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40 Under 40 Class of 2023

Vice President, Northeast IT Systems Inc.: Age 35

Brian SullivanYou might say Northeast IT Systems was on a roll right from the start.

“I met my business partner while we were both in a bowling league,” said Brian Sullivan, the company’s co-founder, with Joel Mollison, and vice president. “We had a shared vision of what Northeast IT could be, and we opened the company in 2012.”

With a computer information systems degree from Holyoke Community College, Sullivan knew he had to convince people he was up to the challenge of making his business a success.

“My mom and dad have a hard work ethic, and that rubbed off on me,” he said, adding that he’s also benefited from a number of mentors through the years.

The company handles business-to-business technology needs, from simple help-desk requests to large projects, such as installing servers and network equipment. Sullivan sees Northeast as a partner for its customers.

“We will even assist companies in developing IT budgets to help them get the most out of their technology,” he said. “We treat every customer network and IT budget like it’s our own.”

He is most proud of partnering with the nonprofit technology training center Tech Foundry to bring interns to Northeast so they can experience what it’s like to work in the field. “It’s a great program to be part of because there was nothing before it that is geared to what we do.”

Sullivan and his colleagues put a priority on mentoring younger team members. “Whether they stay with us long term or not, it’s satisfying to see our team members grow personally and professionally,” he said.

He credits his wife, Shawna, for always supporting his “crazy” ideas. Last year, she suggested a community event to benefit people suffering from Crohn’s disease after she had successfully been treated for it. Sullivan pitched in and applied his experience organizing golf tournaments and other events. The result was the first running of the Movement 5K, raising more than $6,000 for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

Whether in his professional or personal life, Sullivan always tries to live up to the principles of treating others how he’d want to be treated, valuing communication, and delivering on promises. That philosophy seems to be paying off in the reputation of a firm that aims to … well, bowl clients over.

“Integrity is my number-one priority,” he said. “I’m a handshake guy, so your word is everything.”


—Mark Morris