A San Luis Obispo cloud-based technology firm marked its recent expansion to Santa Maria with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning.
Surrounded by employees, supporters and local economic development officials MINDBODY co-founder and CEO Rick Stollmeyer officially opened his company’s Santa Maria location at 2811 Airpark Drive in Santa Maria.
MINDBODY creates cloud-based business management software for the health, wellness and beauty services industry, and serves about 35 million consumers in more than 130 countries worldwide.
Stollmeyer came to the Central Coast to work supporting rocket launch activities at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He and his family settled in the San Luis Obispo area and he commuted to work every day. On Thursday, he said a desire to start his own business and not have such a long commute helped him find the inspiration to create MINDBODY.
A similar desire to create a better work-life balance led him to open a new facility in Santa Maria.
“We started talking to commercial building owners a year and a half, two years ago, looking at different places. We wanted to find a work environment for our team members that felt MINDBODY-esque,” Stollmeyer said. “We can build our global operation here and San Luis Obispo and give our team the best possible work environment.”
The decision to expand to Santa Maria was an easy one for MINDBODY, Stollmeyer said.
“We weren’t actively recruiting in Santa Maria. It was just happening. We were posting jobs in San Luis Obispo and the people were finding us. Now we are posting jobs in Santa Maria and the response has been fantastic. We are seeing some really high quality people. We expect to keep expanding here. Our business is growing very fast,” Stollmeyer said.
The new office will be the base for 90 employees, 40 of which are newly-created positions.
Local economic development leaders, like Glenn Morris of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, who helped with Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, are energized by MINDBODY’s move.
“It is a beautiful day in Santa Maria. It is a beautiful day for the local business community; it is a beautiful day for MINDBODY,” Morris said.
Helping established businesses grow and expand their infrastructure to Santa Maria is a key focus for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“One of the strategies we have identified for our community from an economic development stand point is to really try and bring our region together more and build linkages between San Luis Obispo County, northern Santa Barbara County, southern Santa Barbara County and even Ventura County.”
The strategy, Morris said, is to foster a Central Coast “business ecosystem,” to unite the region better.
An example of that potential ecosystem was seen Thursday with representatives of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce joining with Santa Maria to celebrate the ribbon cutting.
Jill LeMieux, director of membership for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, said MINDBODY will be a good member for the Santa Maria community.
“MINDBODY has been an instrumental part of our community since the beginning. Rick has played an integral role in helping shape what our Chamber looks like and what our future looks like,” she said.
Stollmeyer said more businesses should consider coming to Santa Maria.
“Santa Maria is definitely pro business. People here really want to promote high quality employers. The talent pool and the families here in Santa Maria are high quality people that you want to have on your team,” Stollmeyer said. “It is a reasonable cost of living. It is really important. Most of the coastal areas of California, we’ve found have just gotten really expensive. We find this to be ideal. I would say this is a great place to start a company.”
Logan B. Anderson covers city government in Santa Maria for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter: @LoganBAnderson.
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