By L'Oreal Thompson
9:27 AM EST, March 2, 2012
Back in the day when AOL, not Google, dominated the Internet, Pat Chambers was at the forefront of modern technology. A self-proclaimed geek, Pat has been busy “cleaning up the Internet¬–one regrettable website at a time” since 1995 as president and founder of WebIXI in Churchville.
The businesses specializes in website design, search engine optimization and social media marketing on websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Once a website is complete, WebIXI also provides post-development services, such as website updating and maintenance training, performance analysis and lifecycle support.
Before he was a web design guru, Pat, 50, worked with computers for a military defense contractor after serving time in the Navy. “When I started in 1995, we were a dial-up Internet server provider,” Pat says. “Web design was a natural adjunct of that and what I really liked about the business. And we could turn it [web design] into something to help people.”
Eldest son PJ became vice president in 2007 and two years later, his youngest son, Steven joined the family business as lead designer on most of the company’s website development projects. “I’m lucky we have such a great relationship,” Pat says. “We’re laughing all the time. We have a great time together. It’s nice to have people I trust with all of my heart surrounding me.”
PJ agrees with his dad regarding the family dynamics. “Although many people claim that they couldn't possibly work with their family members, I am quite the opposite,” he says. “I consider myself incredibly blessed to be able to work with my father and brother, both of which are my partners, family, and best friends combined.”
The men’s differences help make them a stronger team, according to PJ. “My particular expertise and passion within the business happens to be areas that do not interest the others, and vice versa,” he says.
WebIXI is also dedicated to giving back to the community. PJ is a member of several nonprofit boards and the family donates its time and expertise to many organizations and causes. The company also periodically hosts seminars on online marketing topics. “At these courses, the cost is a straight donation to whichever charity is selected,” PJ says. “Each of these events have sold out, and we currently have a waiting list of nonprofits to host a training for.”
WebIXI’s diverse portfolio includes local nonprofits, healthcare services, hair salons, bars and restaurants and other small businesses. “Working with somebody goes beyond building a website,” Pat says. “You have to understand what makes them tick and build from there. When you see the success they’re having based on things you did, that’s what’s rewarding to see.”
When creating a website, Pat and his sons do their best to get a good feel for the client’s personality. “Each site has to have that personal element. We come up with a design and tweak it until it’s exactly what they want,” he says. “A website has to look good, but it also has to be professional. As a small business ourselves, we understand that.”
P.O. Box 511
Churchville, MD 21028
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