As we approach the Mira Awards ceremony (we’re nominated in case you didn’t know!), we sat down with FullStack’s Co-Founder and CEO, Dawn Lively. Dawn shared reflections on our company’s founding in 2017, how we’ve grown, and where the tech industry is heading.

Q: What initially led to the creation of FullStack?

D:Initially I was serving as the Director of People and Culture for DeveloperTown, who had a lot of small companies under their umbrella, all of which needed payroll, benefits, and HR support. The problem was these small companies were too small to have their own full-time person, but needed assistance with those business challenges, and FullStack was inspired!  We then researched the market, and reflected on our own experience as owners and leaders in the tech industry, we decided that a fully transparent and strategic PEO partner was needed.

Q: As a CEO and Co-Founder, what are some challenges you’ve faced? What did you learn from those challenges and how have they shaped your leadership style?

D: It is a completely different world when you’re providing HR guidance as a formally educated professional, versus walking in the shoes yourself as the owner. As we say, it’s “Always Always Something”. And as your business grows, and you have an amazing team under you, the issues seem to just get more complex, and you’re impacting lives with every decision you make. For example, we had a key provider cancel services on us abruptly in the middle of our first full year of operations. We thankfully had a great network to be able to partner with someone else promptly so there was no disruption in services, but without that network, we could have been crippled. It’s caused me to slow down, step back, not be so reactionary in the moment. Think Macro, not Micro.


Q: With the continued growth and success of FullStack, how has the company changed in order to continue serving its clients?

D: Our greatest asset, no question, is our people. We have managed to assemble an amazing team of caring, conscientious, humble professionals who are committed to serving our clients timely and with excellence. It’s been amazing to triple in size operationally in a few short years!


Q: How has the tech landscape changed in Indy/Midwest for the tech industry? Where do you see it going? 

D: The industry is wide open and ripe for growth, largely in the talent space. Partners are hiring developers in Colorado, sales professionals in Texas, marketing professionals in Virginia, on the daily! Their ability to truly be remote, hire people anywhere, and support them anywhere, has been amazing to watch since COVID changed the landscape two years ago.

Q: What future do you see for FullStack? 

D: With our midwest focus, but ability to have virtually nationwide presence, I’m hopeful to continue to see our great growth continue, adding more partners and employees, with our awesome internal team living their best lives. We’re committed to a positive, supportive culture for our remote team ourselves, and we look forward to helping our partners do the same for their teams!

Thanks to Dawn for sharing her thoughts and some background on FullStack. If you want to know more about FullStack and our recent Mission and Values update, check out our blog post on the topic

Also, check out the list of other Mira Award nominees – winners for each category will be announced on Saturday, April 23rd.