30 in Their Thirties: Ryan Hathaway // 37


President and Co-founder, Global Telecom Solutions, St. Clair Shores
Revenue: $1.5 million // Employees: 5

Ryan Hathaway’s first job out of Michigan State University involved interacting with the phone company that served his uncle’s dental practice. It was at this early stage in his career that Hathaway realized there had to be a better way. “There was a considerable lack of customer service (with telecom providers). You never got the impression that they were looking out for your best interests,” he says. That experience led Hathaway and partner Mark Stackpoole to form Global Telecom Solutions in 2001 to help clients navigate the knotty field of telecom services. Today, GTS serves more than 2,000 customers. “We don’t charge our clients a penny — we have service agreements with over a dozen carriers including Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T, and they compensate us,” Hathaway says. “We go into a company and objectively look at the phone service they currently have and offer suggestions as to which carrier may be the best fit for them.” GTS’s clients typically save between 20 percent and 25 percent on their telecom costs. One customer stands to save $400,000 on a $1.5 million annual bill by switching providers.“By analyzing one client’s bill, we found out they had been paying for all the people who had phone service in an apartment complex down the street,” Hathaway says. “It’s only when you start picking apart the bills that you find the potential for considerable savings.” — Tom Beaman