Eric A. Hardy is a gifted visionary and a hard-working, results-producing entrepreneur. While studying mechanical engineering at University of Michigan-Dearborn, Eric was a CEO-in-the-making—shaping a vision of the future, forging strong bonds with his partners-to-be, and developing the knowledge, skills, work ethic and customer focus that have guided his inspired leadership of w3r Consulting.
As w3r’s President and CEO, Eric has overseen the firm’s expansion, from its inception in 1995, when he and his co-founders moonlighted after their “day jobs” to bring their dream to life. Eric and his partners are aligned not only by their mutual trust and respect, but also through a collective vision of the firm’s future and their shared personal and professional values that require integrity, accountability, discipline and commitment from themselves as well as each of w3r’s 400-plus employees and contractors.
With more than 17 years’ experience in technical delivery, architecture design and project management, Eric’s strong business skills have helped create one of the Midwest’s fastest growing, African American-owned-and-operated, technical consulting firms. Today, w3r is a $55 million enterprise, headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Dallas Texas; Columbus, Ohio and Washington, D.C. Company income continues to grow, with w3r experiencing a more than 400-percent revenue increase over the past four years.
Eric and his partners have deftly guided the company to this point by shaping its product array to encompass not only IT staffing and project management, but also data science and analytics. By participating in all facets of a client’s culture, w3r develops relationships that deliver more than information technology consulting.
For example, the firm returned more than $70 million in cost savings to local health care companies by identifying opportunities to streamline efforts and discover internal social missions to reduce potential risks.
With the 2012 acquisition of Nurse Now, a staffing services company that specializes in temporary and permanent placements for nurses, allied health professionals and medical administrative personnel, Eric has positioned the firm to take another leap forward by adding a dimension to its product portfolio that broadens the markets w3r serves to include the ever-expanding healthcare field.
With Eric at the helm, w3r has received numerous recognitions and awards on both the local and national levels, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s 2013 Diverse Supplier Achievement Award for Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). The firm has been recognized for the past seven years by Inc. Magazine as one of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies, appearing on the 2013 list for posting a 177-percent increase in sales growth over the previous three-year period. The National Minority Supplier Diversity Council and Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council also recognized the company in 2008 and 2009, respectively, as MBE of the Year in its classification. Eric was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young in 2008 and was a recipient of Oakland County’s Elite 40 Under 40 award from County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in 2013.
Eric has also been making a difference in the lives of others since his college days, when he served as a tutor and mentor in the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program, helping urban youth demystify and decode the STEM disciplines. He leads by example as the former Chairman of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and has been affiliated with the Henry Ford Health System board of directors since 2008, where he also served as Chairman of Community Care Services for 5 years. Eric is especially proud of w3r’s involvement in WXYZ-Channel 7’s Project Healthy Living, which the firm co-sponsors annually with the DMC.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and lives in the metro Detroit area with his wife and twin daughters.