By Cary Ordway
Sometimes the lure of retirement and a good fishing hole are just not enough challenge for an executive in the fast-paced, frenetic world of electronic communications. The fish may be biting, but the executive may also be chomping at the bit to get back into the game.
That’s kind of the way it was for Interwest Communications President Rich Magnussen, according to his son and Interwest VP, Aren. It was back in 1975 that Rich founded Interwest in Denver, Colorado, and built it into a major concern with more than 200 employees. An avid outdoorsman, Rich had visited the Wenatchee area and decided to sell his company and move his family here where he bought a 52-acre apple orchard.
He worked his orchard but it wasn’t long before he was anxious to apply his IT know-how to starting another communications company, again called Interwest. The new company opened for business in Cashmere in 1988.
Today Interwest is located in downtown Wenatchee and Aren is managing most of the day-to-day operations while Rich stays involved in the business. A 2001 graduate of Wenatchee High School and a 2005 graduate of Central Washington University in IT, Aren also had a lot of exposure to the business as he was growing up. He now is leading a 15-employee staff as they expand into new markets primarily in Eastern Washington. The company has had an office in the Tri-Cities for seven years and Interwest has recently opened a new office in Spokane.
So what exactly does Interwest Communications do? Originally just offering phone service, the business has morphed over the years into an IT services company: NEC business telephone systems, network infrastructure that includes any kind of low-voltage cabling, data networking equipment and wireless access systems and commercial security. The company counts major employers like Confluence Health and Stemilt Growers, and Cashmere Valley Bank among its customers.
Interwest Communications is located at 229 S. Wenatchee Avenue. For more information, please phone 800-759-3960 or visit www.interwestcommunications.com.