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Meet Justin Copie, the man behind the company renaming Frontier Field

Adam Bello stands to the right of Justin Copie in front of the entrance to Frontier Field
Brian Sharp
/
WXXI News
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello stands with Innovative Solutions owner and CEO Justin Copie at a news conference on Oct. 25, 2022, announcing the company would be taking over naming rights for what has always been Frontier Field.

Frontier Field’s impending name change to Innovative Field put a little-known but fast-growing company in the spotlight.

What is Innovative Solutions? And why would a company want to spend roughly $300,000 a year raise its flag over a ballpark in downtown Rochester?

The company is owned and operated by Justin Copie. He just turned 40.

"I grew up here in Rochester," he says. "So I'm born and raised, went to RIT, played baseball on this field in Little League. It's a very special place — very, very special."

Innovative Solutions provides managed cloud services and tech support for small and mid-sized businesses. A cloud service is any program where a large part of the processing is done on a remote server. Think Gmail or Zoom. But tailored to an individual business.

"We've worked together and known each other for a long time," says Vinnie Esposito, who heads up the state's regional economic development efforts, and spoke as a news conference announcing the change in field naming rights. "I've had the pleasure of seeing innovative solutions really grow.

"And I'm pretty excited," Esposito continues, "to see this community start to learn more about your company."

The deal still requires legislative sign off. But the switch is unlikely to face opposition.

The company mirrors the man who leads it.

Copie is a millennial. He sports high-tops with his suits. And rarely wears a tie. He talks about tech as a human endeavor, about work having seasons and about making connections.

He was the company’s youngest hire back in 2003. It was a software development house then. The decision to transition to the cloud came shortly before he took over.

“Last year," he says, "we doubled in size, we'll double in size again this year."

Employment has been placed at different times at 70 or 80. The company — which has satellite offices in Chicago, Detroit, Austin, San Antonio and Toronto — did not respond to requests for specifics on the local workforce and overall sales.

About a year ago, Copie approached Frontier about handing off naming rights to the downtown ballfield.

“The biggest reason that companies do it is obviously brand awareness," he says. "But for me, it's deeper than that.”

He likened the sponsorship role to becoming a community steward, with the platform to draw attention to issues. And the opportunity to set an example, of showing a commitment to a community where he grew up and his business did, too.

“I felt like it was really important for a company to stand up locally that is growing, that has every intention on staying in the state of New York, in Monroe County, and obviously, in Rochester," he says.

"And, and I hope at the very least it inspires other business owners locally to do the same.”

Brian Sharp is WXXI's business and development reporter. He has been covering Rochester since 2005, working most of that time as an investigative reporter with the Democrat and Chronicle. His journalism career spans nearly three decades.