Gordon D. Whitten Jr. turned inspiration into innovation Featured

11:14am EDT July 5, 2011
Gordon D. Whitten Jr. turned inspiration into innovation

Gordon D. Whitten Jr. had proven his skill at being a leader. As a vice president with Intuit Inc., he had just received the Intuit CEO’s Leadership Award for his work at the company’s Omaha, Neb., office. Unfortunately, that office was being closed and Whitten was being asked to pick up stakes and move to California.

But Whitten had an idea and decided this was the push he needed to act on it in Omaha. He encouraged employees who wanted to stay with Intuit to take the company’s offer and relocate but presented an offer to those who were willing to join him in his risky venture.

Those who knew Whitten and had experienced his leadership took the leap and agreed to join him at his new company, Sojern Inc.

The idea for this company evolved during Whitten’s many flights to California for Intuit. When people would check in for their flights online and get a printed boarding pass, they would check the information over and over again to make sure they were all set. This space was ripe for advertising as it had so many attentive eyes looking at it again and again.

It was a new idea and as company founder, Whitten would have to build it from scratch. But Whitten began making phone calls, and through a lot of effort, he formed a consortium with six airlines. Quickly, the business began to gain traction and Sojern products began to appear on these Web pages and through enhanced boarding passes.

The company took off and employees thrived in a culture where Whitten allows them to work from home when they need to. He also makes sure his people are always on top of what’s happening with regular updates.

His energy, drive, integrity, kindness and appreciation have built a solid foundation for continued growth.

How to reach: Sojern Inc., (402) 996-2000 or www.sojern.com