THE HISTORY OF PARAGON
The history of Paragon Innovations is inextricably linked to the history of CEO and Founder Mike
Wilkinson, who's shaped the journey and core mission of Paragon from the beginning.
Wilkinson has led the company from its inception with a focus on core values of integrity, respect,
courage, accountability and community, and that leadership has driven Paragon's success.
That success is measurable – Paragon landed on the list of the 100 fastest Aggie-owned businesses
in 2005, 2006 and 2010, and the entire Paragon family's commitment to those aforementioned
core values has led to strong relationships with many longtime customers.
But how did Wilkinson and Paragon get here? Where did the company begin, and how has it grown into what it is today?
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.
The Software House
In high school, Wilkinson was
already dreaming big, and he
started a consulting business
labeled "The Software House."
Wilkinson graduated in 1986 from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas with a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology (now ESET).
After graduation, Wilkinson headed to Spectradyne, a company providing pay-per-view movies for hotels, and provided key Software Engineering.
Precision Electronic Products (PEP)
In 1988, he joined PEP, which also provided PPV movies to hotels and hospitals. The company was sold in 1990.
After the sale of PEP, Wilkinson started his own business under the name Innovative Engineering. In 1991, he makes a bold move, acquiring a small building in Allen, Texas to house his operation. The name would later be changed to Paragon Innovations.
Wilkinson's hard work and willingness to be bold paid off. InterFlo, a medical device manufacturer, became the company's first customer, developing technology that continued to lead in the field of continuous cardiac output monitors.
Wilkinson was joined by Michael Willey, who currently serves as CTO, to moonlight at Paragon while working for Communications Technology Cor- poration, where the two initially met.
Paragon Comes to Life
In 1993, Wilkinson and Willey incorporated under Paragon Innovations and began hiring key employees. Shortly after, Motorola, Hitachi and Baxter joined the fold as clients.
Paragon's First Hire
Brent Duncan was Paragon's first hire and he has now been with the company for 27+ years. This longevity highlights the com- pany's culture, consistency and commit- ment to its core values, as every member of the Paragon team is treated like family. The company's second hire, Kris Stafford, also enjoyed a lengthy career at Paragon.
Heading to Richardson
In 1995, Wilkinson began renting the Allen space and moved Paragon to a larger footprint in Richardson, Texas. This tripled the size of the young company's office space, and, over about five years in that new space, Paragon adds a bevy of impactful clients, such as Mini Med.
3M Ups the Ante
In 1997, Paragon won 3M's business, kicking off a partnership that lasted a decade. The relationship between the two companies remains strong.
Packing Up for Plano
In 2000, the company moved again, this time to Plano, Texas. Paragon would remain in the Plano office until 2009.
During that nearly 10-year period in Plano, Paragon continued to add to its strong roster of clients, bringing on the likes of Andrew Communications, MCI Telecom, Isotag (now Authentix), Siemens Aircraft, L3 Military Division, Smart Start, ADVISYS, British Petroleum, and more.
Current Richardson HQ Comes to Life
In 2010, the company headed back to Richardson, establishing a new headquarters that still serves Paragon to this day.
The Sky's the Limit
Paragon has continued to excel and bring on impactful clients, helping innovate key products like Astech, an automobile remote diagnostic tool, and Satellite Track- ing of People, or STOP, designing the eighth version of the solution and getting it correct on the first pass. Paragon maintains a commitment to getting it right the first time, and these successes have driven the company to new heights.