologies is important, and being an expert is even better.

Lastly, we’re considering hiring some product managers.  To date, Greg and I have been driving much of the development and specification process but we now have too many developers to make that efficient and I’m turning into the Pointy Haired Boss, which doesn’t make me happy.  So, we’re considering hiring some people for me to bug with all the new features I hear our customers asking for and they can then translate those dreamy visions into nice specs for the developers (or tell me in a kind or not-so-kind way that my visions are too dreamy).  I say “considering” regarding this position, because we haven’t committed to hiring someone 100% but I’m pretty confident that if the ideal candidate came forward, we’d pull the trigger.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in any of these positions, let me know at mwurzer at gmail dot com.