Europe waited while Frank Cianciulli found his calling. In 1995, Mr. Cianciulli - then studying political science at York University in Toronto - postponed plans to visit the continent in favour of a summer job selling conference services for ConferTech, a Dallas-based company later bought by Frontier Corp. in Westminster, Colo.
He stayed on at ConferTech until Bell Canada hired him a year later as an account manager in its conference services division.
"I was 23 and found the conferencing business very exciting and very lucrative. I had discovered something I could be really passionate about," recalls Mr. Cianciulli, who went on to earn his BA from York in 1997 and eventually made good on his plans to visit Europe.
It wasn't long before Mr. Cianciulli began to hear the siren song of enterprise, and in the spring of 2001, he left Bell to co-found Enunciate Conferencing, a Toronto-based provider of audio, video and Web conference services.
Enunciate's first year wasn't stellar - sales were a mere $80,000. Although he and his team had built a solid reputation in the industry, many of the companies they approached wanted to "sit back and wait and see how we do," recalls Mr. Cianciulli, who is Enunciate's president and CEO.
"So in the first year, we did a lot of business with non-profit companies, who seemed more willing to give us a try," he says. "And then the big major companies started coming on board in 2002."
Today, Enunciate boasts more than 3,000 corporate clients, including the likes of TD Canada Trust, the National Hockey League and the Canadian Football League.
Last year, Enunciate posted $14-million in sales and is on track to book $22-million by the end of this year, says Mr. Cianciulli.
"And of the $14-million we did in 2006, 50 per cent was profit," he says proudly.
And what draws customers to Enunciate?
"A better mousetrap," says Mr. Cianciulli. "We offer different, customized features and our service is outstanding - 90 per cent of our calls are answered by live bodies in 12 seconds or less."
He attributes much of his company's success to his team. From the start, he says, he set out to surround himself with "really intelligent, really ambitious people" who share his passion for the conference business.
"If conferencing is in your blood, then Enunciate is the place to be," he says.