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Vantage Point celebrates expansion, rapid growth

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, left, and Vantage Point Solutions CEO Larry Thompson have a laugh as they walk in together for the grand opening ceremony of Vantage Point's office expansion on Tuesday in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)1 / 3
Vantage Point Solutions held a grand opening ceremony for its 25,000 sq. foot addition to their current facility on Tuesday in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)2 / 3
From left, Bryan Hisel, Executive Director of the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, Larry Thompson, Vantage Point CEO and Co-Founder, Governor Dennis Daugaard and First Lady Linda Daugaard react as Chad Glanzer, Vantage Point President and Co-Founder, gives the closing remarks during the grand opening ceremony of Vantage Point's office expansion on Tuesday in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)3 / 3

For a business with a history of rapid growth and success, it’s fitting Vantage Point Solutions nearly doubled its office space with its new addition.

Likewise, it’s appropriate that much of that new space is filling fast again.

The company’s roughly 150 Mitchell-based employees joined South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard in celebrating the new 25,000-square-foot addition to the company’s 10-year-old headquarters, marking more progress for the telecommunications engineering and consulting business that started 16 years ago.

“Initially, when we built the first one, I thought it would be the next CEO that would worry about the expansion, but it came a little faster than I thought,” Vantage Point CEO Larry Thompson said. “We had people doubled up in offices and working out of the conference rooms, so this just made sense.”

The headquarters now has 55,000-square feet of space and 160 offices, with 70 of those built in the most recent addition, which cost about $3 million. That included a $1.35 million Revolving Economic Development Initiative Fund loan from the South Dakota Board of Economic Development issued nearly a year ago.

Daugaard noted that Vantage Point’s project was among the easier ones to carry through because it already had much of the infrastructure in place.

“What you’re building is just location for more good-paying jobs with lots of opportunity for growth and progression,” he said.

Daugaard also credited the company’s leadership and the “black shirts” in the crowd — the employees of Vantage Point who own the business — for creating a workplace that has built a strong level of continuity and low turnover.

“They want to be productive and they want to add value to the business every day,” Daugaard said.

Vantage Point President and Co-Founder Chad Glanzer noted the business started in Thompson’s basement with a 150-square foot office and a shared bathroom with the rest of the CEO’s family.

“Now we’ve added 70 offices in this newest addition and those are filling fast every day,” Glanzer said.

“Hopefully, we don’t fill it up too fast, but we’re definitely in a hiring mode,” Thompson added later.

Thompson noted that the business — which specializes in technical, regulatory and financial assistance for broadband and data networking — can now be a bit more selective about the projects it takes on to maintain its quality. With 254 total employees, Vantage Point continues to hire engineers, cyber-security specialists and is seeing a surge in computer-aided design experts.  

Speaking from his role as the Mitchell Area Development Corporation Executive Director, Bryan Hisel said Vantage Point is one of the businesses he’s most proud to have been involved with. He credited Vantage Point and its neighbor Innovative Systems for helping Mitchell become a broadband development epicenter.

“It is a business that Mitchell could have never recruited,” he said. “This company is homegrown. Their contributions to the community are more than what most people will ever understand.”

Thompson was modest about the business’ high-profile role in Mitchell, saying he would have been happy with growing to 50 or 60 employees when he first started.

“I don’t sit around and think about that a lot,” Thompson said. “We just focus on getting the projects done and making sure we’re serving our customers and letting the growth happen.”

Hallway after hallway of offices dominate most of Vantage Point’s new addition. The upgrades include an expanded break room, a gym space for employees, and a large meeting area — where Tuesday’s event was held — which will be available for even more temporary work space, as needed.

The building includes some of the employees’ touches, as well. The company had a contest to name some of the new addition’s conference rooms. The Last Mile room is at the very northern edge of the new addition, while “Horseshoe” is the room with a U-shaped conference table in it. The most alliterative and fitting of the names is the “Nerd Nest,” the room where the company’s cyber and data security leaders commonly meet.

“They’re the nerds. It makes sense,” Thompson said with a laugh.