Growing culture Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010

Though her official title is president and chief operating officer of Gateway EDI LLC, Charlotte A. Martin will tell you she’s the chief cultural officer. Her goal is to maintain the flexibility and intimacy of a small company as Gateway EDI grows.

And grown it has. Since she stepped into the position in 2000, the electronic medical claims management company — a clearinghouse that ensures providers get paid — has seen consistent 30 percent top-line revenue growth. In nine years, the company has added 200 jobs.

Martin maintains a close-knit environment by hand-delivering paychecks to each employee in the St. Louis headquarters. When she began, it was a 10-minute task. Today, it takes about an hour and a half.

She also fosters a culture of risk-taking, open communication and idea-sharing by empowering employees. Instead of focusing negative attention on mistakes, she looks for training opportunities and helps employees identify ways to improve and develop. Now, thanks to the Process Improvement Team she created, employees are taking initiative on their ideas to improve processes within the company.

In 2005, Martin served as an example for her philosophy of learning from difficult situations and moving on to succeed. That year, Gateway EDI was struggling with HIPAA regulations and accelerated growth. Their inability to plan for those changes cost them a large reseller. Martin took the loss personally but learned from the situation — and, after four years, re-engaged the client, who is now one of the company’s top five resellers.

By increasing market share in a fragmented industry — thanks in part to two acquisitions in 2007 and another in late 2009 — Martin has grown the roster from 5,000 medical office clients in 2005 to more than 14,000 today. Gateway EDI also opened satellite offices in Atlanta and Seattle, securing a local presence from coast to coast.

How to reach: Gateway EDI LLC, (314) 802-6700 or