When Todd Jackson, BA’96, EMBA’08, joined Cumberland Consulting Group as Director of Operations this past spring, it signaled a new chapter in the company’s growth. The Brentwood, Tenn.-based firm, which assists health care providers in choosing and implementing electronic medical record systems, has more than doubled in size in the last year. The partners recognized a significant strategic opportunity thanks to a key component of the U.S. government’s stimulus plan that encourages health care providers to adopt electronic medical record systems.
“Cumberland started with five people in 2004, and we’re now closing in on 100 employees,” Jackson says. “My role is to put processes and systems in place so that we can continue scaling up.”
One of Jackson’s challenges is ensuring that Cumberland’s unique culture is not lost in the rapid expansion. When the firm was younger and smaller, it was easier for the partners to pick the right people, he explains, in part because they had worked directly with those individuals in previous jobs. Now, though, it is more complicated.
“We’re in phase 2.0. We’re turning to circles of circles of contacts to find employees,” he says. “Once onboard, they have to be trained according to the ‘Cumberland way,’ and that’s not something we can do ad hoc.”
In some sense phase 2.0 could also be an apt description for this stage of Jackson’s own health care career. Prior to Cumberland he served as Senior Director of Annual Giving at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for nine years. While at Vanderbilt, he earned an Executive MBA, which he says taught him, among other things, “how to work well with others—especially those you don’t agree with.” Together, the experiences at the Medical Center and at Owen provided Jackson with a building block for the logical next step in his career—an opportunity to grow alongside a dynamic firm in a dynamic field.
“My career is evolving,” he says. “I’m someone who likes to create and build, and Cumberland has presented me with an amazing opportunity to do just that.”