Invoice Oesterle, Co-Founding father of Angie’s Checklist, Dies at 57

Invoice Oesterle, founder and longtime govt director of service scores web site Angie’s Checklist, who additionally ran Mitch Daniels’ first marketing campaign for Indiana governor however later clashed with the state’s Republican institution, died Wednesday at his Indianapolis house . He was 57.


His assistant, Jackie Annan, mentioned the trigger was problems from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often known as Lou Gehrig’s illness.

The thought behind Angie’s Checklist, which Mr. Oesterle (pronounced OST-er-lee) based in Columbus, Ohio, with Angie Hicks in 1995, was to match individuals who paid a subscription charge with trusted contractors and different house enchancment professionals, and a few of them to take away the worry of hiring a stranger to do costly house repairs.

The corporate, initially referred to as “Columbus Neighbors,” was a hyper-local affair: Ms. Hicks acquired new subscribers by going door-to-door making suggestions over the telephone, consulting an up-to-date record that wanted to be up to date every time the valuation of an organization modified. The service unfold the phrase by newspaper promoting, and the title grew to become Angie’s Checklist in 1996.

In 1999, when the dot-com increase was at its peak, Angie’s Checklist went on-line. The location, which nonetheless charged a subscription charge and in addition made cash from promoting, rated varied companies from A to F in classes reminiscent of timeliness and professionalism. It additionally allowed customers to jot down signed opinions about varied companies of their space, which Angie’s Checklist hoped make the scores fairer and extra correct. (Customers’ full names weren’t proven, however that they had to supply them to the corporate.)

Companies which have obtained dangerous opinions might attempt to work out the problem with prospects who’ve complained about Angie’s Checklist. If the corporate ignores the grievance decision course of or fails to resolve a grievance, they could find yourself within the penalty field, a type of on-line pillory, and briefly lose their itemizing on the location. Extensively acclaimed corporations obtained a Tremendous Service Award and elevated web site publicity.

Mr. Oesterle grew to become CEO in 1999 when Ms. Hicks left the corporate to attend Harvard Enterprise College. (She later returned in one other capability.) Over time, the corporate employed greater than 2,000 individuals, based totally in Indianapolis throughout Mr. Oesterle’s tenure, and developed a consumer base of hundreds of thousands in dozens of cities throughout america.

In 2004, Mr. Oesterle resigned to guide Mr. Daniels’ marketing campaign for governor. He had identified Mr Daniels, then Director of the Workplace of Administration and Funds, for years. Mr. Oesterle raised hundreds of thousands of {dollars} for Mr. Daniels’ marketing campaign by letting him tour the state in an RV, trip a bike and sleep over with voters to indicate he was a person of the individuals.

Mr. Daniels gained comfortably, beating Democratic incumbent Joseph Kernan by greater than 53 p.c of the vote.

Mr. Oesterle turned in opposition to Indiana’s Republican institution in 2015 when Mr. Daniels’ successor as governor, Mike Pence, signed the Non secular Freedom Restoration Act, a legislation critics have claimed would enable corporations to discriminate in opposition to LGBTQ individuals .

The legislation drew an outcry from politicians in different states, in addition to enterprise leaders like Apple’s Tim Cook dinner and plenty of Hoosiers — 1000’s protested outdoors the statehouse.

Mr. Oesterle threatened to cancel a $40 million deal to develop Angie’s Checklist’s Indianapolis headquarters, stop his job as chief govt to give attention to Indiana homosexual rights and again a challenger to Mr. Pence , to whom he had donated $150,000.

He informed the Indianapolis Star in 2015 that he believed the invoice would harm the state’s economic system and the Republican Occasion.

After the uproar, Indiana lawmakers rapidly handed an modification designed to guard LGBTQ individuals from discrimination. However Angie’s Checklist by no means constructed its Indianapolis enlargement.

Angie’s Checklist went public in 2011 however struggled financially after a promising IPO. Mr. Oesterle resigned as CEO in 2015, and in 2017 Angie’s Checklist was acquired for round $500 million by IAC, a digital media conglomerate managed by entrepreneur Barry Diller, who merged the corporate along with his HomeAdvisor service. Angie’s Checklist is now referred to as Angi.

William Seelye Oesterle was born on September 26, 1965 in Lafayette, Indiana, northwest of Indianapolis. He was the youngest of 5 kids born to Eric Oesterle, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue College, and Germaine (Seelye) Oesterle, who studied horticulture at Cornell College earlier than her marriage.

Mr. Oesterle grew up in West Lafayette, the place he graduated from highschool in 1983. In 1987 he earned a bachelor’s diploma in economics from Purdue College and obtained a fellowship from Governor Robert Orr.

After a couple of yr, Mr. Oesterle was employed by the Hudson Institute, a assume tank then headed by Mr. Daniels and headquartered in Indianapolis. He was later accepted at Harvard Enterprise College. However earlier than he left, Mr Daniels had a chat with him.

“He pointed his finger at my chest and mentioned, ‘You’d higher come again right here.’ “You owe us that,” mentioned Mr. Oesterle in 2021.

He obtained his grasp’s diploma from Harvard within the early Nineteen Nineties and married Melissa McCain in 1991. Their marriage led to divorce.

Mr. Oesterle labored for a non-public fairness agency in Columbus, Ohio, the place he met Ms. Hicks, a DePauw College graduate scholar.

Impressed by a publication service in Indianapolis that helped individuals discover plumbers and different house staff, Mr. Oesterle and Mrs. Hicks started working in his storage. As the corporate started to thrive, they named it after Ms. Hicks, purchased the service that initially impressed them, and ultimately moved their headquarters to Indianapolis.

In 2002, Mr. Oesterle helped discovered the Orr Fellowship, named after Governor Orr, which brings as much as 90 latest faculty graduates to Indianapolis to spend two years working for main companies.

In 2007 Mr. Oesterle married Kristi English. She survives him, as do 4 kids from his first marriage, Maggie Shipman, Katie Smith, Fischer Oesterle and Emma Oesterle; a stepdaughter, Kayla English; a daughter from a second marriage, Luella Oesterle; two brothers, Eric and Dale; two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Ellen Oesterle; and three grandchildren.

The Orr Scholarship was the primary of many efforts Mr. Oesterle made to forestall a proficient, educated workforce from leaving Indiana.

Mr. Oesterle based an organization to deal with the issue: MakeMyMove, which works with communities in Indiana and different states to supply incentives for teleworkers to relocate to these communities.

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2023-05-14 16:23:36