Denver IT firm recruits two local execs

Ex-SmartDM leaders open local office

A Denver-based technology consulting firm has opened a Nashville office staffed by two veterans of the local database marketing sector.

Joining Strategic Solutions for Business are Jay Graves, best known locally for founding and building SmartDM last decade, and Bobby Whitson, who worked with Graves at SmartDM and last year launched a company targeting the sports market.

Graves, on the right in our photo, and Whitson both have come on board at SSB as the firm's fifth and sixth partners. They will look to give SSB a foothold in the Southeast.

“This is the most exciting time in history to help businesses have direct, meaningful, and profitable interactions with their customers,” said Graves. “This applies not only to sports and entertainment clients, but to every category of business. Our job is to help clients understand their data, convert it into information, and extract knowledge. That is data as a business strategy.”

After selling SmartDM to Axciom Direct in early 2005, Graves stayed on with the latter for a few years before leading Hobby Lobby International and serving as chief technology officer at edo Interactive, among other things. Most recently, he was vice president of digital products at Wiland Direct, a digital agency also based in Colorado.

Whitson was SmartDM's senior vice president of sales until the firm's sale. Since 2008, he has been director of sales at ticketing software developer Veritix. In September of last year, he also launched Whitson Sports to sell database marketing services to sports teams, venues, leagues and universities.