Jamf Employees From All Over the World Gather in EC, Where Software Firm Was Born

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

BIG MAC ATTACK. Jamf was founded in Eau Claire in 2002 and is still home to one of the software firm’s biggest offices, overlooking Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire.
BIG MAC ATTACK. Jamf was founded in Eau Claire in 2002 and is still home to one of the software firm’s biggest offices, overlooking Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire.

Jamf and the software it creates may have spread to the four corners of the Earth since the company was founded in 2002, but this month the firm’s workforce will return to where it all began: Eau Claire.

SubZero, Jamf’s annual all-company meeting, will draw more than 800 employees from around the world to the Pablo Center at the Confluence on Jan. 15. The gathering, explained CEO Dean Hager, allows Jamf employee to “meet in-person to collaborate, align and get energized for the upcoming year.”

“SubZero is one of the few times all of Jamf is together physically as one Jamf,” Hager said. “It’s a special time, one where we reaffirm Jamf’s values, rally around of new business priorities, and just soak up time being together.”

In years past, SubZero was held in Minneapolis, where the firm has its headquarters. Jason Wudi, Jamf’s chief strategist, said there were several reasons for bringing the entire team to Eau Claire in 2019. First was last fall’s opening of the Pablo Center, where the large theater and multiple breakout rooms provide ample space for everyone. Two, holding the gathering in Eau Claire will help Jamf to continue to provide customer support during the meeting. (Eau Claire is Jamf’s largest customer support center.) “And three, the fact that the team responsible for delivering the event said they would be willing to work through all of the little challenges and logistics of pulling this off!” Wudi added.

Jamf traces its origins to UW-Eau Claire, where co-founder Zach Halmstad worked in the IT department. Noting a lack of software tools for managing large numbers of Macs and other Apple devices, Halmstad began to create those tools – and the rest is history. While Halmstad is no longer with the company, he’s still heavily involved in the Eau Claire community through Pablo Properties, a development firm, as well as the Pablo Foundation. In fact, a $5 million gift from the latter entity  (which was founded by Halmstad, Wudi, and Julia Johnson, another former Jamf employee) is the reason the arts center has “Pablo” in its name.

And while Jamf now has offices everywhere from Cupertino, California, to Amsterdam, London, Munich, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, Eau Claire still plays a critical role, Wudi said. “Our office here hosts our customer support and customer success teams,” he said. “These are teams who do work every day that is central to our mission at Jamf – helping organizations succeed with Apple. Eau Claire is also one of the three offices globally at Jamf that has a significant software engineering presence.”

Hager, the CEO, predicts 2019 will be a big year for Jamf. “I feel like I’ve said this every year since coming onboard as CEO in 2015 – but hey, we continue to see record growth and I continue to be energized by the work we do!” he said.

“Jamf’s mission is to help organizations succeed with Apple,” Hager continued. “Everything we do ladders up to this mission, so when Apple grows, we have the opportunity to grow.”

Ultimately, what’s good for Apple is good for Jamf. And, by extension, what’s good for Jamf is good for the city where it was born.