There can be no doubt that the time John Haines spent during his growing up years working in a very successful family-owned business left him with the mindset of an entrepreneur. Before reaching the age of 40, he co-founded two successful companies with his business partner and wife, Denise Haines, one of which has just been recognized as one of the fastest growing technology companies in New Jersey.
In 1983, armed with a degree in computer science and finance, Haines returned to his father’s business in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Trexler Haines Gas, Inc. was a large, regional propane gas company with 40,000 customers. There, he brought the company into the computer age, handling analysis, business process re-engineering, architecture, communication, infrastructure, software, hardware, programming, change management, testing, implementation, training and support. He redesigned old systems and implemented new ones in three locations, improving the company’s competitive edge and bottom line.
The most challenging IT work at Trexler Haines was done by 1991 and Haines moved on to Star Gas in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, assuming the post of Director of Information Services/Manager Capital Assets. There he oversaw similar IT initiatives and had management responsibility for takeovers/acquisitions, audit, capital expenditures, and a fleet of 350 vehicles. Then, to gain experience in the supply side of the IT business, he signed on with Leading Edge Systems as Director of U.S. Operations and Sales, selling IT services to the pharmaceutical, financial services, and gas/chemical sectors.
In 1996, Haines joined Pyramid Consulting Services, the IT staffing company his wife, Denise Haines, had launched in 1994. There he set about implementing technology to streamline the sales and recruiting functions. His IT expertise and Haines’s sales ability were a winning combination and, when the company experienced 100% growth during 1996, the entrepreneurial pair realized their company had the potential to become leaders in the field and took immediate steps to take the company to the next level. They secured a new space that could accommodate the staff needed to support the expansion and to keep their growing company competitive. In 1997, to open new channels to feed the market’s growing demands for international talent, they formed DirectSource, an overseas sourcing company, which has offices in Australia, India, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Africa. Then, as their markets shifted in favor of full-service IT providers, the couple expanded Pyramid’s service offering to include an IT solutions practice, ThinkCentric. By 2000 the combined companies had annual revenues in excess of $37 million dollars.
In 2001 Haines recognized the significant current and upcoming healthcare worker shortage in the United States. Leveraging the existing relationships, infrastructure and workforce built from the international sourcing division of Direct Source IT, Haines re-focused Direct Source to place an emphasis on the international sourcing of healthcare workers to the United States.
Haines’ efforts received state and national recognition in 2001 when Deloitte & Touche named Pyramid Consulting to the New Jersey Technology Fast 50 list and Purple Squirrel magazine named both Pyramid and DirectSource to the Purple Squirrel 100. These awards placed both companies amidst the fastest growing companies in the U.S.
Today, John Haines presides over DirectSource and ThinkCentric as a very involved CEO. He is an active participant in the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB) and a founding member of the Open Door Education Foundation, which provides college scholarships that enable talented, needy young people to attain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the IT industry. He holds a B.S. degree in computer science and finance from the Weiss School of Business at Susquehanna University.