He grew up in rural Glenwood, near Vidalia, where his father and uncle owned
"They didn't really want me to learn a lot about farming," Culver said. "(My father) had ideas for his sons to do different things than farming. He thought I was going to become a doctor."
Instead, Culver got bit by a computer bug and never looked back.
"I was about 10 when I had my first personal computer," said Culver, 44, president/CEO of
The company started off with a mostly commercial work load, growing into more federal and state government jobs. That's now about 90 percent of its work. But with sequestration -- automatic federal budget cuts which went into effect last year -- some government contracts are not being continued, he said.
Now the company is turning its focus back toward commercial work.
"We do business process management, which is basically how an entity is doing their business, and we tend to automate those processes and then we integrate it into their core business," Culver said. "Hopefully that leads to acceleration across the whole enterprise. So that's our mantra: automate, integrate, accelerate."
"While (Culver) is very dedicated and focused on his business, he is also a dedicated father and husband," Slagle said. "He's incredibly bright. He understands technology better than anyone I've met. ... He doesn't get stuck on the small stuff, and he's a great joy to be around."
Culver knew when he was 10 he wanted a career working with computers.
"There was no question in my mind," he said.
As luck would have it, Culver was in the right place at the right time -- and fortunate to be friends with the right person.
His friend's father was Dr.
"My parents signed a waiver when I was 15, and I went to work at Datablocks," Culver said. "(Roberts) brought in programmers to teach his son and me how to program professionally. ... I got out of school at 1:30 (p.m.) to go play" with computers until about
"It wasn't work. It was so enjoyable because it's what I loved to do," he said. "I was taking a lot of college prep courses at the local community college at the same time, too."
The teens developed applications that Roberts sold around the country with a later version of the Altair computer.
"It was a fantastic experience," Culver said. "Some of the guys who designed the first operating systems for mainframes for Coca-Cola and
Roberts sold Datablocks in 1977, got a medical degree from
Culver graduated from
Culver continued to work for Datablocks during his first year of college. Then he worked part time for
But as Culver got more into the engineering program, he realized he wouldn't be able to create a computer without a doctorate degree.
"I could create software then, so I stuck with it and got an electrical engineering degree, "but I never really used it," he said. "I've always done programming."
After two years at
Both entities started at the same time in 1989, he said. Online Computers handled the hardware side of the business, and
The company moved into the second floor of the former Mid Georgia Ambulance building on
"I've always just been so incredibly impressed with Isaac and his integrity and work ethic and his skill level," said
The men became close friends.
"Like every small business, he's had some bumps to overcome, but he never complains," Hinson said. "He just keeps fighting to overcome them. It's a great lesson for other people who want to start a business to understand. ... He's just a great guy. The fabric of what he's made of shows through every time you are around him."
"Probably by the fifth or sixth year of business, we decided to focus on application development," he said. "Prior to that, we were a jack of all trades and master of none."
The two-man business acquired more customers, which meant hiring more employees. They got recommendations from
"All our new hires came through that path, and I think all of them are with us today," Culver said. "It was relatively slow growth. We added two or three people a year for the first five years. ... Then we got some larger government contracts, and they required us to staff up. About '96 was our first significant contract with (
The company created software that the
"One of our customers is the
The company now has 30 employees and about 10 contractors across the country. It has workers in the
"We have very little turnover," Culver said. "We do everything we can to retain them."
One of his biggest challenges is "finding new people who have a passion and love for technology versus a passion and love for the money," he said. "Don't get me wrong, I'm a capitalist, but you have to have the passion for the work."
Slagle said Culver's passion for his work is evident.
"He has a great work ethic," he said. "He's doing what God intended for him to do."
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