Mike Schmidt launched Anchor Wave Internet Solutions, LLC, in 2003 as a 22-year-old University of Arizona graduate with a vision: to become a leader in the website design industry. Since then, he has steadily built the business from a one-man business to a 20-person. Anchor Wave is a Tucson small business success story.
Mike’s achievements are based on dedication to clients, a belief in technology and a continual commitment to innovation. He seeks solutions to make the client experience exceptional. His website development business thrives because he helps clients make well-informed decisions.
Just out of college, Mike began developing a business model that emphasized the importance of continual communication within his organization. He refined it as he began hiring employees, and eventually made that constant communication model the centerpiece of client relationships. As a result, client referrals have helped his business balloon.
Mike lends his website and Internet marketing expertise to community non-profits and small, startup businesses.
He assisted the Tucson Boys & Girls Club with a website to promote its annual fundraiser, “The Event.” The website was a key marketing tool that allowed attendees to pay for admission, make donations and learn about the organization’s mission.
“Because of Anchor Wave’s talent and generosity, we had over 1,200 people attend “The Event” this past April, all saying the website and the video on the website is what sold them to attend” says Lacey DeLeon, Director of Special Events for the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson.
Mike also helps small Tucson businesses that benefit the community but cannot afford the expense of marketing themselves on the internet. For instance, he built a website free of charge for a micro-business that helps keep Tucsonans healthy.
Mike and Anchor Wave regularly host high-school and college students for job-shadowing opportunities. He worked with students at Tanque Verde High School on creating a website for Corks for Cancer.
“It was an invaluable experience for my students to get hands-on experience with a professional web design company while helping out Corks for Cancer,” says Greg Miller, Career Services Director, Tanque Verde High School. “Mike and his team are so professional and really care about our community and our students’ career interests.”
Other organizations that have benefited from Mike’s assistance include The Lacey Jarrell Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, Habitat for Humanity, The Tucson Moms Club and The Tuller School.
Mike plans to be active in the Tucson and Southern Arizona community for many years to come and encourages his team to identify ways to give back.
Mike will continue to grow his leadership in Tucson business for many reasons. His business acumen and community involvement aside, Mike has become a promising entrepreneur among business community insiders because of his commitment to ethical business practices and wonderful reputation for treating clients right.
Mike recognizes that many of his business’s finest achievements and advancements were realized because of his support for the team’s involvement. He credits his team for taking his innovative ideas to solve a problem and nurturing them into reality. For instance, his discussions with team members about the need to make the client experience more predictable led his project manager to create the Anchor Wave client organizer. It now serves as the bible for every project’s workflow, and has turned clients into raving fans of the company.
“I plant the seed, get everyone rowing in the same direction and then stand back and let my team do what they do best,” Schmidt says. “You get amazing results when you empower talented people.”
Mike knows that creating successful employees will keep him successful and contribute to the development of Anchor Wave and future business ventures. “I have a clear vision for my business,” Schmidt says, “and I look forward to providing opportunities to those that want to join my efforts to be an industry authority for website design and internet marketing.”
Anthony Rivera is a Tucson native. Having left for Flagstaff in 1996 in search of a Psychology degree at Northern Arizona University, Anthony changed his focus in 1998 when he decided to come back home to University of Arizona to pursue a degree in Computer Science. He has always gravitated towards computers and anything related to technology. It was fitting that he would soon take an entry level computer technical support position at Intuit helping clients with their accounting software, QuickBooks.
During this time Anthony took an interest in the world wide web. He began to develop websites in his spare time and after a short amount of time created a niche at Intuit for developing small websites to assist internal teams with managing their processes. It was no wonder that after Intuit decided to make a big push in Social Media, they would choose Anthony to manage the team to make it happen.
In 2 years Anthony and his team were able to grow a 20,000 member community into a thriving 250,000 member social network that connected small businesses and accountants. Having achieved such great success in a short amount of time, his team was asked to manage the Quicken and Accountants communities as well. During the next 2 years Anthony would become an expert in online communities by playing a strategic role in leveraging search engine optimization and internet marketing. Working in a corporate environment helping small businesses achieve their goals gave Anthony a unique skill set that would become invaluable at Anchor Wave.
