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Originally Posted in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on February 6, 2015:

Dave Madison, equaTEK InteractiveTo clients and colleagues, David Madison is known as owner and chief technology alchemist of equaTEK Interactive. But to Boy Scout Troop 167 in Pittsford, he's known as scoutmaster.

Madison, 50, was a Boy Scout and then an Eagle Scout when he was younger. His son, Mark, became a Scout three years ago.

"The boys get an opportunity in leadership — leading other Scouts — that they just don't get in school and other community programs," said Madison, a Pittsford resident. "They're learning skills that they just simply don't get elsewhere. And they get it from getting outdoors, away from electronics."

In the office, Madison leads a custom software development company that also offers e-commerce, Internet marketing and search engine optimization services to clients — who range from individual entrepreneurs all the way up to U.S. government.

EquaTEK currently works with the Department of Defense's Troops to Teachers program, among other clients.

"It's an initiative that helps veterans become teachers. We wrote a software application that 52 agencies across the country utilize to help those soldiers obtain the credentials they need to teach," says the owner/co-founder.

We spoke with Madison recently about dividing responsibilities, moving toward employee previews instead of reviews, and more.

Computer science was something: I was fascinated with as a kid. … Our school brought a brand-new computer programming class in my senior year. I did it and fell in love with programming. What I love about it is that every project we get involved with, you're learning something new. You're growing yourself, whether it be blood analysis, medical or e-commerce — it's new technology, new domain knowledge that you have to learn.

We hired a business coach: To help look at us from the inside out. … The biggest change from that was a separation of duties between co-founder Ed Hanchett and I. One of the things that was slowing us down was that we were trying to do everything together. … The business coach said if we could separate those roles and responsibilities and trust each other to accomplish those tasks and hold each other accountable, we'll far better exceed what we've been doing.

We're doing previews: Instead of the traditional reviews — look at what the employee did and how they could do it better. Now we're looking at where they want to go and how to help them get there. … If it aligns with equaTEK's vision and mission, then awesome. If we discover that they want to get into something that's not quite along our path, then we help them figure out how they're going to get there.

We're focusing strong: On social media and blogging to get our name out there and have another way to tell our story. We're heavily using YouTube right now, doing some equaTEK TV is what we call it. We have a number of episodes that we've posted on YouTube, giving tips and tricks to anyone who wants to listen on how to do digital marketing, online marketing, social media marketing, web marketing.

We'd love to: Double our size this year. That's a really big goal for us. But if you never set goals, you'll never even get halfway there. … We believe that if we're more focused in an industry, we'll do a better job at growth. … Since we've got a number of clients in the healthcare industry, our goal is to focus more on healthcare and growing out our offerings to the healthcare industry.

Jinelle Shengulette is a freelance writer.


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