West Arete
Our Company
Your project may only take a few months to complete. But we've been working on its foundation for more than a decade.
Our Mission

To work alongside visionary clients and colleagues, crafting software that makes a positive impact.

To lift up the communities that we live in, the environment that surrounds them, and the individuals within them.

To provide opportunities for the curious to discover the joy of creating elegant, useful software.

To lead the way on sustainable, responsible business, and share with others how it can be done.

To provide a place to do the best possible work, while leading the best possible life, with those you love both inside and outside of work.


Our Team
SCOTT WOODS
President
Scott founded West Arete in 2005. He's been programming and writing software for most of his life. His passion is making custom software development predictable and profitable for our clients, while providing an awesome work environment for his team.


CHET SWALINA
Project Management
Chet focuses on back end development. He has a background in high performance scientific computing. Chet's goal is to write agile, robust code, providing a solid foundation for the apps developed at West Arete.
DAN CILETTI
Director of Finance
Dan's expertise and experience lies in finance. Having spent considerable time managing financials, big data and complex processes Dan brings a keen eye for profitability and growth to the West Arete team. He's most passionate about contributing his efforts and abilities to a growing company which, in turn, gives back to the community.

ERIC DURANTE
Software Developer
Eric's focus is on back end development. He helps to write the behind-the-scenes software that drives the websites and applications that we build. Eric is driven to craft well tested code that can remain flexible throughout its lifespan.



ERIKS PERKONS
Finance & Office Manager
Eriks manages accounts receivable, and keeps the office running and distraction-free for the development team. With a background in paleontology and the outdoor industry, Eriks brings a unique perspective to finance and daily operations. When not in the office, Eriks can typically be found getting lost deep in the Pennsylvania woods.
LUKE NIEDERMYER
Director of Development
Luke's specialty is front end development. Turning great designs into awesome websites, Luke crafts the fine details but does not lose sight of the project's big picture. His new focus is streamlining our development operations.
RYAN SCHENK
Software Developer
Ryan's focus is on back end development. Ryan has an array of stellar skills in scientific computing and big data and he adds extensive experience in data visualization and interface design. Ryan specializes in solving complex programming questions with innovative—yet solid—code design.
SALLY WOODS
Finance & Personnel
Sally handles the financial and personnel aspects of the business, so the rest of us focus on our clients and software. She has spent several years working in financial administration, accounting, and auditing. Sally helps keep West Arete running smoothly so employees and clients have a great experience.
Our Culture
West Arete has a unique culture that values our employees as individuals and seeks to give everyone the chance to lead their best possible life.
Sabbaticals
West Arete's most mind-blowing benefit is a mandatory one-month sabbatical for every employee, every year. Yes, this is in addition to vacation. Yes, every person must take one. No, you can't check your work email; we shut off all of your accounts when you leave.

Why do we do this? Because it's easily one of the most impactful things that we can do for our employees' lives. Because we each come back incredibly refreshed and motivated. Because it's actually incredibly powerful for streamlining operations and validating responsibilities.

Certifications
We are committed to being socially and environmentally conscious.
1% For The Planet
Since our first day in business, West Arete has committed to donating 1% of all sales, regardless of profit, to nonprofit environmental organizations (several tens of thousands of dollars to date). Our employees research and select the nonprofit organizations that they feel will have the greatest impact, and 1% for the Planet certifies the donations and recipients.



B Corporation
West Arete is a Certified B Corporation. This means that we have passed the rigorous 3rd party certification process by B Lab, which ensures that our company significantly and materially contributes to our employees, our customers, our community, and the environment. It validates that we live by the high standards set in our mission statement.



Bicycle Friendly Business
West Arete has always encouraged active travel to and from work. We intentionally chose a central downtown location at the intersection of two major bike routes in order to make it easier to bike or walk to work every day. We provide covered bike parking, an indoor changing/repair room, and a monthly bonus to each employee who can get to work under their own power.
Our History
We believe that life is too short and precious for us to spend our time and talents developing software that does anything but make the world a better place.
We committed ourselves from day one to sustainable business practices.
West Arete was founded in 2005 in State College, PA as a custom software development company for research groups and academic institutions. Our small initial team drew upon their background in high-performance computing, data, and scalability to solve worthy research problems with custom software.

Even in these early days, we gravitated towards worthy causes. Our early projects advocated for social good by advocating for living wages around the country, by studying how to improve iron absorption in women with anemia, and by examining how speech naturally develops in bilingual children.

We also committed from day one to sustainable business practices. We were one of the first 100 companies to join 1% for the Planet. This commitment to donate 1% of our annual sales (not profit) to environmental nonprofit organizations was no small feat for an early stage company that often wouldn't have any excess cash to spare. Yet when we see the impact that those many tens of thousands of dollars have made, we have never doubted that it was the right thing to do. Our business simply adapted to the commitment, rather than the other way around.
Over the years as our company grew and matured, we deepened our commitments to social and environmental good by becoming a certified B Corporation and a Silver Bike Friendly Business. We became more involved in our local community by spearheading several technical and entrepreneurial efforts. And we introduced radical employee benefits such as fully-paid, $0 deductible health insurance for each employee's entire family, and mandatory one-month sabbaticals every year, for every employee.

We eventually broadened our target market to serve other industries, and not just academia. But we narrowed our focus to serve the organizations that are doing good in the world, namely nonprofit organizations, foundations, and purpose-driven companies. We feel that life is to short and precious for us to spend our time and talents developing software that does anything but make the world a better place.

We are proud of our company's history and the continuity and accomplishments that have come from it. But we have ambitious plans for West Arete's future. There is so much more to do.
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