Influencer Spotlight: Jon Pirtle

21

May
2014

Influencer Spotlight: Jon Pirtle

By Courtenay Rogers

I’m sitting in E|Spaces writing a blog about the CEO of E|Spaces, Jon Pirtle. So I can speak first hand about the great job he and his team are doing with this place. They even have free snack sized M&Ms, which are the bane of my existence and also awesome at the same time.

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Jon is from Nashville originally and was drafted to play minor league baseball upon graduation from Brentwood Academy where he played for a year. “While I was in high school, a man named Hoffman Brown was my mentor and after I stopped playing baseball, I went to visit him in his office one afternoon. He was the CEO of a toy company called Kid Power and I started working for him for $7 an hour doing anything he needed. Then I got into Customer Service and learned a lot about how to deal with people.”  Eventually, Jon was hired to run the catalog sales department and increased sales from less than a thousand dollars per month to almost a million dollars the next year. He stayed with Kid Power until the company sold 3 years later.

Jon’s love of sports naturally led to him to D1, a fitness center and specialized athletic training facility in Franklin.  He led the initial sales initiative for about a year with founder Will Bartholomew in 2006. “I realized that sports is a passion and I wanted to keep it that way rather than work with it every day. I’m kind of suit and tie kind of guy and the corporate life was more my style.”

Jon wanted to start his own company to get back into the toy world and in order to make extra money during that process, he started working for Carl Haley who owned Grand Avenue, a transportation company. “I worked at night during the graveyard shift doing dispatch and slowly, my business plan dissolved. Carl knew I have a passion for sales, so I took over sales and was eventually made owner and partner and Vice President of the company.” Jon focused heavily on  the bus division and sold the motorcoaches to Grey Line Tours in 2 years and he’s still an owner of Grand Avenue.

In February of this year, Jon was brought on as CEO of E|Spaces with his priorities being sales and expansion. “I’ve got a 5-year plan and we’re very focused on growth. We’d like to have 50 locations by 2019.”

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E|Spaces is the brainchild of former CEO Phil Gibbs and is a collaborative office space for professionals. A snippet directly from their website reads, “E|SPACES features a technology rich, open, modern design that combines the functionality of a state-of-the-art office with the aesthetics of a comfortable, inviting and professional community.” The first location was in Belle Meade and they opened a second location in Cool Springs as well. A lean staff of 9 keeps both locations operating like a well-oiled machine.

With the goal of growth, Jon is looking to towns like Austin, Minneapolis, and Cincinnati who are home many large corporations with very limited office options. “So many of these towns only have the choice of a hotel room or a coffee shop for professionals needing a place to work while they are in town. We want to make ourselves available to support professionals on all levels of their business ventures, whether it be an entrepreneur or the sales director for a large company who wants to train her team.”

A very important detail to note is that you don’t have to be a member of E|Spaces to use their meeting space rooms. They will help you organize lunch, arrange for  your AV needs, conference calls and you have full access to the free M&Ms. You can even take a pack for later. In my opinion, free Starbucks coffee, free M&Ms and free parking at both locations is pretty much the perfect trifecta for professional success.

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