Nate Bork: A student of the world, there’s still no place like home
As an entrepreneur and small business owner, Nate Bork doesn’t have the luxury of three weeks’ vacation every year. Last year, he took a four-day vacation to Jamaica — not because he didn’t want to stay longer, but because that was all the time he could take away from work.
The owner of Quantum Data Systems in Paynesville, Bork, 35, has spent much of his life in the small-town community. He grew up there and graduated from Paynesville Senior High School in 1997. After high school, Bork decided to leave Paynesville and joined the Navy, spending time in the nuclear power field before enrolling in the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., for electrical engineering. There, he studied in-depth math and physics, as well as technical computer skills.
After school, he decided to open his own computer and information technology business. Despite his desire to see more of the world, Bork believed the best place to start his business would be the place he still called home: Paynesville.
“I knew the area and I knew the people here,” Bork said. “I thought that I could help people here, and I wanted to, because I love this area.”
Since 2003, Bork has grown Quantum Data Systems from an operation in his basement to a well-respected company that provides computer services to nearly 1,400 customers. In the last six months, he has hired his first two full-time employees, with plans to add more staff in the coming year. He also recently landed an exclusive deal with Smartwerks, based out of Tampa, to provide hardware to all of the company’s clients nationwide.
Though he’s focused on growing and expanding his business — to the point that he might only sleep a few hours every night — he’s still committed to providing the same fair, small-town service that he started offering nearly 11 years ago.
“I like to provide savings for customers when I can, or at least provide more value and friendlier service,” Bork said. “There are days that I wish I could go home at 5, but I want to provide good service to people in the way that they deserve.”
When he’s not working, Bork also makes it a priority to give back to the Paynesville community. He’s a member of the Paynesville American Legion and the secretary of the Paynesville Development Corporation, a nonprofit group that works to attract new businesses to the area.
He isn’t afraid to be vocal on community issues, either. He has organized events and written editorials for the newspaper on ways that he believes the community could improve. He also ran for the Paynesville School Board a few years ago. Though he was unsuccessful, he hasn’t ruled out running for public office again if he thinks he could make a difference.
“I think that being in the Navy, you get that courage and honor instilled in you,” Bork said. “If I believe that something’s wrong, I’ll say it. I want to use my voice, and maybe it makes a difference, maybe not. But at least I can say I tried.”
In the future, Bork plans to continue using his voice – wherever it may take him.
“I’d like to travel more, experience the world and help wherever I can,” Bork said. “My dad has always told me that you can do anything you want to, and it’s cliché but true. If you work hard and stay focused, you can make things happen the way you want them to.”