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ACP CreativIT Paves Way For Future Acquisitions With New COO Matt Zafirovski

‘We want to acquire great well-run companies that want to be part of a broader ecosystem and see the potential of building something very special,’ says new ACP CreativIT Chief Operating Officer Matt Zafirovski . ‘We want these companies to be just as proud of being part of ACP CreativIT as they were as the founder and owner of their own companies.’

Fast-growing ACP CreativIT is gearing up to go on an acquisition spree with the addition of new Chief Operating Officer Matt Zafirovski- a former McKinsey & Co. consultant with experience driving explosive sales growth at companies like online coupon provider Groupon.

The addition of Zafirovski to the management team sends the signal that the $200 million technology services powerhouse is ready to add new strong family-owned technology service providers to its roster, said ACP CreativIT CEO Scott Dunsire.

“This is a big game changer for us,” said Dunsire. “Matt is going to lead our mergers and acquisitions effort and help us build out ACP CreativIT as a platform company for the companies that we acquire.”

Besides overseeing mergers and acquisitions, Zafirovski will help drive operational excellence around internal systems, service and technology practices and also help strengthen partnerships with leading vendor partners, said Dunsire.

The addition of Zafirovski comes with ACP CreativIT - No. 117 on the 2020 CRN SP500 - growing at a 50 percent year-over-year clip even in the midst of the global pandemic.

Dunsire attributed the robust growth to the company’s technology services and engineering talent with a focus on strong markets like healthcare and education “We’ve got a strong customer base in the right industries and a strong work at home practice,” he said. “We are on the path of continued growth both organically and inorganically.”

Zafirovski’s appointment marks a critical inflection point for ACP CreativIT, which was formed with the blockbuster merger in 2018 of two of the most respected Midwest solution providers- Arlington Computer Products (ACP) and Camera Corner Connecting Point (CCCP), said Dunsire.

Zafirovski, former vice president of international and director of Groupon Korea, said he has already been blown away by the “energy and passion” of the ACP Creativ IT team which is helping customers get through the COVID 19 pandemic. “I was in the office this morning and our warehouse was bustling,” he said. “We also have a huge chunk of our team helping to create modern workforces”

Zafirovski said he was attracted to the COO opportunity by the dynamic ACP and Camera Corner combination.“To have two family businesses entrenched in their communities – as a foundation and platform to build on is extraordinary,” he said. “When the stars aligned for me to come join Scott and (Camera Corner Connecting Point CEO) Rick Chernick and the team it was a total no-brainer. We have an incredible platform with lots of room to take our growth to new heights.”

Zafirovski sees the ACP CreativIT acquisition strategy – which targets family businesses and emphasizes the ability of founders to retain an ownership stake- as a one plus one equals four value proposition.

“We want to acquire great well-run companies that want to be part of a broader ecosystem and see the potential of building something very special,” he said. “We want these companies to be just as proud of being part of ACP CreativIT as they were as the founder and owner of their own companies. If we can do that then it is a magical mix where we can both harness the secret sauce of these family run businesses and create something together so that one plus one equals four. If we can do that it is an unbeatable combination.”

Building out the ACP CreativIT platform will accelerate the company’s sales momentum with the ability to retain and attract more top talent and vendor participation in the model, said Zafirovski. “That’s a magical combination if we can continue to nurture and cultivate that,” he said.

A big strategic imperative for the future is to drive more investment and resources into the managed services business, said Zafirovski. “I see a lot of growth potential for the managed services business,” he said. “It creates an incredible amount of value for companies. It is all about understanding your customer and being a trusted advisor.”

Zafirovski has spent his career running businesses like Groupon and the Napa Valley Reserve winery and club. “I have spent most of my time building teams and products,” he said. “McKinsey gives you a way to attack problems, but if people don’t believe in it and you can’t execute then it doesn’t matter. Execution is the name of the game.”

As for his four years at McKinsey, Zavirovski said, it did provide him with critical post merger integration experience. “That M&A work showed me that you need to have a strategic imperative – a combined power of two companies coming together,” he said. “No one wants to merge and cut their way to growth. You can not cut to growth.”

A Duke University and MBA graduate of the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, Zafirovski said he takes his “servant” leadership management style from his mentor: former Baxter CEO/Kellogg School of Management Professor Harry Kraemer.

“My role is as a servant leader. That means you take the org chart and flip it upside down,” he said. “Actions speak louder than words. Everything we do is to support and lift up the team.”

The first 100-day plan, said Zafirovski, is to listen to employees, vendors and customers. “The first 100 days is all about listening and learning,” he said. “I am new to this space. The last thing anyone needs is for me to come in and tell them how the world works. There is so much to learn from the existing team. It’s very important for me to listen.”

That includes listening closely to Dunsire and Chernick, said Zafirovski. “A huge part of the excitement for me to join ACP CreativIT is getting to work with and learn from Scott and Rick,” he said. “Talk about setting yourself up for success! I feel very, very fortunate.”

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