Team WTI celebrates at ribbon cutting

Claudia Loucks
The Geneseo Chamber of Commerce staff recently held a ribbon cutting at the new home of Team WTI at One White Pine Road, on Wolf Road outside of Geneseo. In the photo are, from left, Max Gehling, Nick Hirst, Julie Loitz, Lisa Depies, Alaina Riewerts, Nick Gehling, Kim Gehling, (with scissors) Linda Morrison, Georgjean Pitsoulakis, Arturo Jimenez, Kailely Ackermann, Michele Nelson, Cindy Whiteman and Barb Nelson.

Kim Gehling launched Websites to Impress, WTI, 18 years ago, in 2003, in Iowa, and from that one-person operation, the website design business, now known as Team WTI, has grown to 16 employees and is currently located on the Wolf Road corridor.

A ribbon cutting was held recently to celebrate Team WTI’s new location, newly expanded office space and its membership in the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce.

Team WTI President Gehling said, moving from its downtown Geneseo location to Wolf Road “allows us more flexibility and room for growth while allowing us to still have a base in our hometown of Geneseo.”

Previously known as Websites to Impress, Inc., the web design and digital marketing company has rebranded as Team WTI and Gehling explained, “As Team WTI, we’re able to better reflect the wide array of services we offer our clients.”

“We were excited to move into our new building to allow for growth and we just completed our first office space expansion,” she said.

“What makes our company special are the personal relationships we develop with our clients,” Gehling said. “When you work with Team WTI, you have the opportunity to communicate with the people who are overseeing every aspect of your website project or digital marketing strategy. That type of open communication with our clients builds a level of personal investment in our clients’ success.”

Gehling shared Team WTI’s mission and vision which states: “To use tailored efforts to help businesses be more effective online in order to achieve a positive impact through reaching client goals.”

Team WTI’s success can be traced back to what began as Gehling’s love for art…That love of art led her to graphic design and then her jobs after college introduced her to web design.

She had just graduated from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, with a degree in graphic design and said her website business was a means for her to work on nights and weekends to serve businesses and enhance her own skills and experience at the same time.

“I worked full time in corporate positions while going back to school for a Master’s degree and continued WTI part time until I opened our first office in Carroll, Iowa, in 2008.”

Two additional employees were added in 2008 and WTI remained a small group until Gehling and her husband, Nick Gehling, returned to her hometown of Geneseo and added two more employees in 2011.

“It was important for me to end up in my hometown because my family has roots in farming,” she said. “I loved growing up in Geneseo and I wanted my children to experience this small town and what it has to offer.”

She admits she also wanted to work in a challenging and energetic environment, and said, “The corporate jobs I held did not provide what I was seeking for my career. WTI has allowed me to create my dream job. I love that I have the opportunity to work in my hometown, that we are able to grow and employ others from my community and that we are making a difference for the businesses we work with across the country.”

Gehling is passionate about quality websites and the power of digital marketing. She said, “I have seen our work increase leads for businesses and watched those businesses grow over time. It is very rewarding to have our team working toward a common goal of growing the businesses of our clients and seeing that goal realized together.”

Team WTI is the first business launched by Gehling, but she and her husband also started Pink Prairie Gardens in 2012 where they raise and sell quality annuals from greenhouses at their farm in rural Geneseo.

Gehling’s parents are Greg and Barb Nelson, Geneseo, and she said, “My father started my brother (Jeff Nelson) and me with our first business experience when we were growing up with picking and selling sweet corn each summer from our front yard on Highway 82.”

The Gehling couple has two sons, Jack, 11, and Max, 8, and in regard to juggling career and family, Gehling said, “I enjoy busy days. I like having a lot to do and truly believe that the more I have to do the more I get done. I like the challenge of solving difficult problems…It is extremely rewarding to work toward a common goal with a team of great people. I believe I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.”