Eugene Calabria is the CEO and President of GBS Corp, a leading information solutions provider that improves processes for their clients by enhancing their productivity. Eugene also serves on VGV’s Advisory Board and GBS helps the firm with due diligence on companies, particularly on technology evaluations. We spoke with him about GBS and its role in the region.
Give us a quick background about yourself and what you do/where you started:
"I began my career at GBS upon graduating from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I was hired in the technology division of GBS where I achieved top honors as “Salesman of the Year” for (5) consecutive years. During this time, I achieved “Millionaire’s Club” status in recognition of the top 5 sales producers among 150 sales reps and 80 resellers across the U.S. In 1987, I was charged to establish the GBS Healthcare division and led a team consisting of sales, software development, technicians and customer service personnel. Partnering with world class software and technology developers, GBS became one of the largest (Value Added Resellers) in the U.S.
In 1995, I was promoted to President of GBS’s technology division. During this period, I worked with a management team to expand GBS’ product and service offerings and developed technology solutions in new markets including government, education, wholesale distribution, and credit unions. It was during this time that the technology division at GBS experienced several consecutive years of double digit sales and profit growth."
What is GBS doing today?
"Today, GBS provides hospitals and physicians across the U.S. with consulting, revenue cycle management and IT services. GBS supports innovative software applications to help its clients deploy electronic health records, billing, accounting, population health, data analytics and business process optimization."
What do you do currently at the company?
"In 2005, I was promoted to CEO of GBS Corporation, a multi-faceted company that offers a full range of information management solutions including IT security, software and network services. GBS owns several manufacturing plants that provide marketing, commercial printing, labels and tags for clients across the globe. I have extensive experience with acquisitions, leading GBS through the successful acquisition and integration of over a dozen companies. Today, GBS is a family of divisions who support the information management needs of several thousand clients across the U.S."
How do you see VGV playing a role in the region?
"VGV was established to support high growth companies in our Valley and across the state of Ohio. VGV is a conduit by which companies can grow at an accelerated rate by combining the financial resources and business expertise of VGV with entrepreneurs who have the vision and talent to create innovative solutions for its customers. It has been quite impressive to be part of and witness the strategic synergies that the have been established between VGV, the YBI (Youngstown Business Incubator), Mercy Health, the Tech Belt Energy & Innovation Center (TBEIC), MVEDC, and our great University, Youngstown State, who have partnered to make Youngstown a technology hub where ideas and innovation can be fostered to create new job opportunities within the community, especially for our youth who are looking for these types of jobs when they graduate."
What made you want to collaborate with VGV?
"To be honest, I think we have an obligation to insure our children and the youth of our Valley have a bright future here. I think we are all tired of watching our young graduates – who were raised by great families, with a great education and great values – have to leave our Valley to pursue software/technology opportunities elsewhere. We educate and raise our children just so they can leave and take their talents elsewhere. That doesn't make sense to me unless they desire to leave for other reasons. GBS was one of the first software and technology companies in the area. I envision a day when we are known as a community that fosters many job opportunities including manufacturing, software development, innovation and technology. VGV and YBI have inspired young entrepreneurs who possess the intelligence, energy, vision and drive to remain in our community. These are entrepreneurs who want to have a stake in their own company and generate wealth for their families, develop their communities and create opportunities for others. These organizations understand that the credit for success justly goes to the entrepreneur. They bet on the ability of the founding team to develop their business, adapt to inevitable changes in their plans, and to grow with their companies."
Where do you see the Mahoning Valley in the future?
"I was born in Youngstown and take great pride in our past, present and future. I have observed times of growth and prosperity as well as tough times of economic contraction and high unemployment. I distinctly remember September of 1977 when Youngstown Sheet and Tube closed and thousands of people (including my father) lost their jobs. Families were devastated as Youngstown was one of the largest steel producing cities in the U.S. It was events like this that forced many people to leave the Valley. We witnessed the population cut in half. It was a difficult and dark time for families here in the Valley. However, many have stuck around with a deep desire and motivation to make Youngstown prosperous again. I think for so many who are deeply rooted here are proud to be part of the positive changes taking place and observing growth and expansion in many new industries. It took decades to recover; but today, the Mahoning Valley has become a hub for new software, IT, energy, and other companies to thrive. I am thankful for the tireless effort of VGV, the YBI, YSU, Mercy Health, TBEIC, The Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation and many others who are making the Mahoning Valley great again."