Most of us take elevators for granted, until they break down. The first electric elevator was invented in 1880, and they have been critical to building construction ever since. The world’s first commercial escalator made its appearance nearly 20 years later, in 1899. Building owners and managers devote necessary attention and budgeting to the installation and upkeep of elevators and escalators, which is where AuditMate comes in. Founder Ashleigh Wilson says, “The elevator business is all I’ve ever known; raised in a family of elevator mechanics, inspectors, and business managers. When I entered the industry in my early 20s, I was passionate about leading global change in an industry rich with history and innovation. I didn’t just see myself as a business manager, I saw myself as an advocate for customers.”
GGBA: Please tell us about AudiMate.
Ashleigh Wilson: AuditMate is the first-ever elevator and escalator auditing software built to empower building owners and managers to get the full value of their elevator contracts.
Building on our roots in the elevator industry, our business will become the world’s most powerful example of a company that succeeds based on the strategy of doing right by others. In the future we are creating, all employees and customers experience trust, transparency, and safety—both physical and psychological—in their interactions with businesses. As a result, AuditMate will rise as the first fully sustainable, profitable business in its category, but more importantly, a leading change agent throughout business at large.
GGBA: What motivated you to create AuditMate?
Ashleigh Wilson: AuditMate was created because I found that clients didn’t fully understand their elevator contracts due to contracts being intentionally vague and confusing and clients were only receiving 50% of the elevator and escalator services they were paying for.
GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence your business?
Ashleigh Wilson: My role model is my step-dad and business partner, Joe Stumph. He started in the business as an elevator technician and climbed the ranks in the corporate elevator industry. Even with the malleable values and shift to a profit focus in the industry, he stuck firm to his beliefs of doing proper maintenance and being a customer advocate. He never wavered in putting people first, even when times were tough and the company was pushing for more profit. He believed that when we do right, we will do well. This is one of AuditMate’s core values. When we are people first, everyone wins.
GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA, and how long have you been a member?
Ashleigh Wilson: I joined GGBA because of the vision of an economically empowered San Francisco Bay Area LGBTQ business community that inspires others. This vision is closely aligned with my vision of putting people first and leading by example. I too, want to be a champion of representation of empowered LGBT businesses and founders, to help others become empowered.
GGBA: How has being a member of GGBA helped your business so far?
Ashleigh Wilson: [I have valued] being witness to other businesses and entrepreneurs who are successful in their own fields while helping others succeed. Representation is so important and constantly inspires me.
GGBA: Do you go to the GGBA monthly Make Contact networking events? Have they benefited you and your business, and would you recommend them to others?
Ashleigh Wilson: With COVID-19, I haven’t been to as many in-person networking events as I would like, but I am excited to rejoin the IRL (in real life) world. I am a major advocate of connecting with people in our community; I believe those connections are imperative to our success as LGBT individuals.
GGBA: What other advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
Ashleigh Wilson: Be the role model you need. There are thousands of reasons not to start a business, but taking the risk and putting your dream first not only benefits you but it also empowers others to chase their dreams. The road will be long and hard but our community is brave, smart, and full of risk takers. By taking the leap and putting yourself out there, you will find your community.
I am grateful to the GGBA that is bringing together community and resources. This road of entrepreneurship as an LGBT entrepreneur is our own, but no one succeeds alone. https://auditmate.com/
Published by San Francisco Bay Times