[Back row: Founders: Evangelina Berry and Tim Berry; CEO, Sabrina Parsons; COO, Noah Parsons]
[Front row: Parsons' kids: Leo, Timmy, and Sammy]
Small business software creators recognized for exceptional growth after transition between family members.
Palo Alto Software, creators of small business planning and tracking software, won the Small Business Administration award for Oregon’s family-owned small business of the year.
The award recognizes small businesses that have demonstrated long-term success after being transitioned from one family member to another. Businesses were chosen based on profit margins, employee growth and community involvement.
Palo Alto Software’s founder, Tim Berry, started the company in 1988 after noticing a lack of reasonably priced business planning tools available for small businesses. He created an extensive library of software offerings used by businesses worldwide over the 19 years as CEO. In 2007, he passed the business leadership onto his daughter, Sabrina Parsons.
“We’re so honored to be recognized for our efforts to make the ownership transition smooth and successful,” said Parsons. “Throughout our company transition, we’ve made many changes to our product offerings and marketing efforts, but we’ve stood by our goal to help small businesses grow and become successful.”
After becoming CEO, Parsons transformed many of Palo Alto Software’s product offerings to a cloud-based software tool called LivePlan, and launched Bplans.com, the company’s business planning blog. Palo Alto Software has since witnessed 106% growth in revenue for in the past year for LivePlan alone, and 24% growth in employees over the last 18 months. Berry continues to play a significant role in Palo Alto Software’s success, often working with outside organizations to mentor small business owners.
"Sabrina has done a fantastic job creating modern software for Palo Alto Software customers while still sticking to the heart of what we do as a company," said Berry. "Our number one priority is to help small businesses grow and succeed long term, and with LivePlan and Bplans, Sabrina has been able to reach more entrepreneurs than ever before."
Parsons and the rest of the Palo Alto Software team are also known for their efforts to mentor small business owners, entrepreneurs and students both locally and nationwide. The company organizes dozens of business planning classes and pitch competitions each year at universities, SBA offices and other entrepreneurial organizations.