In August of 2008, Anthony left Intuit to fill a position as Website Strategist at Anchor Wave. In this role Anthony would be able to leverage all of his experience and connect with small businesses every day to help them achieve their dreams. Given a blank slate to build a process to help existing clients get more out of their website, Anthony created a new division for Anchor Wave which helped drive a 53% growth in revenue in 2008 and even more importantly helped Anchor Wave’s clients succeed. He enjoys being constantly rewarded when he sees the dramatic impact his role plays in his clients’ success and continues to find new and innovative ways to push the envelope. Anthony also plays a strategic role in helping Anchor Wave take the next step towards becoming an industry leader in Internet Marketing and Design.
Lilly greatly enjoyed growing up in the vast frontier of Alaska, yet made the sunshine-related decision to migrate south to attend University of Arizona in Tucson. A decision that has afforded her an outdoor-loving lifestyle in the desert with far less need for layers.
With degrees in Marketing and Graphic Design in hand, she progressed to work in roles of both specialties, including owning her own design firm for 9 years. Lilly strongly believes in the power of visual communication to fuel all kinds of good; good ideas, good social movements and especially good business. Helping clients discover and enhance the power of their smartest strategy as it unfolds in their communications is what keeps her entranced with this industry, and looking forward to what will evolve next.
A quirky family, delicious coffee, and planning the next April fools prank are among her most favorite of activities. A good documentary and a sunset bike ride are a close second. If she could hop a jet to a faraway land, it would be a repeat visit to Burundi – where she has adopted, and been adopted by, the people of this emerging country.
Jill graduated from the UofA with a multidisciplinary degree in Journalism, Marketing, and Psychology. While still in college she began her own photography business, which she owned and operated until 2016 when she transitioned her photography skills into her current work at Anchor Wave.
Jill’s journey at Anchor Wave began in 2012 when she joined the team as Office Coordinator. She was the company’s first Office Coordinator and had a big role in defining the duties of that position. After a couple years in that role, she moved to Project Coordinator. As a PC she managed the Web Design process for clients, guiding them through the process while helping them define their marketing strategy.
From Project Coordinator to Senior Project Coordinator she eventually moved to be the Department Head, managing the team and the product to ensure quality, efficiency and value for Anchor Wave’s stake holders.
Now 9 years later Jill’s roles include managing multiple departments, products, billing, sales and systems within the company.
Jill has two girls, Charlotte & Elizabeth. Just a year apart, the girls do everything together from dancing in the aisles of the grocery store to fighting over the same toy. Jill and her husband Patrick very much enjoy their little girls. On the weekends you can find them fine dining alone 🙂
It’s in my DNA. It’s ingrained in me. You could say it’s my superpower.
I look at a business and immediately I’m analyzing how to fix it. And, I can’t stop. In 30 minutes or so, I’ve created a high level strategy that can help a company leverage missing opportunities, increase revenue, map out a marketing execution plan and more.
As most superheroes, they sometimes dread having a superpower. Look at Captain America. He loved saving the world. But, in the final scene of Avengers: End Game, he traded his shield to live life.
I love my ability of being able to develop a comprehensive Marketing Strategy and Systems that can change the course of an organization.
I’ve been both an entrepreneur and a senior level strategist in the private sector. In both instances the odds were stacked against me.
As an entrepreneur, I opened my first business in 2008, during the great recession. To make matters worse, I signed a 5 year lease with a personal guarantee that totaled roughly $300,000. Before the age of 28.
Over a decade later and massive success, I sold that business. I was ready to take my B2C marketing strategies and prove how effective they were in the B2B space.
As a senior level business strategist, I entered an unfamiliar industry in commercial HVAC & refrigeration. But, I was armed with marketing knowledge and sales systems that no one in my space could remotely execute. Let alone know where to start.
In that time frame, I helped bring in new business and opportunities from Dollar General, a Fortune 100 company, Raytheon, arguably the largest US military defense contractor. And, other world renowned brands such as T-Mobile, Anhueser-Busch, 7-Eleven, Cushman and Wakefield, Qualcomm — and more.
John is a rare Tucson native. He spent one year as a child in Prescott, AZ and after playing soccer for Pima Community College he transferred to Western New Mexico University where he earned a Bachelors in Business Management.
After College John came back home to be closer to his family and not too long after he met his now wife Suzanne. After a couple small jobs after college John joined New York Life Insurance Company here in Tucson. He spent over 7 years there as a Registered Representative educating people on the importance of insurance and financial planning. Although working collaboratively with Anchorwave for a period of time after seeing the outstanding processes in place and unwavering commitment to excellence in web design and marketing John decided to join the team in December 2013.
John has a strong commitment to Tucson and the community. He regularly volunteers with Tu Nidito, Junior Achievement, and The American Lung Association. He has served on local boards and will continue to give back to the city that has given him so much.
John now lives in the Marana area with his wife Suzanne and his twin Daughters. When He is not playing with his beautiful kids, he can be found playing his guitar or out having fun in the city he loves.
While Christine was born in Tucson, AZ, she has lived all over the country. She attended the University of Arizona to study Biology, but found herself in a part-time job in event planning. It evolved into a full-time career for over ten years. With the expansion of her family, two beautiful daughters, she joined the wonderful team at Anchor Wave as the Office Coordinator. Since then she has grown at Anchor Wave and is now a Digital Marketing Coordinator.
Outside of work, she enjoys camping and hiking with her family, baking, crafts of any kind, music, reading and traveling around the world.
Kevin was born on the wrong side of the tracks. Originally from San Diego, he took a ride up the west coast, settling in Sonoma county where he hit the history books at Sonoma State University. When he finished reading about American history and could no longer contain his historical excitement, he packed all his things into a van, and traveled south to San Francisco. Then, after living a hard life of coffee slinging in startup central, frothing milk day in and day out, he decided that one more nonfat latte would be one too many.
He made the controversial decision to turn his life around by voyaging deep into the Sonoran desert to find his true self and maybe his spirit animal (wombat). His journey manifested into an entry level position as a customer service representative providing tech consulting to small businesses. This position was acceptable for a time, but eventually this Kevin became too big a fish for the part-time pond where he swam. He needed a vibrant and creative environment to thrive. He wasn’t satisfied offering mere acceptable websites, he wanted to offer web solutions, sleek websites, effective SEO. That’s when he found Anchor Wave. He hasn’t looked back since.
Bryan was born in the plains of North Dakota before moving at a young age to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. After high school in Portland, OR, he spent the next year in Corvallis studying at Oregon State University. Not wanting to acquire debt for a degree in a field of study he hadn’t even declared, he went back to the Portland area and earned his Associate of Arts at Clark College. Tired of the rain and inspired by the Beatles, Bryan decided to follow the sun to Tucson, AZ where he majored in nutrition with a minor in chemistry at the University of Arizona.
It was here in Tucson were Bryan first got exposed to coding. Inspired by his friends and convinced that the online marketplace would be as important as physical locations, he learned HTML, CSS, and PHP before turning his casual hobby of styling websites into a series of business ventures. Before arriving at Anchor Wave, Bryan had most recently been working as a freelance front-end web developer. He’s excited to back in a team environment, especially a winning team like Anchor Wave.
Britney grew up in Tucson and graduated from Northern Arizona University, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Advertising & Marketing.
Soon after graduating from NAU and fulfilling her post-degree summer internship, she decided to follow her heart to where it geographically wanted to be: sunny Southern California. Throughout her time in Orange County, she worked at a number of hotels & resorts, finding herself in departments ranging from the front desk, to sales, to conference and catering.
Britney is beyond thrilled to be pursuing her passion of combining her extensive customer service background with her skills and education in Advertising & Marketing, and could not imagine a better company to learn and grow with than Anchor Wave.
Outside of work, Britney loves spending time with her husband, her family and of course her fluffy orange cat named Howie. She loves being back in Tucson and is looking forward to working with you and helping your business grow!
Our sage web strategist (and true Tucson native) Tom Lickliter has rooted his knowledge and expertise deep within the community, growing strong alongside local businesses just like yours.
Never one to shy away from hard work or the desert sun, Tom began his career selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door at the green age of 18. His zeal did not go unnoticed and soon enough the corporate world came banging at his door. Fearlessly, Tom heeded the call and joined a Fortune 300 company where he sharpened his fangs and flourished. Alas, Tom felt in his bones that his heart beat for a more enterprising drum—and thus he began marching to the beat of building his own company.
Through sowing his oats in local business, cutting his teeth in corporate, and spearheading his own ventures, Tom made his way to our happy Anchor Wave home. Here, Tom spreads his wisdom, compassion, and knowledge to each of his clients, nurturing powerful relationships that ensure your future successes.
In life and business, we foster Tom’s type of gumption not only through work, but also through experience. So, when Tom’s not hitting the pavement for you, he’s hitting the trails on his mountain bike, stargazing amongst saguaros, or kicking axe with friends on his new axe throwing league.
