Fishers moving to HawaiiPublished 1:55pm Thursday, June 14, 2012
For anyone dreaming about trading a Niles desk job for paradise, Brian Fisher is doing it this weekend, even though it means not retiring to Dowagiac.
Aloha, which means hello or goodbye, will be a good word for the 1991 Niles High School graduate to remember.
He’s moving his family to Hawaii, though his company, Fisher Innovative Technology Inc., is staying put with employees Rhonda Conover-Groothuis, eight years; Derek Sheppler, six years; and Louise Miller, part-time.
“With the right team in place and the technology available today, there is no reason for a business owner to have to be physically present to provide outstanding customer service,” Fisher said Wednesday. “I want to stress that the only thing changing is my personal geographic location. Our tenants and customers will still be in the same capable hands they have been for years. Our customers and tenants can call our office at any time to reach me just as they always have.”
Despite the six-hour time difference, Fisher will remain on Eastern time.
Fisher Innovative Technology, 11 years old in July, operates two divisions from 306 E. Main St., Suite 200. It has been above 1st Source Bank since August 2003.
His office offers a panoramic view of car shows.
“We went there on vacation several years back and fell in love,” said Fisher, who attended Southwestern Michigan College. “That’s when we decided maybe we didn’t want to retire in Dowagiac after all. We had 30 acres to build on, but sold 20 of it.”
The immediate area knows Innovative Technology for computer sales and service and network design. Fisher is the other division, providing information technology services globally to automotive suppliers, with customers from Canada to Mexico.
“My geographic location doesn’t matter to those customers,” he said. “Internet connectivity is so great my computer in Hawaii will be like it’s still in the network here. I have input in larger decisions, but I’ve been hands-off the computer repair, service and sales portion of the business for three to four years.”
They bought a house in September on Kaua’i, the “garden isle.” It is the oldest and fourth-largest of the Hawaiian islands and the 21st largest U.S. island.
“It is such a beautiful place I could not believe it existed,” Fisher said. “Moving somewhere with nicer weather is always appealing, but it’s not much different than living in California. It fell into place. Mental barriers of ‘I couldn’t possibly do that’ just sort of fell apart one at a time. Pushing against what seemed like brick walls disintegrated. Derek is going to be Derek whether I’m sitting next to him or not. We’ll have a conference call each morning with the three of us to keep me in the loop.”
“I think the crash of the housing market helped us tremendously,” he said. “Six years ago we probably never could have afforded to buy a house there. We closed on our house June 8. Saturday we fly out. We’ll be there by 3 p.m. Hawaiian on Saturday.”