Yesterday Cale Bruckner had his 13th anniversary with Palo Alto Software. Vie Radek had hers on April 15, Connie Muller this Thursday, and Jake Weatherly and Teri Epperly next year.

So I know that 13 years is nothing compared to Microsoft or IBM or General Motors, but what’s cool about these anniversaries is that there were only 10 or so employees back in 1995, and most of them are still with us.

That, in small business, is an achievement. Their achievement, putting up with the ups and downs of a small software company; and ours, in keeping the good people.

There are 45 of us now. When Vie and Cale and Connie started, Business Plan Pro was in its first version, and was just barely making it in retail. Today it’s in its eleventh version.

Palo Alto employees in 1996

The picture here was taken just two months shy of 12 years ago, in November of 1996, at a roller skating rink. The people shown here were more than half of Palo Alto Software’s employees at that time. The key people missing who are still with us are my wife Vange, who (I think) took the picture; and Jake Weatherly, who had just joined.

From the left, you have me, Luke Walsh (now with Right Media, a Yahoo subsidiary), Cale Bruckner, Connie Muller, Cristin Berry, Vie Radek, and Teri Epperly.

If you add Vange and Jake back into the picture, who were very much a part of it but not pictured, then the only people from back then that we’ve lost were Luke, now at Right Media; and three others, also not pictured, one who retired in his late 50s, one who moved to the East Coast when she married, and one who, well, didn’t fit. And he’s doing well on his own, in sales. Cristin, also pictured, was 13 when that picture was taken, but she’s also been a full-time employee since she graduated from Whitman College four years ago.

And I might add that it’s been more than 18 months now since the new management team took over, and Vie, Cale, Connie, Teri, and Jake are still with us. That speaks a lot for continuity, and what’s good about them, and us. That makes me proud.

Tim Berry
Founder and President
Palo Alto Software