Small town businesses TRECpro and the Deer Park Gazette celebrate their accomplishments as they reach 20 years into existence. Richie Schut, one of the owners of both businesses, shares his take on the past decades.
Twenty years ago, the iPhone didn’t exist. Facebook hadn’t been created, and the Great Recession had not occurred. However, small town businesses TRECpro and Deer Park Gazette were just getting started. In honor of celebrating the 20th anniversary of both TRECpro and the Deer Park Gazette, we’ve asked Richie Schut (creator of TRECpro, owner of Deer Park Gazette) some questions in regards to the celebration of both businesses.
What made you start TRECpro?
When I was finishing up college, I had been studying graphic design, and there were people that were asking me to create websites for them. And, one of my good friends was also making websites at a different college while he studied programming. We kept working with each other; I on graphics and he on programming. We kind of decided that if we were going to build websites, we should probably make it official and make a business out of it. Ultimately, we wanted the flexibility to live our lives the way we wanted to, creating a “lifestyle” company.
What is the purpose of TRECpro?
The purpose of TRECpro was originally intended to just create websites. But, the more we worked with our clients, we wanted to help them achieve their goals; teaching them how to use their technology in a way that benefited them the best. TRECpro is a company that strives to make personal connections with their clients in order to help them succeed in their goals.
How have you seen improvements within these past twenty years with TRECpro?
When we first started the company, we relied on other hosting services for the websites. And now, we have our own servers in data centers across the entire United States. Having that control allows us to create faster websites and other small details that we wouldn’t have been able to control in the past.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank for contributing to TRECpro?
There are a lot of people that have contributed to the success of our business. The community, great people that have worked with us in the past, I could list names for hours. Ellie Chambers (Schut) and Tristan Chambers were my original partners; the business wouldn’t have gotten started without those two. Shortly after we started the business, my wife (not at the time), Crystal Schut, was in charge of bookkeeping and catching everything that would slip through my fingers. Sean Sieman, who owns Champion Tax and Accounting, he always helped optimize our tax returns, helping us keep our business out of trouble.
Deer Park Gazette Interview:
Why did you acquire the Deer Park Gazette?
We acquired the Gazette in 2017. We read a notice in the newspaper saying that it was the last issue. We found out that Sue Kelsch (owner of the newspaper) needed to take a break from the newspaper. She was seeking out someone to take over, and I had assumed that someone else would surely take over the business. After some really great conversations, we realized that our outlooks on what newspaper should be, were similar. So, my wife and I took it over.
What were your goals in taking over the Gazette?
Our goals with acquiring the Gazette were to maintain a positive influence for the area, not to be divisive or negative. We wanted to provide critical information so that people could make the decisions that were best suited for them. Because of this, some of our first articles were along the lines of “What to do when you have a cougar in your backyard,” and so forth.
Since the pandemic, how has the Gazette modernized itself to maintain readership?
Since acquiring the Gazette, we’ve modernized the Gazette to be fully online. With the pandemic, it became hard to mail out papers to everyone. By turning the Gazette virtual, anyone could read our articles. With modernizing our paper, it also allows us to be able to report on different events much faster, ultimately benefiting our readers.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank for contributing to the DP Gazette?
Sue Kelsch was the one that was the owner and operator of the paper. So, if it wasn’t for what she had done with the paper, there wouldn’t have been the opportunity to gain the paper from her. She’s worked with us, giving us the archives of all the papers for us to upload. She is such an important part of our community. Her, and all of our sponsors, are a huge reason why we can continue the Gazette.
Being in business for twenty years is an extraordinary accomplishment; staying afloat in a recession, pandemic and more. When asked what readers can do to support TRECpro and the Deer Park Gazette, Schut left us with this:
With the Gazette, there are a ton of ways you can support; sponsoring content, advertising, etc. Also, we’re looking for more contributors to write, take pictures, and video different events. We would love the help; if you’re at a football game, take some pictures and send them in, write the score down, maybe even a summary of the game!
As far as TRECpro goes, it provides a lot of support for small businesses; that’s our goal. We are planning free events to teach individuals about cyber security and the importance of it in the future. We hope that people go to those events to learn, the more we learn about security, the better off we are as a community. If you have a small business and you’re trying to grow, we want to help you grow in a manageable way (for your budget too)!