The foundations of what would become Memory Fortress began with an old box of pictures and a $60 flatbed scanner. The founders were caught halfway between the past and the future, with about 10,000 digital pictures that were highly unorganized, and another 15,000 analog pictures that were in boxes and photo albums across three states and several households. We knew what we wanted the end state to be – 25,000+ photos all digitized, easily accessible, tagged properly so they could be sorted in any manner quickly and effectively, and the ability for rapid distribution and reproduction. But the project was big and when we calculated the sheer number of hours it would take – it was several hundred hours of tedious backbreaking work that was beyond our ability at the time.
We looked at several existing services and shook our heads. They all took at least two weeks to complete a simple order, and some took a month and a half and shipped your memories on the slow boat to Asia for processing! Obviously that wasn’t going to work. With few exceptions, none of these services could digitize photos for less than 25 cents per loose picture. There was no ability to combine our existing 10,000 digital pictures with the newly digitized 15,000. There was no ability to tag any of them at all. The closer we studied the problem, the more we realized that everyone in the country had this same problem. Existing services were only touching a small part of the problem, and charging a fortune for it. We decided to take action. That was in April 2009.
Keith Osbon is the founder and President of Memory Fortress. He has been passionate about preserving his family’s history throughout his life, and launched the company in 2015 to address the important need that all Americans have.
Prior to Memory Fortress, Keith worked as a senior executive in digital analytics, starting in 2009. A former Army captain, he began his post-military career in 1997 as a quantitative money manager for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Keith has a BA from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Georgia.
Steve Kester is the Chairman of the Board for Memory Fortress. He has spent the last 15 years investing in ideas, people and companies where he can work alongside management to deliver great investor returns. The results include companies that have gone public, attracted venture capital, or were acquired by Fortune 500 companies. His investments have been in the technology, financial services, consumer products and healthcare industries. Prior to his investing activities, Steve had successful careers in consulting and engineering. He has an undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Wharton.
Lori Griggs is the Creative Director for Memory Fortress. She has been with the company since its inception in 2015, and has focused on photo scanning, and old documents. Lori is an avid researcher, and much of our initial equipment came from her recommendations and purchases. In addition to her contributions to Memory Fortress, she is a talented painter. She has a BFA from Georgia Southwestern University.
Tamara McGrath is the chief scanning technician for Memory Fortress. When you send your precious memories to Memory Fortress, there is a very good chance that Tammy is highly involved in making sure that the entire digitizing process is done correctly, on time, and in order. Tammy spent 17 years in corporate America with local Atlanta companies such as ICM Mortgage and Bellsouth/Cingular. Tammy married her husband Chris and has two beautiful children.