By Genny Hom-Franzen
David Ricciardi is the president and founder of Proximo Consulting Services Inc., a certified LGBT business enterprise based in New Jersey. The company provides data warehousing, data integration, business intelligence, data analytics and data strategy. Its core mission is to help clients turn the massive amounts of data available today into information that can be used to make intelligent decisions.
A former software engineer at what is now JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a consultant for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., Ricciardi started
Proximo with a partner, Martin Fellner, in 1997. As with most new businesses, it started out small; the initial clients were people Ricciardi and Fellner already had relationships with. Fortunately, the initial clients liked Proximo’s approach, and its client base grew quickly just from word of mouth. Fast-forward 18 years, and today, Proximo’s client list reads like a Who’s Who in Corporate America — L’Oreal Group, Mazda Motor Corp., Toyota Financial Services, AARP Inc., Moody’s Investor Service, Turner Entertainment Co. Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, Target Corp. and The Financial Times Ltd., to name just a few. Headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., Proximo has 20 employees who are geographically located throughout the United States and in a small office in Eastern Europe.
Ricciardi said what sets Proximo apart from his competitors is the company’s in-depth approach. “We do a couple of things differently. We work end-to-end and provide analytics — everything from data collection to providing a technical warehouse. That [approach] is pretty unique for a company of our size.” He is especially pleased that Proximo is “transparent” and does not give clients a “black-box answer.” Ricciardi said he and his team take the time to explain their data solutions to clients. “If you can’t explain why you are getting the answer you are, then what good is it?” he said.
While always looking for new solutions to bring to its clients, Proximo will be focusing and expanding on developing them in 2015 and 2016. Although he could not disclose specific details, Ricciardi said the company will be providing new services that haven’t been done before. “We’re looking at how we can partner to deliver more meaningful, actionable and analytical insights that deliver directly to the clients’ bottom lines,” he said. “There will also be a strong focus on measurability, so clients can monitor their return on investment.”
When he is not serving clients, Ricciardi gives his time generously to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce New York. He has served on NGLCCNY’s Executive Committee for the past six years and was recently named as the chair of the Corporate Engagement Committee, a new role which he is enjoying. “Getting to meet and talk to the people within our corporate partners is terrific. You get a different perspective than you might otherwise have and can then work to ensure the chamber delivers value,” he said, adding that he is passionate about giving back to the community in a way in which he is well-suited — by leveraging his experience in business.
As for certification, Ricciardi encourages LGBT businesses to get certified and offers his proven advice for succeeding. “If your target is corporate America, [certification] is worthwhile,” he said. “But, you have to understand what you’re getting into and what you’re going to do once you get your certification. It can open doors for you, but you need to be ready to take advantage of that opening. You still have to show why you’d be better than the next vendor. You have to understand your customer — as every corporation is different — even if they are in the same industry. Corporate culture may be grassroots-driven, but for others it’s very top-down. You need to work the way they work and find out what they are trying to accomplish. Then, you need to figure out how you can deliver on that [goal].”
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