Business Profile | Gary V. Walter

Gary Walter, CEO of Infutor, for Naperville Magazine
Gary Walter, CEO of Infutor, for Naperville Magazine

Named as one of the fastest growing companies in America, Plainfield-based Infutor Data Solutions has doubled in size within the past five years. The direct marketing and database management company now has locations in Fort Myers, FL and technology development centers in Cedar Grove, TN and San Rafael de Escazu, Costa Rica. President and CEO Gary V. Walter talks about leading the company his father founded into the future and the growing concern over data privacy.

As current president and CEO of Infutor Data Solutions, you have been a key driver behind solid revenue growth. What do you attribute to your success?

Our success is driven by the hard work and accomplishments of our team. No successful company is a one man band, and Infutor is no exception. Each of our employees is passionate about the company and their role in making us so successful. I fully attribute the success of the company to all of our employees who have been such an integral part of our growth.

What makes Infutor different from other data solutions companies?

Infutor provides targeted data solutions through access to the industry’s most unique and comprehensive repository of consumer data attributes, delivered by powerful and flexible technology. Our unique data corroboration and linking technology, the depth and breadth of data, and our processing ability allow us to provide our customers with more up-to-date and more complete information. The information we provide drives critical business decisions relating to risk and fraud, compliance, and marketing.

What makes us unique is that we have the data, the linking capability, and the technology all in one single solution. Many companies piece together the data and the technology from different providers. Because we are able to provide a complete solution from our own repository and technology, we are able to be more accurate, flexible, and cost-competitive than the majority of the other data providers in the market.

Infutor was formed in 2003 by Gary E. Walter. Tell us about the company’s early years.

The company was started by my father, who passed away in 2012. Infutor began as a data compiler, assembling massive amounts of bulk data, and licensing this data to large information providers. The early years were a lot of blood, sweat, and tears while building the core infrastructure to allow for scalable growth and to drive the company past its startup phase.

Over the years, we built the infrastructure, from both a technology and organizational perspective, which has allowed us to create industry-specific solutions for the market. This phase has provided explosive growth and has allowed us to expand into new and emerging markets.

We are now in a similar company evolution whereby we are building our market-facing business units with heavy investment into sales, marketing, and product management. With this evolution, we anticipate diving deeper into current and new markets, while refining and developing our data solutions to meet market demand.

The business of big data is rapidly expanding. What are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing your company and the industry as a whole?

Data privacy should be a concern for any data company in the marketplace. Many people don’t realize how advanced the attempts at data and computer hacking are. And they continue to evolve and grow more sophisticated. We invest heavily in resources and technology to help protect our data and our customers’ data, and to remain ahead of the most recent and advanced threats.

We see opportunity in our ability to help companies become better users of data. Through access to our diverse and dynamic set of data sources, we are able to bring together solutions with the utmost accuracy, currency and coverage. This, in turn, allows our customers to make critical business decisions with confidence. Whether it’s helping a major nonprofit organization maintain their operationally-critical donor database for lifesaving cancer treatments, or ensuring that a major national retail chain maintains TCPA compliance to avoid a potential multi-million dollar lawsuit, we see opportunity in many areas to play a key role in these vital decisions.

How did you get your start in the business?

I followed in my father’s footsteps in the data industry, learning every angle of the data, technology, and how our proprietary processing were all unique differentiators. As executive vice president, I was able to work with our data and technology teams to begin customizing data solutions for our targeted industries. Once I became CEO, I pushed myself to accelerate in the areas of the business I am most proficient in and hired key people to complement the company in areas of less proficiency.

What has been your proudest accomplishment so far in your career?

I don’t think I can pinpoint one single accomplishment that I am most proud of. The evolution and continued success of the company is what I am most proud of. Our teams’ ability to double the size of the company in five years is a huge accomplishment; our ability to build new products quickly and efficiently is a trait I am very proud of; and the continued growth trends in the business are outstanding achievements.

Who do you admire as a business leader?

I admire Elon Musk as both a visionary and business leader. His ability to grow several startup businesses into major successful enterprises (Zip2, X.com/Paypal), proves his determination and persistence. He shows tremendous ingenuity and creativity in his past and current ventures as well. I admire his persistence in wanting to drive improvement to humanity through entrepreneurial ventures.