Born and Raised in Minnesota
Driving along Interstate 90 in Southern Minnesota is probably one of the less scenic drives of your life. Yes, there’s corn, oh and soybeans, and maybe a windmill or two. It’s all different kinds of green. As you cruise west from Albert Lea (definitely not speeding) you’ll come across Sherburn, MN. It’s got the quintessential Minnesota small-town vibe. Yes, that includes the gas station that serves as the one-stop shop for the town. Where that bright and shiny station now stands once was a family restaurant. In the basement of that restaurant is where our CEO & President, Kyle Etter, got his start.
As we look forward to our new location in Rochester, MN we also look back to why southern Minnesota? Well, because southern Minnesota shaped Kyle’s values and passions. Before he was deep in the technology trenches, he washed dishes at his parent’s restaurant – starting at the age of 8.
While, yes, it means that he has a work ethic that puts most of us that are heavily caffeinated to shame (although you rarely see him without a source of caffeine…) the emphasis was on connecting with those who came in and being an integral part of the community. That feeling of being somewhere where everyone knows your name (bonus points if you just say that.) Feeling acknowledged and important, checking in, and staying after the food was gone to enjoy the company. Just spend an afternoon with Kyle’s dad, Bill – he can tell you to this day the details of who ran what business in town and what was going on in someone’s life or who was getting into trouble. Getting to know someone on that deep, personal level is something that we’ve seen Kyle bring to Computer Integration Technologies, Inc., (CIT). Ask him about any customer’s network – he can not only tell you every in and out, but he can also tell you about those business owners and what makes them great.
Being part of a small business was not new to the Etter family. Those stories about small towns where everyone knows everyone and all the businesses are run by those neighbors? That’s where Kyle’s beginnings come from. His grandparents owned the hotel, restaurant, and dress shop in Madelia, MN, and cybersecurity wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s brain. While technology has evolved, the core values of small businesses and the hardworking people behind them are much the same.
When Kyle became the CEO & President in 2020 (after starting in 1992 at CIT as a tech) the first initiative with leadership was to establish core values – People, Passion, Integrity, Culture, and Solutions.
In today’s business landscape IT companies can feel like Starbucks in Seattle – one on every street. So when Kyle set the plan in motion for CIT to expand he went with a community that reminded him of his upbringing. The cornfields, the small businesses where everyone knows your name, and yes, Interstate 90. Rochester is a community that is so unique and yet has retained its small-town values. You still get to feel connected and keep up with what is going on with the other local businesses. You still have the amazing locally owned and run business, and we are honored to have a new location in an incredible community.
Join Kyle on September 30th from 9 am-5 pm at our Rochester Open House.
Can’t make it? We’d love to connect with you 507.513.7810