The city of Mount Clemens has a rich and storied history. Founded 200 years ago, it was once a place with acclaimed bath houses and renowned rose gardens, while its prime location on the banks of the Clinton River made it a desirable spot for businesses and development. The city was even named the seat of Macomb County and became home to several government buildings and landmarks. All told, it was a destination for visitors from far and wide. But like many places in Michigan, Mount Clemens was hit hard by the Great Recession and it had to deal with a years-long recovery. Today the city is on the rebound, with many new businesses popping up and putting down roots. One of those is QStride, Inc., a tech company founded by Macomb County native Shane Gianino.
QStride serves as a national information technology solutions provider, helping mid-market and Fortune Global 500 companies like Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and L Brands meet diverse IT needs and solve tough technology challenges. Shane started the business in Troy out of a Panera Bread in April 2012. By 2013, the company had more than doubled its revenues to $1.5 million – growth that allowed him to open a sales office in downtown Detroit at the Chrysler House and hire 10 employees.
Together, the team hit several milestones:
- In February 2016, QStride moved its headquarters to the prestigious One Woodward Avenue Building.
- In May 2016, QStride united Detroit’s tech community with a ‘Running with the Resurgence Panel,’ inspiring Mayor Mike Duggan to proclaim a ‘Running with the Resurgence Day’ and declare QStride an ‘Emerging Growth Technology Company.’
- In May 2017, QStride launched the QuickStride Developmental Summer Internship Program, positioning college students for career success.
- That same month, QStride was recognized as a ‘Top100 Rising Startup’ by Techweek, a tech conference named as one of the ‘Top 30 Conferences for Entrepreneurs’ by Inc.com.
- In March 2019, QStride opened a Princeton, New Jersey office and hired six employees.
But in early 2018, Shane began thinking about his roots in Macomb County. He imagined opening an office in downtown Mount Clemens and being a part of the city’s resurgence. So that summer, he did just that. The Clem office now serves as a sales and recruiting hub for QStride, an expansion that reflects Shane’s entrepreneurial spirit. At the same time, the Mount Clemens space also allows Shane to dig in to the community and give back in ways he has always envisioned.
You see, Shane was diagnosed with cancer during his senior year at Mount Clemens High School. With the support of his family and the community as a whole, he was able to beat the disease, return to high school and graduate with his class. This example of the Mount Clemens community being there for him in his time of need was something that always stuck with him. So once he moved back into the city, he immediately started to advance several local charitable causes, including:
- In August 2018, he helped plan and execute a first annual ‘Swing for a Cure’ celebrity charity golf outing at Cherry Creek Golf Club, raising $6,500 for Macomb County families facing Cancer Related Financial Toxicity (CRFT) and benefiting New Day Foundation for Families. This year’s goal is to raise $10,000.
- In September 2018, he planned and executed a local concert with billboard-charted rock, folk and soul Christian recording artist Jordan Feliz, raising $12,000 for those in need in Macomb County – specifically MCREST, Family Youth Interventions and Turning Point.
- Throughout the fall and winter of 2018, he planned and executed multiple local Cornhole fundraisers and networking events benefiting the Goodfellows, MCREST, Family Youth Interventions, a local foster adoption home and Turning Point. All told, these events raised close to $5,000.
Alongside those causes, Shane also invested in efforts that help revitalize Mount Clemens’ downtown core. For instance, this past September he helped attract and facilitate the Rivals Professional Football League draft experience in the city. The event, which is similar to the NFL draft, was the biggest sporting event Mount Clemens has witnessed since Super Bowl XL – with more than 1,300 people attending from across the United States and from countries as far away as Sweden.
It’s work like this that will help Mount Clemens in its resurgence. And with dedicated people like Shane Gianino leading the charge, the city is certainly on its way to becoming a destination once again. What’s next for Shane? He’s focused on taking QStride to $10 million in revenues by 2021, continuing to help his local community, starting his own nonprofit and in his spare time, writing a book.
**QStride is a client of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. Working with MCPED, they have access to services like assistance with marketing, financial analysis and planning, strategic planning, management and operations. To learn how our services can help your business grow, visit http://www.MacombBusiness.com or call 586-469-5285.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.