2013 B2B Products & Services EOY: Warren Roy and Shannon Rogers

Warren Roy and Shannon Rogers, Global Relay Communications | BCBusiness

Congratulations to Warren Roy and Shannon Rogers, Warren Roy and Shannon Rogers, CEO and president of Global Relay Communications Inc., and the 2013 Pacific Region Entrepreneurs of the Year in Business-to-Business Products and Services.

It seems fitting that Warren Roy and Shannon Rogers met while trekking up the rocky terrain of the Grouse Grind, because their journey in the technology services business hasn’t always been smooth.

Roy poured his life savings into getting Global Relay off the ground in 1999, and when Rogers joined the team in 2003 the tech startup company still had no real market, no funding, low revenue and growing debt. “You do really struggle with surviving as an entrepreneur. It’s very hard because nobody believes in you—at least that’s what it feels like—when you’re trying to get a business off the ground,” he says.

However, through all the uncertainty Rogers says the belief that “we’re all better off together than apart” kept the team focused on the task at hand. “When times got tough, you knew it, but you just stuck it out for each other. You grow and get over those problems,” she adds. And grow is exactly what the company did. Today Global Relay sells electronic messaging supervisory compliance systems, storing valuable data through the cloud system for a list of clients that includes more than 16,000 customers in 90 countries around the world—and 22 of the top 25 world banks.

The pair’s goal is to reach $100 million in annual revenue by 2016 and to spread its presence in the local community through projects including the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.

Six Questions

The person I learned the most from was Shannon Rogers (W.R.); my father (S.R.).

I knew my business was a success when we signed Thomson Reuters as a partner, enabling Global Relay Archive to be deployed in almost every major bank and financial firm globally (W.R.).

I get my best ideas when I’m running in the woods (W.R.); trail running in the North Shore mountains (S.R.).

People tell me the phrase I most overuse is “Think bigger!” (W.R.); “It never ends” (S.R.).

The most underrated trait of an entrepreneur is patience (W.R.); the willingness to take risks (S.R.).

If I weren’t doing this I’d be in finance in New York (W.R.); spending more time outdoors (S.R.).