Eight Eleven Group Returns To Broad Ripple
Photographer / Michael Durr
Ryan Hasbrook and Jeff Weiser started their company, Eight Eleven Group, in the basement of a small bungalow on Norwaldo Avenue in the heart of Broad Ripple. The vibe of Broad Ripple was ingrained in their culture from inception. The small, lean team hustled each day, then grabbed pizza or wings and a beer in the evenings after long, gritty days. This work ethic began to pay off.
Once they outgrew their space, they moved their offices across the street, quite literally, to an office behind the now Huntington Bank building. This pattern started a trend. After exhausting all available office space in the area, including the old Broad Ripple Library, they had no choice but to look elsewhere.
Eight Eleven Group leased the most accommodating commercial space available closest to Broad Ripple, which was at Keystone at the Crossing. Yet, they still have their offices spread out among a few buildings in the complex.
“We did not want to leave the Broad Ripple area, but we had no choice,” says Hasbrook, who grew up here with Weiser. “It’s home to us and we couldn’t wait to return.”
Eight Eleven Group has three divisions: Brooksource, Medasource, and Calculated Hire. With 31 offices in 25 states, their company is coast to coast from Seattle to Boston, and Tampa to Phoenix, with locations at all major cities in between. Eight Eleven Group has experienced a 23% annual growth rate since its inception in 2000. They have a workforce of 8,000 consultants, with 650 salaried employees. Approximately 150 of these employees are located here, in Indianapolis, at their main HQ.
“What Broad Ripple needs is more office space, which means high-paying, stable jobs to our tech presence,” says Colleen Fanning, Executive Director of the Broad Ripple Village Association. “The Eight Eleven Group’s presence back on the strip will increase the foot traffic during the day, which is what many of our local businesses need.”
Nostalgia for Broad Ripple inspired Hasbrook and Weiser to rent their original office location on Broad Ripple Avenue in 2015. They turned it into an executive lounge that they call The Founders Club. When Eight Eleven Group put out feelers that they were interested in developing something significant in Broad Ripple, the opportunity quickly presented itself.
Not only do they occupy their original digs, they just leased the former Louie’s Wine Dive at 701 Broad Ripple Avenue. To help maintain the eclectic space and Broad Ripple vibe, the company has preserved the main bar in the center of the space for flexible work space. The former restaurant and bar will serve as the local sales office for their health information and life sciences division, Medasource.
“We currently have our team spread out among six different offices at Keystone at the Crossing,” says Carlie Oakley, Chief Brand Officer for Eight Eleven Group and the company’s second employee. “I cannot wait until we are all under one roof, but this Broad Ripple sales office is a great first step to our return.”
An additional component of the Eight Eleven Group culture is an internal Masters program called Eight Eleven University. The program is based upon the core values of the company. It may take four to six years to complete and, at the end of the course, the graduate sits down at The Founders Club with Hasbrook and Weiser for a goal-setting session.
The Eight Eleven Group hosts two large conferences each year. Engage, held in January, is their annual sales conference. In August is Evolve, an event for their recruiters. Both are held in Indianapolis. There is also a merit-based annual trip to Cancun in February for those who qualify.
“We do a ton of training and bring people back from across the country to learn new sales, recruiting and leadership techniques,” Oakley adds. “What keeps our employees is the person sitting next to them. It’s our micro-cultures, which is the intimacy of collaboration to make that extra sales call and makes working here a passion and not a job.”
The Eight Eleven Group team is thrilled to be returning to their roots. And not only that, they are working to identify an even larger real estate project that can get the rest of their workforce to Midtown. One of the company’s goals is to try to be under one roof by the fall of 2022.
“We have a lot of fond memories of Broad Ripple and are looking forward to creating many more with our workforce,” Hasbrook adds. “If we can move here and help to populate the strip and have the same positive impact that we have in other cities, then our foray back to the strip is worth it. To be clear, it is not less expensive to rent office space here. We are doing this for our love of this community.”