St. Cloud: Marco

With 35 locations and a headquarters in St. Cloud, this employee-owned company continues to receive support from the community

By Maura Keller

Editor's note: This article is part of the Local Focus: St. Cloud feature that appeared in the March 2013 issue.

In 1973, former IBM sales managers Gary Marsden and Dave Marquardt purchased The Typewriter Shop in St. Cloud, which had 12 employees and $500,000 in sales. That company, now called Marco, has evolved dramatically over the years. It now helps organizations manage their information by applying network expertise to voice, data, video, and print, and it has 620 employees at 35 locations throughout the Upper Midwest.

A 100-percent employee-owned company, Marco cites several factors behind deciding to keep its headquarters - now in a new 80,000-square-foot space - in St. Cloud. Among them are a good local economy, a qualified workforce, and a strong education system.

Over the years Marco has also received support from the city government, the school district, the GSDC, and other local institutions. Tax incentives encouraged it to base its new headquarters on I-94 as a professional gateway to south St. Cloud.

"There's more enthusiasm and momentum now toward continued growth in attracting and keeping new businesses in St. Cloud - and the infrastructure to support it - than I have felt in decades," says CEO Jeff Gau.