This month we’re celebrating 20 years of Ashton Tiffany.
It’s easy to romanticize the past, and we have no intention of doing that. But it’s still fun to wade through these amazing facts about life two decades ago.
- Most people got their information from something called a “newspaper.”
- Prototypes for what would later become the Subway $5 Footlong were in the testing phase at MIT.
- The integrity of the word “literally” had not yet been compromised.
- You could make an ass of yourself without people in Lima, Kyoto, and Reykjavik knowing about it.
- Irony was seen primarily as a rhetorical device, not a lifestyle.
- The average consumer cell phone was the size and weight of a car battery.
This was the world into which Ashton Tiffany was born.
A number of roads might have brought us from that world into the one we now inhabit, but only one did. Wonder what the scenery was like? Below, we present some of the highlights and milestones from our 20-year journey:
John Ashton and Mike Tiffany play rock-paper-scissors for first position in the company name. Ashton throws paper. Tiffany throws pencil, thinking that European rules are in effect. Tiffany is disqualified, ensuring that the company will forever be known as Ashton Tiffany (rather than Tiffany Ashton).
October 1, 1995
Ashton Tiffany, LLC, is officially launched with two clients: Samaritan Health System and Mullen & Associates. Ashton and Tiffany use a spare bedroom in Tiffany’s home as headquarters.
The company upgrades to a professional office featuring a single phone and two desks. Word spreads (“Two desks? Impressive…”), and Ashton Tiffany adds the Regional Public Transportation Authority and the first of many Arizona school districts as clients.
Ashton Tiffany hires its first employee, telling her, “The pay isn’t good, benefits are minimal, and the future is extremely uncertain. But we’ve budgeted 50 thousand dollars for Taco Tuesdays. You in or out?”
The company lands its first public entity pool client, the Arizona School Alliance for Workers’ Compensation, Inc. (the Alliance).
Ashton Tiffany upgrades to a more professional office suite at 1301 East McDowell Road in Phoenix, which features networked computers, email, and a modern phone system. Tiffany quickly regrets the move due to Ashton’s endless intercom exhortations: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you!”
Ashton Tiffany opens a Tucson office to better serve clients in the southern part of the state.
To accommodate growth, Ashton Tiffany moves into larger offices at 4041 North Central Avenue in Phoenix. Employees enjoy the more roomy, upscale workspace. The turkey on focaccia in the building commissary, however, fails to impress.
Ashton Tiffany becomes administrator of the Arizona School Risk Retention Trust, Inc. (the Trust). Employees begin engaging in lazy marketing wordplay almost immediately (e.g., “The name you can Trust”).
The company wins the first of what would become seven consecutive “Best Places to Work” awards. The few staff members who disagree with the accolade are rooted out and asked to explain themselves during deeply ironic public forums.
Fulfilling a long-standing dream, the now multiple branches of Ashton Tiffany are united in a single location, at 333 East Osborn Road in Phoenix.
Ashton Tiffany creates an employee steering committee, known as the Compass Group. The purpose is to help expand strategic thinking and decision-making responsibilities to a larger number of staff members. Many are surprised, however, when the group devotes most of its time to allegations of breakroom “fruit-hogging.”
Ashton Tiffany begins work on the next phase of risk management: REI, or the Risk Elimination Initiative. Under the REI, AT’s professionals don’t simply manage risk—they eliminate it. This frees client time for enjoyable activities such as wood carving, ornithology, gardening, and team sports.
Look for more information on the REI in early 2016.