Barbara VanKirk is the CEO of IQ Inc. She is a fearless leader who wears many hats! Barb is your friend, she is caring and funny, she is fair, she is honest, and she is straight-forward with what she is passionate about, which is IQ Inc. and impacting lives through technology.
Barbara started IQ Inc. 25 years ago, in a spare bedroom. Many evenings as she prepared dinner for her family you would find her racing up the stairs to answer a call from a client or an employee. In her words, it kept her in great shape (mentally and physically)! With determination, drive, sweat, laughs, tears and poise along the way, she was able to secure fortune 500 clients such as Thrift Drug (before and after it became CVS!), Alcoa, Kennametal, and Union Switch & Signal, now Hitachi Rail, a long-standing client to this day. Barbara, Amy, Jean and the entire IQ team have built an amazing company to be proud of, tucked away not far from the city, in Monroeville, PA.
For the past 25 years, IQ Inc. has been in business as a software engineering consulting firm. No request from our clients or employees was too big or too small, we rally together and design a solution. Solving complicated problems is our strength. Solutions are created by being curious…. “I was always curious. I liked math, science, puzzles, etc. I think I would like to tell people, if possible, to always stay curious my friends!”
Barbara has also been quoted as saying “We are a small company, with a big company presence!”. We have seen many evolutions of the scope of work, the talent, the clients, and the actual physical office space, but one thing is certain, we are truly a family. IQ Inc. prides itself on 6 very powerful, yet simple values:
- We are one team…that is encouraging and supportive
- We are committed…to the success of our clients
- We care about the growth and development of our people, our clients, and our community
- We communicate honestly…creating an open, transparent, and trust-based environment
- We pursue excellence through creativity, continuous improvement and effective, efficient execution
- We are dedicated to working hard, solving problems and having fun while we do it!
Our commitment to these principles does not stop once we leave the office. IQ is also dedicated to improving the overall success of the communities we serve. We join in and sponsor local fundraising events for our employees, their children, our clients, many neighborhoods and schools. You can find us sharing our talents at events like ”Race for the Cure,” “Tri Girls,” “Feeding the Spirit,” “Bowl for the Cure” and “Toys for Tots.”
As we work together to advance our serving work culture both inside and outside the office, it is my promise to provide continuous opportunities for our employees to move from “success to significance.” In helping each member of our team find the legacy they would like to leave, I believe I will find my own significance as well.
We recently had the pleasure to celebrate the past, present, and future of IQ Inc. at our 25th Anniversary Party! It was held at Veltre’s Event Center, with breathtaking views of Pittsburgh!
Throughout the night, there were activities, games and other nods to IQ Inc.’s past, present and future, a theme chosen early on when planning the big party. The IQ Inc. employees came together, over a 2-3 month’s time period, to plan every last detail; from the venue, food, and decorations, to the games and speeches. It was surely a night that will be remembered for years to come. As expected, the evening went by much too quickly, and was hard to capture the 25 years of dedication, support and love that had grown and matured.
Amy Peterson, our beloved COO, has been both a client and employee of IQ Inc. for 24 ½ years! Amy is responsible for helping to define the strategy and instituting systems and processes that provide effective management of IQ’s strategic plan, IQ’s Vision, Mission and goals.
Amy set the tone for a great night of fun, reflection and celebration with a heartfelt speech:
“Not only are anniversaries a time to look back at the good times, but they are also a time to look ahead to exciting new times. We have accomplished a lot together during our first 25 years and have helped many customers and people realize their full potential and their ability to make a difference. But what matters most now is what we do next. I can’t stand here and tell you what IQ will look like 25 years from now, but one thing that I feel pretty confident about is that it will be a greater, stronger organization that is doing amazing things. I can say that because I know that is Barb’s vision. She is a dreamer, an optimist and an innovator and believes that she and her team together can accomplish anything.
I also know the talent that exists within IQ, the passion for what they do and the family bond that they have with each other. And then there is the strong leadership team that Barb has formed to carry the company into the future. Together I know these are a recipe for great things to come. Barb continually challenges all employees to not accept the status quo, but to make IQ and the world around us a better place each and every day.”
Jean Pucek, Director of Operations, often “hides away” in the background, hiring great talent for our on-site clients, as well as at our Monroeville HQ, and basically being the “HR Guru” for us all. The team truly doesn’t even know all of the glorious things that happen at IQ Inc., mainly in part because of Jean. She has seen the company through eight years of transformations in recruitment, career development, HR automated systems, team building, and fun and fantastic growing pains. Jean is leading the charge of transforming the company into what it is today, and what it will become tomorrow! From planning company-wide events, to conducting technical interviews, a day in the life of Jean means there is NEVER a dull moment! Here’s what Jean shared about IQ Inc.’s journey:
“I am thankful for Barb’s leap of faith in starting this amazing software-engineering consulting company 25 years ago. Through IQ we have been able to contribute to life-saving medical devices; cost-saving, manufacturing software; safety-critical nuclear and transportation software; and support non-profit organizations through IT and effective business software solutions. Each day is full of purpose. The best part is that we get to make our impact on the world with people we genuinely respect and enjoy. How could it be better than that?” – Jean Pucek, Dir. of Operations
“I don’t think anyone will argue that over the past 25 years the business has grown, matured, and made a very positive impact on our customers, our employees and our community. Whether the IQ Consultants are developing life-saving medical devices, creating state-of-the-art transit systems or helping to make college campuses safer, what we all know is that we are making a difference in the lives of the people around us and Barb has afforded us the opportunity to do so.” – Amy Peterson, COO
Just this year, in 2019, IQ Inc. has been honored to be a finalist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s “Top Places to Work”, the Pittsburgh Business Times “Best Places to Work”, Pittsburgh’s Technology Council’s “Tech50 CEO of the Year”, as well as Smart Business’ “Smart50 Awards”. The possibilities are virtually limitless for IQ Inc. Follow us on social media, reach out to us with questions around software engineering, and see what happens next at IQ Inc.!
As President and CEO of IQ Inc., I proudly attribute our success to the People of IQ. Our employees are the center of our business. We are “One Team”! We encourage and support one another, creating a spirit of teamwork; working together to attain a common goal. We care about the growth and development of our employees, our clients and our community. We communicate honestly, creating an open, transparent, trust based environment where employees are encouraged to ‘think outside the box’. Our employees pursue excellence through creativity and continuous improvement. IQ provides a rewarding, fun, collaborative, and flexible work environment while at the same time providing challenging projects and countless opportunities for professional and personal growth.
We are a team, dedicated to working hard, solving problems, and most importantly, having fun while we do it.
Your Success, is our Success! – Barb Van Kirk, CEO of IQ Inc.