Musings on


By February 20, 2014

Thinking Big with Jill Nelson, Founder and CEO of Ruby Receptionists

Always learning, asking questions, relentlessly seeking fresh insights and ideas—it’s a universal quest that unites our Kinesis team. In fact, we take every available chance to sit down with business leaders and learn from what they have to say. We gladly extend these master-lessons to you; another way we can Share The Good (and the smarts).

For the first in our series of our “Accelerator Interviews,” we introduce you to local business legend (and one of my mentors) Jill Nelson, the founder and CEO of Portland-based Ruby Receptionists.

Click here to jump to the interview.

Why interview Jill Nelson?

If you are a business person in Portland, you’ve no doubt heard of Jill Nelson – and if not Jill, at the least her business, Ruby Receptionists. Ruby embodies all of the ideologies that we teach our clients at Kinesis about marketing from the inside out – creating a great culture through living their mission, vision, and values. And as a result of being a savvy, purpose-driven company, Ruby has made astounding, sustainable progress – seeing double digit growth, year after year, for 10 years in a row.

Jill has received mounting acclaim as a leader in the business community, local and national alike. She was named a 2012 “Customer Champion” by 1to1 Magazine and was featured as Portland Monthly‘s April 2012 “Rainmaker.” In 2010, she was honored with a Portland Business Journal “Orchid Award” for her service as a female business leader who is deeply involved in the community. Jill is currently Finance Chair of the Portland chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, who awarded her as its 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year.

But what’s truly amazing about Jill’s company is how she’s revolutionized a tired business model (the Call Center), leveraging culture to create a unique value proposition and differentiating their services from the competition.

Ruby Growth Stats:

2012: $7.8 million
2013: ~$11.4 million

2012 over 2011 growth – 50%
2013 over 2012 growth – 44%
Projected 2014 growth over 2013 – 35%

From 2011 to 2013, revenue grew 116%

Annual marketing: Ruby invests 5.7% of revenue on marketing

Read more about Ruby in this recent Business Insider article.



In this interview you’ll learn:

  • About Ruby Receptionists
  • How the Ruby culture is a key to their success
  • Why Ruby’s mission and values are at the core of the business
  • How Jill uses values as part of the hiring process
  • Marketing and branding, the “Ruby Way”
  • Jill’s acceleration tips for other entrepreneurs

Simply “press play” below to listen to our chat!

NOTE: If player doesn’t load in a few seconds, try refreshing your screen.

Want to read along?

Click here to download the transcript.

Ruby Receptionists: Workplace of WOW!

Want more insight into the Ruby culture? Watch this video! 

ABOUT Wendy Maynard

Wendy Maynard is the co-founder and former Strategic Director of Kinesis, an award-winning marketing firm and business consultancy. She has over two decades of experience as a marketing strategist, business consultant, and executive coach.

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