Earlier this week we announced that The Sleeter Group has been acquired by Diversified Communications. Diversified Communications is an international media company providing education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, digital products, publications and television stations. Based in Portland, Maine, Diversified serves a number of industries, including business management, technology, healthcare, commercial marine and food and beverage.
This marks an incredible milestone for The Sleeter Group and for me personally. When my wife Sherrill and I started the company 21 years ago, I never dreamed we would be where we are today. All I wanted was to help small business owners and the accountants who serve them. I knew it would be important for them to better understand and use technology and accounting software to more efficiently run the business. I had no lofty goals of changing the world, but in fact, I think we really have changed it, even if in a small way.
When we first met the Diversified team, we thought there could be many ways to collaborate, but it quickly became clear that their vision was exactly in line with where we saw opportunities in the market, and by combining forces, we could do so much more. Their mission statement shows how much our visions match. “At Diversified, our mission is to connect, educate and strengthen business communities through market-leading events, publications and eMedia.”
For accountants who rely on us for education, certification, and networking, software developers who exhibit at our conferences, small business owners who read our books and blogs, and teachers and students who use our textbooks, I believe everyone will be served by this acquisition.
In my keynote address at our 2014 conference, I challenged the audience to consider their “value.” The big point I was trying to make is that no matter what part you play in the world, you must always build value for your customers, your firm, and yourself. I also talked a lot about how technology and innovation are disrupting the status quo in virtually every business no matter how large, no matter what industry.
So now we’re walking the talk. I’ve always preached that if you’re not agile in your business, you’re probably not going to be in business for the long term. For us, agility meant finding completely new ways to fuel our growth. But for a company our size, it’s almost impossible to raise money from a venture capital firm, so you either limit your growth to organic processes with current funding and staff, or you look for partnerships that give you access to new markets.
Diversified Communications has a 65-year history of acquiring brands, keeping the brand names in place, and building the brands beyond what the original founders could. That’s exactly what they intend to do with The Sleeter Group.
I am particularly encouraged by the track history Diversified has in providing resources to business communities and growing the membership base for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders. Taking the Sleeter Group to the next level of growth was our main motivation and Diversified is an ideal partner to help our community thrive.”
So what about Sherrill and I and the rest of The Sleeter team? Well, we’re all still here, and it’s business as usual. We are all committed to making this acquisition a success for all of our constituents.
We’re working closely with RD Whitney, the Group Vice President at Diversified Communications who will support the operations of the company. RD’s track record is one of incredible success, and he shares our values of strong community, quality products, and building on the vision.
If you have questions, please join in our Facebook group community to meet RD, ask questions or just say hello. Feel free to contact me directly or RD Whitney with your questions. I am very excited about the future possibilities, and I greatly appreciate your participation in our community.