The Arroyo Approach: An Inspiring Story of Culture, Service, and Partnership
Updated: Sep 13
A Long Time Coming
When BGSF acquired Arroyo Consulting on April 24, 2023, it was the culmination of a winding, collaborative relationship between two kindred organizations. BGSF, a workforce solutions provider based in Plano, TX, has acquired many companies over the years to expand their services and cater to even the most niche workforce challenges for their clients. While their experts specialize in IT, Accounting & Finance, and HR consulting services, backed by one of the largest national networks of highly skilled talent, they sought to provide even more options and better price points for their clients.
Seeking a Nearshore/Offshore Partnership
As BGSF was examining the market and looking for growth opportunities, their leadership team decided that their next expansion prospect had to bring several critical benefits to their clients, including cost savings, 24/7 operations, access to specialized skills, scalability, and more. The answer was simple: pursue a nearshore/offshore operation. But they did not want to acquire just any company. It was extremely important to the BGSF family to find a company that aligned with not only their breadth of services, but more importantly their mission, core values, and culture. To find that perfect fit, BGSF had to look to its past and the development of its own organization.
A Look Back in Time
Let’s take the time machine back to January 2008. Zycron, an IT consulting firm based in Nashville, TN, was thriving under the incredible leadership of Darrell S. Freeman Sr., Founder, and Steven Howard Smith, President and CEO. The team received an inquiry from a large client about their nearshore capabilities. While they did not have that option in place, they agreed to pursue it. Steven Howard Smith remembers, “I was given detailed instructions from Darrell, which were, ‘Make it happen.’” With that, Steven Howard located a Nashville-based group that specialized in giving US businesses guidance in Latin America. This enterprise led them to partner with an IT firm in Medellin, Colombia. By September, Steven Howard and Dennis Waggoner, Vice President of Sales, made their first trip to Medellin to meet with their prospective partner, and in December 2008 (just under a year after the original request) Darrell traveled to Medellin to meet their new partners and establish Zycron Latin America (ZLA), which was incorporated in Nashville in January 2009.
The Growth of Arroyo
Over the following two years, ZLA commenced its collaboration with Deloitte and began a consistent partnership with Luis Fernando Sanchez, who joined the team in May 2012. During this period, Darrell made it clear that if they didn’t witness a satisfactory return on investment in 24 months, changes would be made. The team promptly secured two substantial accounts and continued to expand its footprint with Deloitte over the subsequent three years, steadily building its presence. ZLA then became Arroyo, a name meaning “a stream of water bringing nourishment and the potential for growth.”
A Winding Connection
While Darrell achieved incredible entrepreneurial success with Zycron, his primary goal was to sell the company, which he did, to BGSF in April 2017. Darrell, Steven Howard, and Dennis joined the BGSF family, while Luis continued with Arroyo. The Arroyo family encountered some struggles in the wake of COVID-19, but they soldiered on under the unwavering leadership of Luis. Luis began to rebuild the company using the philosophies he learned from Darrell and the “people first” culture he found at Zycron. Arroyo thrived as a result.
Starting in 2021, Eric Peters, President of BGSF’s Professional Division, approached Steven Howard about acquiring a nearshore firm to better support their clients. Steven Howard immediately thought of his old friend, Luis, knowing that Arroyo had seen impressive growth and understanding that the culture he was shaping mirrored that of BGSF. Meetings began the next year, with Luis’ insistence that they would only be acquired by a company that would not disrupt the family-based culture he worked so hard to build at Arroyo. “Having been a part of the BGSF team for six years at that point, I assured Luis that BGSF was the ideal acquirer of Arroyo,” notes Steven Howard. “I also assured him that we had the sales team that would bring more growth to his company.” Steven Howard also believed that his dear friend Darrell, whom he lost that year, would have been extremely proud of this inevitable partnership.
15 Years in the Making
That brings us back to where we started. Arroyo is now part of the BGSF family, bringing their exceptional expertise, family-focused culture, and incredible dedication to serving their clients and communities. This May, Luis held the Arroyo bi-annual Movers and Shakers conference in Medellin, honoring the Arroyo team members who have gone above and beyond to support their mission. Beth Garvey, BGSF’s President & CEO, and Eric Peters attended, demonstrating their commitment to this partnership, and symbolizing the promise of a bright future together.
Within just the first four months of the acquisition, four new logos have been added to the Arroyo client list, and the pipeline grows weekly. As we reflect on this remarkable journey, one truth becomes evident: the acquisition of Arroyo Consulting by BGSF was not merely a business move, but a convergence of shared aspirations, guiding principles, and a deep-rooted commitment to client-centric excellence. The story of this partnership will undoubtedly continue to unfold, fueled by the spirit of collaboration that has been years in the making.