EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Central Midwest Awards



cm_eoy_LisaNicholsLisa Nichols
co-founder and CEO
Technology Partners, Inc.

Lisa Nichols, co-founder and CEO of Technology Partners, Inc., an IT staffing and consulting firm, wants every individual or organization that interacts with her business to come away delighted with the experience. Her daily mission is to make a positive difference in the life of every person she encounters, no matter how small or large the impact. It’s how she lives her life, and it’s how she leads her business.
She started Technology Partners with her husband, Greg, back in 1994. Greg was a consultant at the time and through his experiences with several different contracting firms, the couple saw the ways in which the IT industry could be improved. The company had a rather humble beginning, originating in the Nichols’s basement, but their hard work paid off.
One factor in the company’s growth is the transparent margin business model it uses. By working on a low, fixed margin, the company offers better pay for consultants and better value for clients. And by making that margin transparent, Technology Partners gives its clients and consultants the respect they deserve, fostering true partnerships.
Lisa’s leadership focuses employees on simple core values: conducting business ethically and with integrity, delivering on commitments both internally and externally, and practicing the Golden Rule — always respecting diversity of opinion. So it should come as no surprise that Greg and Lisa, as well as their employees, are deeply involved in giving back to charitable and philanthropic causes. Lisa volunteers time to many professional boards and organizations including the St. Louis Women’s Forum, Junior Achievement of Greater St. Louis, Stages St. Louis, BreakDown St. Louis and Go Red for Women, just to name a few.
Lisa encourages her employees to get involved too, helping them to grow more connected to each other and the company.


cm_eoy_AnthonySansoneSrAnthony Sansone, Sr.
CEO and chairman of the board
Sansone Group

Anthony Sansone, Sr., CEO and chairman of the board of Sansone Group, founded the company in 1957. Through the course of the company’s existence, Sansone has focused on future markets and diversification in order to shift the firm’s core business in the direction of the most viable economic opportunities within commercial real estate. Much of the company’s success can be attributed to that diversification. That diversity can be seen in the company’s broad concentration, which includes property and facility management; acquisitions; and leasing/brokerage, development and redevelopment of retail, industrial, office and residential properties.
Sansone began at a small real estate firm before joining his brother in an attempt to partner with a contractor to build a small subdivision. They knew little about residential development, so even though they sold all the homes in the subdivision, they lost money.
Undeterred, Sansone became a commercial real estate broker and acquired real estate to develop an area Target store. There was undeveloped land on the Target property, which Sansone asked to sell on the store’s behalf for its price minus his commission.
After acquiring a partner to help cover the costs, Sansone built a 30,000-square-foot shopping center, which he leased entirely before it was built. It was his first big break. He went on to develop more than 7 million square feet of shopping centers, 1,200 apartment units and manage and/or own more than 20 million square feet of property in 13 states.
Sansone has remained successful by adapting, never being afraid to recreate and refocus the direction of the firm. The company’s five-year strategic plan, adjusted annually based on the previous year’s results, is shared with company associates so everyone has a clear picture of the company’s direction.
A testament to his industry achievements, in 2011, Sansone was inducted into the Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame.