Happy 25th Birthday, ArcStone!

By Lisa Hirst Carnes | September 2022

Illustration of ArcStone's 25 year badge.

This year, ArcStone is 25 years old! We are so thankful to have touched so many lives over the years.

Our Humble Beginnings

We started ArcStone after David sold a business to the Minnesota Board of Commercial Realtors. A little money, combined with his other job selling ISP services and mapping the city of Houston (pre-Google Maps) gave him the experience needed to take the plunge. I was working in marketing for another company and joined David shortly after.
In a tiny basement room in our rented triplex, ArcStone was born.

Building the Team

Early on, we were fortunate to land a big project with the State of Minnesota. We needed help, and David knew that John Fischer, whom he had worked with earlier in his career, had the talent and skills to do a good job
Soon after, Nick Longtin, Jess Louwagie, and others formed the initial ArcStone team.
The Carnes family in a tiny basement office.


Family is always close by when your headquarters is in the basement of your house. Visits from children and pets were a common occurrence.

The House Years

Shortly after founding ArcStone, David and I began our quest for a house. Side note - don't attempt to buy a house when you've been in business for less than a year. It's tough! But that's a whole other story. 
After almost giving up, we found the Lily Pad (that's what we call our house- shouldn't every home have a name?) and we still live there! Our home offered more space, and our small team soon began working in our basement. The offices were rustic to say the least, but there was always access to good coffee, snacks, and chocolate.
Things were humming along with ArcStone in the house for a few years. I'm sure we were the only house on our block with a T-1 line, backup generator, several computer servers, and double doorknobs to keep our toddler, Jackson, from bounding into the workplace. It was an everyday occurrence for our cat, Scarface, to cuddle up to the warmth of the servers. He even managed to disconnect the T-1 line a few times. 

The temporary server room we setup to make a mad dash from the old house to the new office and keep our customer's downtime to a minimum. Shortly after this photo was taken, ArcStone upgraded again, this time to co-location at a tier-1 Internet host which gave customers more than ten times the server bandwidth.

Moving On Up

After Leo, our second son, came along, we discovered that creating a focused workplace with two rambunctious boys is difficult. It was time to find an office.
We found a place in the neighborhood on 29th and Lyndale. In exchange for credit, we did web work for the restaurant in the building called jP’s American Bistro.
Since then, we’ve had offices in The Carriage House of the Semple Mansion, The Greenway Building, and finally, on Hennepin and Franklin right above Sebastian Joe’s.

The People

Over the last twenty-five years, we've gotten to work with some amazing people. We know that it's our incredible team that has kept us healthy and strong. 

We are thankful to all the people who have been part of our talented team over the years.

We couldn't have done it without you! 


At ArcStone we have a lot of traditions including a Halloween costume contest, epic Christmas party, pajama breakfast day, and many more. Many staff members continue to show up for events long after they've left the company.

Our Core Values

About ten years in, we identified values that aligned with our business. 

  • Service
  • Craftsmanship
  • Evolution
  • Harmony
  • Happiness

These are the values that drive our actions and the work we do.


Our Big Pivot

In the early years, we pretty much worked with anyone. But, several years ago we discovered that working with nonprofit organizations gave our work more meaning. It was then that we decided to focus on the needs of nonprofits. 


ArcStone has always had a deep sense of service at our core, which made it easy to transition to working with nonprofits. During the pandemic, we turned our empty office into a makeshift food shelf.

Concerts and Events

In our Greenway space, we built a stage for hosting events and concerts. It was fun and a fantastic way to create a community and bring people together. We hosted Crash Courses, