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.
Trey Wesson is a Tucson native. In 1997 he was tasked with figuring out how to build a website for his father’s real estate brokerage. He was always fascinated that something could be created and displayed for anyone in the world with an internet connection. While researching how to actually build and publish a website, he discovered HTML. He taught himself how to hand code and create graphics – He was hooked.
After further developing his skills as a hobby, Trey decided it was time to do web design professionally and was able to secure a position with DoTucson.com, a local internet startup.
While he eventually went into brokering single and multi-family real estate full time, he always had an internet project in the works. Over the last few years Trey has transitioned from web design into internet marketing and has excelled in getting positive results for clients.
When seeing that an Internet Marketing position opened at Anchor Wave, he quickly jumped at the opportunity and survived the rigorous interview and assessment process.
Trey is married with two young boys. When he’s not on the computer, he enjoys spending time with his family and teaching his oldest son how to play baseball.
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, born and raised in Tucson, originally studied architecture at Arizona State University. She later transferred to The University of Arizona to study Journalism and Marketing. Post-graduation, she began a small photography company, Jill Photo, and joined the Anchor Wave team in 2012. If you have been with Anchor Wave a long while, you may remember her as the Office Coordinator! Jill has enjoyed her current position as Project Coordinator since 2013.
Outside of the office, Jill enjoys photography and time with her friends and family. She married in 2015 and is celebrating a new baby, Elizabeth!
Leah grew up in rural North West Montana where life consisted of hunting, fishing and riding horses. Finally, a welcomed acceptance letter to the University of Arizona led her out of the rain and snow and south to the land of fun and sun.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Leah has had a diverse array of experience ranging from graphic design to fashion production and brand management. She maintains the belief that any design can be successful with the correct amount of creativity, hard work and ethics. Creating designs that inspire, advocate and excel a company’s business is truly what drives Leah to be a graphic designer.
Traveling, movie marathons and crazy-hard workouts are among Leah’s favorite things to do. She loves a good backpack trip across Europe or hike in the local Catalina Mountains where she feels more at home than anywhere else.
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.
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.
Ray graduated from Canisius College out of Buffalo, NY with a BS in Finance. Upon graduating Ray moved to the Boston, MA metropolitan area and joined Ameriprise Financial as a financial advisor. With Ameriprise Ray developed sales, customer service, and interpersonal skills that were all required in growing and maintaining a practice of his own. After being with Ameriprise for just over three years (two in the corporate office and one as part of a franchise) Ray made the decision to move back home to Buffalo, NY.
After moving back to Buffalo Ray joined LocalEdge and their customer service department and began his career in print and digital media. Over the course of five years Ray would hold six different positions with LocalEdge that ranged from customer service representative to digital sales manager. Each position held more duties and responsibilities proving that Ray was truly developing not only his sales and service skills but also his expertise in the growing industry of digital media. After five years with LocalEdge Ray once again made the decision to be closer to family and relocated to Tucson, AZ to be closer with his younger sister, Tina, and his three year old niece, Charlotte (Charlie).
Ray joins the Anchor Wave team with great excitement, eager to contribute to the team with his wealth of knowledge and just as eager to learn from the great team members already in place.
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. Recently, with the expansion of her family, two beautiful daughters, she joined the wonderful team at Anchor Wave as the Office Coordinator. She looks forward to new challenges and the amazing environment that is Anchor Wave.
Outside of work, she enjoys camping and hiking with her family, baking, crafts of any kind, music, reading and traveling around the world.
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.
Native Tucsonan, Eric brings enthusiasm to the office as well as to his client interactions. Experience with the real estate industry has provided Eric with a broad understanding of our community and strategic insights in the market. Musician, Dojo frequenter, and maker of excellent coffee – Eric lends his talents to our team with continual positive energy.
Juan Ibarra started his career with Anchor Wave Internet Solutions as a Web Strategy Associate in December of 2015. Previously, he had been running his own financial practice with various firms for over 6 years. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Communication with a minor in General Business Administration. He went on to receive his Master’s in Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.
Juan has been in Tucson for 14 years and has been involved in numerous non-profits over the years. In 2013, he was named one of Tucson’s Top 40 under 40 alongside our Vice President, Anthony Rivera. Juan has received multiple sales awards and volunteer awards for his work in the Tucson community.
Britney was born in upstate New York and moved to Tucson at a very young age. She 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 SoCal (Orange County to be exact), she worked at a number of hotels & resorts, finding herself in departments ranging from housekeeping, to the front desk, to sales, to conference and catering. Within her hospitality journey, she also ended up meeting her now husband.
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, spending time with her husband, her family and of course her orange fluff-ball of a cat named Howie is what makes her heart happy. She loves being back in Tucson and is looking forward to working with you and helping your business grow!
Val was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. Thanks to some fun twists and turns, she grew up in State College, Pennsylvania, small-town Germany and west coast Canada before coming to Tucson in 2008. She was quick to embrace the southern AZ lifestyle, full of sunshine and Sonoran dogs.
Recently, Val earned her B.S. in Business Administration from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. Her professional career started in retail where she excelled in the management of inventory, visual merchandising, and customer service. Wanting to move out of the corporate retail setting, Val pursued work in a small business setting where she enjoyed marketing, event planning, and social media management.
Outside of work, Val spends her days tending to her pets, getting outdoors, and playing more video games than she likes to admit. She also loves to try local foods and ales, and volunteer a few times a month. Val daydreams of saving the natural world.
Excited to learn from her colleagues here, Val feels ever-fortunate to be at Anchor Wave.