2017 EY entrepreneur of the year logo

May 17, 2017

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Foundation Software CEO/chairman Fred Ode is a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in Northeast Ohio. Independent judges selected Ode this week based on the criteria of leadership, innovation, people philosophy, financial performance and difficulty. Ode began his first company — Foundation Software, a leader in business resources for the construction back office — in 1985 and launched Payroll4Construction.com 20 years later.

“After 32 years in business, this feels very, very good,” Ode says. “Starting as a programmer-for-hire, I never imagined achieving this level of success.” This year’s nomination is his first run for the award.

“I can attribute any success I’ve had to two major factors. The first is persistence — never giving up, regardless of the obstacles, even the failures. Believe me, to get anywhere worthwhile, you fail more often than you succeed, and you fail your way forward — so to speak.” Ode points to several examples in the company’s history, including the two full years it took to write the first iteration of FOUNDATION® construction accounting software and the thousands of phone calls he made to land his first sale.

“Second, most important of all,” he continues, “is to surround yourself with ‘A’ players, get out of their way and let them flourish.” According to Ode, that philosophy informed the company from his first employee in 1987 to recent recruitment for Foundation’s in-house Web development boot camp. In that time, Foundation has won 18 awards for workplace satisfaction. “Those are my favorite,” he admits. “Those are what really tell me we’re doing a good job here.”

Northeast Ohio award winners will be announced at a special June 22 gala at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland. If Ode wins, he will be eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017.

About Foundation Software

Foundation Software delivers job cost accounting, project management and mobile applications, along with payroll and bookkeeping services, to help contractors run the business side of construction. For more information, call (800) 246-0800 or email info@foundationsoft.com.

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