Meet Lori DeVore, founder of DeVore Technologies
What is DeVore Technologies?
I founded DeVore Technologies in 1991 and I oversee all operational functions at DeVore, from product development and marketing to global sales and service. As an inveterate communicator, I have led the corporation to long term growth, stability, and participation in the community.
My leadership and determination, coupled with the DeVore team, have enabled DeVore to outpace its peers, to grow while others have diminished, and to leverage market opportunities in good economies and bad. I am passionate about making IT accessible to everyone, and I am in organizations both within and outside the technology industry. Celebrating our 20th year in business, DeVore has proudly developed over 4700 websites and applications and are web hosting over 380 clients in our downtown facility.
DeVore offers: social media; mobile applications; e-learning custom development; distance learning; application, database and web development; custom reporting, data mining and conversion internet services including internet access, hosting, SEO, e-commerce, site analytics and database integration; network support services computer training -- our site or client site technical training, training management certification testing; classroom rentals and IT contract personnel
Why did you start your business/ where did you come up with the idea?
DeVore was born out of the current of excitement surrounding computer technology in 1991. It was a pivotal moment while working several different jobs in the technology industry that brought me to the intersection of entrepreneurship and opportunity. Ahead of my time, I was selling Macintosh computers at LDI computer superstore and setting up companies with their Macs while working four jobs.
In an era when no computers were even on desks in offices, I noticed businesses were more interested in PCs, and I realized the Microsoft products were at the head of the pack. At the right place at the right time in the right frame of mind, I was sought out by a Grubb & Ellis
CEO based on my superior computer training reputation. When asked for the name of my business, I quickly glanced at the name of a business from a business card on her desk while working full-time for Kelly Services
as office automation specialist, “Pressco Technology
Without skipping a beat, I said “DeVore Technologies” and made my first business deal. The original focus was in training as people and businesses realized that personal computers and IT was going to be a mainstay in companies and the lives of employees. Over the years, DeVore has established additional lines of business to better suit the needs of our clientele such as: web, development and applications, hosting, optimization, contracting personnel and training, to name a few.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Cleveland?
The city is about cultivating friendships. Also Cleveland is a major healthcare hub, we have GE
, many corporations like Key bank
and Huntington bank
. There is loyalty for those who have built their lives here and those who focus on being innovative. People in Cleveland recognize you when you should be recognized, whereas in other cities you may never develop such relationships. If you feel pride and admiration for your city, in businesses, school systems, and more, it will provide a better future for the entire city. I made Cleveland my home and I am proud to say that. The gift of giving to the community equals business. You have to give everything you have to the community and show that it is not only what you get back by what it does for the community.
One example of the exciting things happening in our city was the filming of The Avengers and four other full length feature films shot in Cleveland last year, films including Fun Size, Boot Tracks, Falling Backwards and I, Alex Cross. Estimates show that these films alone will invest at least $80 million into the region in the next six months. In addition, four independent feature films are shooting around Ohio, including Old Fashioned and Liberal Arts -- I am thrilled to participate in this exciting film, especially because it will be filmed in our city.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
Winning the Ernst and Young entrepreneur of the year
award nominated by Microsoft, it's amazing because less than five percent of women win this. As the first female to start it company selling AOL years ago, I entered a male-dominated world of IT selling computers when no one bought pcs but bought macs. Back then selling the idea of email to corporate companies made people think you were crazy.
Another funny story is when I went in front of a in front of a multimillion dollar company years ago when I first started out. I accidentally brought in Solon adult education manuals to sell my services when I intended to bring corporate training manuals. After they heard my sales pitch, they let me bring the real ones later after the Christmas break. It was ultimately my personality and salesmanship that sold my services.
I truly believe in the Field of Dreams. If you can dream it, and you push yourself and you thrive to do everything in your power to find talent and resources, you will succeed.
What inspires you?
The youth and next generation of leaders who understand that education is important and life is not a free ride. I am not inspired by negativity but positive thinking in the face of challenges, no matter how big or small. Other people, who take the initiative beyond their field of comfort, take that risk, and never give up are truly the inspiration for life. They help to inspire me to push beyond what I think is possible and make dreams become reality.
One standout intern is Christine Orchard who began at DeVore while a student at Bedford High School from 2002 to 2005 and continued through her undergraduate work at Washington University in St. Louis. I saw that Christine was driven from her own desire to succeed and dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur herself. In addition to mentoring her as an intern in the traditional ways, I encouraged her to take software classes to broaden her education as well as gave her the unique experience of attending formal business events and speaking at several functions. Christine continues to contribute as a valuable part of Team DeVore today as she works from her base in Taiwan studying Chinese and earning her MBA at National Taiwan University.
DeVore is doing amazing things because we have all the right management and people in place. This allows me a bit of free time to do something different and exciting. DeVore keeps me on my toes, and mixing these two worlds of actress and CEO will give me even more energy and excitement. My own philosophy is that life is about the journey and not the destination, so I am excited to do something different.
What companies or founders do you admire and why?
and Kelly Services because I admire that that they remain innovative. GE, Cleveland Clinic
Another source of inspiration is my adopted father at nine years of age, I watched him climb the ladder of success to become vice president of HR for global north America GE.