As 1986 opened our founder, Barbara Tomlin, a veteran in traditional marketing arenas, was managing a CompuShop computer superstore in Copper Square, Downtown Albuquerque. That store was one of 53 in the national chain started in Richardson Texas by Warren Winger. In June 1985 the CompuShop chain was acquired by Bell Atlantic Corporation. In February 1986 Bell Atlantic announced it was pulling out of the computer market and sold the last of its 65 CompuShop retail chain stores to CompuCom. However, in recognition of the notable accomplishments Barb had made through managing its Albuquerque store, NMADT, Bell Atlantic board members asked her to meet with them directly to discuss other opportunities in working with the company. She was asked to become their national sales training director but after careful consideration, she opted to resign, start her own business and take Bell Atlantic on as her first strategic consulting client.
In March 1986 Barbara launched this business as a proprietorship under the DBA of Computer-Aided Sales Help. After being tagged for her “westward connections” for five years, in 1991 Barb changed our business name to Westward Connections. Westward Connections quickly became a full-service marketing agency and information technology resource bureau. Our focus for the next few years was on working with high-technology companies having or seeking a presence online. We helped clients create customer and staff support networks within the proprietary interactive online services of Prodigy, America Online and CompuServe. We were among the first in our field to migrate our clients to doing business on and communicating through the Internet. From 1991 through 2001 we specialized in electronic marketing and communications consulting and information technology services. Through that time, the bulk of our clients were based in New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Florida.
The 9/11 tragedy took a major toll on our client base. As 2002 came to an end, our company was commissioned to orchestrate the 2003 inaugural ceremonies for Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia. Upon returning to Albuquerque after completing that assignment, we decided to concentrate on serving clients in our local marketplace.