The term “redleg” (one g) was coined during the American Civil War and referred to the two-inch scarlet stripe that was sewn onto each pant leg of a Field Artillery soldier’s uniform.
Artillery soldiers, with a mission to “destroy, defeat, or disrupt the enemy with integrated fires”, were considered the elite back then because of the extent of casualties they inflicted on the battlefield. The Field Artillery killed the lion’s share of the enemy (about 75%), so they became known collectively as the King of Battle, distinguishing themselves again in both World Wars.
Redlegs were recently deployed as infantry during the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.
Lynn Weddle founded RedLegg in 2008. He served in the Field Artillery unit of the National Guard for most of his life, and “RedLeg” (one g) was a nickname and a password he often used (not anymore, of course). Growing up in a military family in the small town of Thayer, IL, Lynn spent his summers picking beans and hanging out with friends. He was always interested in finance, good with numbers, and loved adventures and taking risks. With a career in information data protection spanning over 20 years, he originally received his degree in finance from Southern Illinois University.
Laura Hees grew up in a business-oriented family, where operations were always (and still are) discussed at every family gathering. Laura persevered in a male-dominated household to get her degree from the University of Michigan, and she maintains a customer-centric attitude and focus on security infrastructure.
In 2008, many entrepreneurs were interested in becoming IT resellers. At the start of their partnership, Lynn was keenly interested in this aspect, but Laura had reservations and knew all about hardships of having a small business. Lynn prevailed and the two started a customer-focused IT hardware and support company, naming it RedLegg.
But how to get started? The partners met with a couple potential customers to see whether they were willing to take a chance on the fledgling company while it established credit with distributors. The parties agreed, and RedLegg did whatever it took to take care of them.
Initially, Lynn worked in the basement—and Laura in the rooftop cubby—of a Chicago home. Lynn cold-called area businesses to create a business plan based on which services potential customers wanted to buy and what it was worth to them while Laura coordinated and executed the services or products that were being sold, continually improving the new company's customer-facing processes.
Following the business plan, RedLegg initially targeted data protection services: SANS (storage area networks), virtualization, and server hardware procurement. The company also supplied workstation hardware such as desktops, notebooks, and any related items. Sometimes orders were large, so the home’s garage functioned as a staging area for large pallets—another fine example of a garage-borne small business.
The business took off quickly and the partners realized they needed help, so they hired two local professionals and established the first RedLegg office on nearby Grand Avenue. The four-person team took a deep breath and worked hard to not only sustain the business but to grow beyond data protection and establish product partnerships in the IT industry.
After nearly two years, one RedLegg's security product partners suggested that to provide more value to clients the company needed to offer formal security services. Enter security!
RedLegg hired its first security SMEs and began to offer clients Enterprise Security Assessments. The partners discovered that clients truly enjoyed—and really needed—having security experts available by phone and through established consultation hours. They also discovered a new focus for the company that would grow in parallel with the ever-expanding client security needs.
RedLegg’s strategy has always been focused on data protection, the direction determined by client security needs, desires, and industry trends. The company has shifted its hiring process to find expert leaders in security who have area-specific team leadership skills and who know how to implement their solutions, with the full support of RedLegg management behind them.
To see their initial vision become reality, the partners have always depended on their work ethic, open-mindedness, consistency, adaptability, amazing customers, and phenomenal co-workers.
But all of this is just the beginning of RedLegg!
As a global partner in cybersecurity, we believe in continually evolving security practices and improving operational security services to provide our clients an exceptional cybersecurity solution and experience.