ST. LOUIS – TierPoint Chairman and CEO Jerry Kent, a Granite City native, has announced that his St. Louis-based company is partnering with Arch Grants to award $200,000 in cloud computing service credits to new and emerging businesses in the bi-state region.
TierPoint will work with Arch Grants’ staff, board members, and affiliated groups to identify companies that have outgrown the capabilities of their current systems and have the greatest need for new cloud environments over the next 12 months. The final list of recipient organizations will be announced in January.
“As they evolve, many start-ups find it necessary to upgrade their IT infrastructure to accommodate current and expected future growth. They may also require help with managing the performance, security, and costs of that infrastructure, so they can focus more of their time and energy on their core business,” Kent said. “Considering our own entrepreneurial history – and our roots in the St. Louis community – we want to help these new, local entrepreneurs succeed, providing them with essential support they might not otherwise receive.”
“This generous contribution to the entrepreneurial community represents the civic leadership that has exemplified Jerry Kent’s career – and that leadership is one of the many reasons we were honored to present him with the 2017 Arch Grants Entrepreneur Award,” said Arch Grants Executive Director Emily Lohse-Busch. “We’re thrilled to partner with TierPoint to help facilitate connections between our region’s early-stage businesses and mission-critical IT infrastructure.”
Eligible organizations are for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises based in the St. Louis region, including Arch Grants supported companies, that started operations after Jan. 1, 2014.
TierPoint is one of the nation’s largest providers of hybrid IT, helping organizations drive performance and manage risk. The company has one of the largest customer bases in the industry, with over 5,000 clients ranging from the public to private sectors, from small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises.
Kent began his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen in 1979, and in 1983 left to head up acquisitions and finance for an upstart cable company, Cencom Cable Associates Inc. He later became CFO of Cencom, which grew by acquisition and eventually served 550,000 customers in the U.S. before it was sold in 1991.
After serving a year with Cencom’s acquirer, Kent left and co-founded Charter Communications Inc., in January 1993. He led Charter to become one of the 10 largest cable operators in the U.S., serving 1.3 million customers. In 1998, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen acquired Charter. Kent continued as president and CEO, growing Charter to serve more than 7 million customers and making it the nation’s fourth largest cable company at the time. The company went public in November 1999, in what was then the third-largest IPO in U.S. history. Charter consistently led the industry in superior operating results and from the IPO date until September 2001, the month Kent left, Charter’s was the best performing public cable stock.