Jordon Keltz
CEO, ClassesUSA
Staten Island - NY US

Turning $150,000 Into $15 Million

Tell us what you do (or what your team or organization does) and the specific challenge you faced.
"Payroll, servers, software, and more. We were down to the last $30,000..." When Jordon Keltz, CEO of ClassesUSA, a portal that helps colleges and universities find adult learners interested in online degree programs, tells how he transformed $150,000 into $15 million in under three years, he gives it to you straight. The company's unfathomable transformation was a direct result of the hard work tenet Keltz motivates his team by -- work your hardest and to your fullest potential, and the rewards will follow. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. That's why he applied all of the leadership muscularity he could muster to position ClassesUSA as a power agent for some of the hottest for-profit education companies in America reaping the benefits of the eLearning paradigm shift in higher education. Even at its onset, Keltz recognized that distance learning was evolving at a rapid rate. In the past three years, the sector has grown so enormously that traditional colleges and universities have jumped aboard at a record pace. Keltz's innate intuition and foresight propelled him and his team to develop ClassesUSA's site as a vehicle that would help institutions drive recruitment, one that has since garnered tremendous revenue growth – an increase of 864% its first year and an incredible 4906% its second. Of course, it wasn't always that way. Seed money can only go only so far, which is why Keltz was brought on in 2001. He needed to get the business booming, sustain it, and do so as rapidly and intelligently as the eLearning industry was beginning.

What was your moment of truth?
Ask his team members, and they'll tell you in a second -- Keltz's thunderous leadership style and kinetic energy of enterprise is what drives them. Keltz has led them to spot opportunities and enhance them, like those of ClassesUSA's relationships with America's leading portals. In Keltz's mind, success is not only about driving an estimated EBITA of $3 million for 2003 and garnering a 100% ROI on a $500,000/month marketing budget, it's about developing relationships. He places the same importance on bringing aboard ambitious staff and helping them recognize their full potential as he does with aligning ClassesUSA with an Internet giant like MSN to increase inquiries for ClassesUSA's partner universities' programs. "He can get more out of people than anyone I've ever known," explains the company's VP of sales, a quality both his team and business partners thrive on. The entrepreneurial thrill Keltz gets from enhancing all his relationships is what invigorates him to lead; his purposeful fervor is what infuses others to follow.

What were the results?
This year, Keltz will epitomize one of his staff's nicknames for him - "The Rainmaker" - by generating $15 million of revenue, a benchmark growth of 10,000% since the company's inception. More importantly, Keltz will prove that an old-school work ethic wins outs every time. "There's no easy way to do this," he explains. When it comes to making something - a big something - out of nothing, it's all about giving your all. ClassesUSA leading the way as a profitable phenomena in an ever-evolving educational industry is proof that Keltz's all has triumphed.

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