If you need someone sure-handed with steady aim, Tom’s the man to take you and your business where you want to go.
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A native New Englander, hailing from the “smallest state in the union” — Ben’s creative path lead him a few hours north of Rhode Island to attend college in Keene, New Hampshire. Soon after receiving his BFA in Graphic Design from Keene State, he set out with a goal to fully immerse himself in the design field.
Ben had a quick stint working for a micro brewery in Connecticut, combining the two amazing worlds of craft brewing and graphic design. He really enjoyed the opportunity and was able to work on the design of various event collateral, rebranding, and a bucket list project, beer packaging!
Following his time at the brewery, Ben relocated north of Boston to begin work as a Designer for a marketing agency. During his time at the agency he worked with different clients in the education, healthcare, and non-profit sectors. Ben spent the next 3 years soaking up as much design experience as he could. He was able to work on a wide variety of projects in print, digital, branding, and web design. Although he enjoyed the different challenges and creativity of his projects, Ben always had a big interest in the design + development of websites and applications. This interest and a desire to branch out lead Ben and his girlfriend, Cathryn, to move down to Tucson, Arizona. Ben soon found an opportunity and joined the Anchor Wave team as a UX/UI Designer.
Outside of the office, Ben loves hiking, music, comedy, and going camping with friends and family.
Bio coming soon!
Born and raised in Tucson Arizona. I played football all my life and love to be competitive! I went to Sunnyside High school where I graduated in the top 10% of my class. During High School I endured a life changing moment in anyone’s life. I was diagnosed with Germinoma Brain Tumor that was cancerous. Luckily, I was cured and I now have a miracle story still in the writing.
After High School I attended the University of Arizona on a full ride. I first began my college degree pursuing an engineer degree. I joined the Army ROTC at the UofA and loved learning about the Army and living the Army standards. That was when I found out about coding and software development and my plans changed. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Applied Computing with an emphasis on Software Development. I believe our world is leading to a more advanced technology system, and there will be more needed individuals to help grow this software world. I started to work in the cell phone industry, at Verizon while in school to help pay for books, and other necessary materials for class.
While at Verizon that is when I met Mike and Anthony. I felt the need of change to help further my software development career and asked for an opportunity to work with them. I first started as an intern, helping the digital marketing team, and now I am a full time employee as a Junior Web Strategist. I am a firm believer of the lord above us, and I know this is the plan he has in store for me!
In my free time I like to watch football, practice coding, practice haircutting and enjoy shoes a lot! I want to have my own shoe store where customers can also get haircuts! A good community where people can get a full groom service from haircuts to new shoes! Also I want to be able to build my own software company that helps businesses with building programs to host their company needs.
Brent grew up in New England, and graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in English Literature & Creative Writing. However, innate curiosity and a desire to fix things led him to a career in Information Technology.
An IT veteran, he spent 10 years wrangling recalcitrant technology for public schools and nonprofits. He began building WordPress websites in 2009, at first for himself, and later for several of his employers. He began studying web design around 2015, driven by a desire to know how it all worked in detail. When the opportunity came to change paths and join Anchor Wave as a webmaster, he jumped at it!
Brent’s path to Anchor Wave includes time as a professional photographer, several years as a school administrator, and two summers as the assistant to an aircraft mechanic. Outside of work, he pursues wildlife photography and woodworking, and enjoys spending time outdoors, and kayaking. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, and two cats.
Katie is a third generation native Tucsonan who absolutely loves the Arizona heat, the mountains and the famous Tucson sunsets. She is a proud Wildcat who graduated from the University of Arizona receiving her B.A. in Communication.
Soon after graduating from college, she decided to pick up and move to the “Capital of Live Music,” Austin, Texas. While living in Texas, she was able to gain experience in the special events department at a true Texas themed resort. This experience ranged from payroll, administrative assistance, working with clients and supporting her department. After a year of living in Austin, she realized how much she missed Arizona which brought her back home to Tucson. She then transitioned into a role working as a director for a local charter school and furthering her experience. In this role, she realized she had a passion for marketing and all that it encompasses.
Katie is thrilled to be a part of the Anchor Wave team and bring her passion of working with others, customer service and dive into the role as the Operations Coordinator. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as cheering on her Cleveland Browns every Sunday. She is looking forward to working with you and supporting your business!