Catherine Koch entered the System for Integrated Growth (SIG) program to get help with overseas markets and human resources. “We need to expand our staff, plus we have some foreign employees. I wanted to learn how to best handle expansion,” says Koch, CEO of K-Tec Systems, a Ferndale, Michigan-based provider of process control instrumentation. “We don’t have that expertise on our team, and I didn’t know where to find it.”

Because I knew the Edward Lowe Foundation (I’ve attended two of their retreat programs), I was confident the SIG consultants had been selected for a reason, that they were good,” she continues. “And I wasn’t disappointed. I was really impressed with the talent put in front of me. These people knew what they were doing.”

In particular, an HR expert provided important insights about hiring staff, along with direction on documentation. Discussions with a global trade expert made Koch realize she needed to slow down a bit to strengthen internal operations before expanding. “Another big takeaway is not feeling alone,” Koch says. “I now have amazing, experienced contacts to help grow my business — instead of picking someone off the Internet who I didn’t know.”

“Not only is the SIG program a place to get answers from trusted sources, but it’s also a connection to continual expertise,” she adds. “I now feel as though I have an expert team in my back pocket.”

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System for Integrated Growth (SIG)

The SIG program is delivered virtually through a series of phone calls and a secure, online portal. Recognizing that second-stage entrepreneurs know their businesses better than anyone else, SIG specialists don’t dictate a particular course of action. Instead, they provide information and education to help CEOs make better decisions. In addition to being experts in their respective fields, SIG specialists operate under the guidance of the Edward Lowe Foundation to optimize their assistance to second-stage growth companies.