2020 Executive Excellence Awards: Jeff Dance, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Fresh Consulting

The hardware and robotics company has been an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company for seven consecutive years

This article appears in print in the January/February 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Executive Excellence Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

Jeff Dance founded and bootstrapped Fresh Consulting a dozen years ago with personal loans and credit cards. He didn’t receive a paycheck for the first two years of the company’s existence. Today, the software, hardware and robotics company designs and builds apps, websites, systems, products and robots.

Revenue in 2018 reached $32 million, a staggering 357% increase from two years prior. Fresh now employs almost 300 people.

Dance steadily grew the business with an emphasis on an internal culture that empowers employees to “share knowledge boldly and humbly”; “ideate, collaborate, evaluate for something greater”; use feedback as a “gift for growth”; and “be honest to the penny.”

Dance led Fresh’s acquisition of hardware research and development company SiTech two years ago, giving Fresh the largest team of LabVIEW developers — a visual programming language — in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, he ramped up Fresh’s industrial design and innovation consulting practices to keep pace with customer demand.

Others are taking notice. Fresh has been an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company for seven consecutive years. Seattle Business magazine has recognized Fresh on its 100 Best Companies To Work For list three of the past four years.

Dance is an advocate for physical fitness, unwinds as a snowboard instructor and encourages employees to engage in team sports outside the office. Fresh also sponsors teams in several recreational sports leagues.

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