John Clemens '92: Service savvy

By Denise Erdahl Ploof

At 30 years old, Jon Clemens ’92 has already done what many only dream of: Starting a successful Internet business. And he’s doing it with the help of several other Puget Sound grads.

His company, Servicestop.com, offers online merchant services to employees of corporate partners. Services are a new, non-traditional benefit employers can offer workers, helping with employee satisfaction and retention. Service examples include massage, gifts, car rental and detailing, dry cleaning, meal delivery, movie rentals, house cleaning and home improvement. Most can be delivered to the employee’s home or office. Servicestop makes money by charging merchants a percentage on each transaction.

Clemens, originally from Yelm, Wash., started the company in 1998 and soon brought in two other partners. One was Dan Kaltenbach ’92. Although Clemens and Kaltenbach were both business majors and in the same class, they didn’t know each other at Puget Sound. Clemens was involved with Puget Sound’s crew program and Kaltenbach had friends in crew, so they later met through mutual acquaintences.

Other Puget Sound connections include Mike Burchett ’92, Seattle merchant sales manager, Josh Stepherson ’93, a vendor account manager, classmates Keith Vernon ’92 and Daniel Marsh ’92, who are on the company’s advisory board, and Michael Cockrill ’89, a member of the board of directors.

ServiceStop has 130 corporate clients, 300 merchants and 26 employees, with offices in Seattle, San Francisco and New York. The company’s growth has been phenomenal. "We had five guys in a warehouse at the beginning of 2000," vice president of operations Kaltenbach said.

As for the future, Clemens hopes to take the company nationwide. He wants it to be the "de facto standard for ordering services over the Internet." Kaltenbach adds that he hopes to take the company public.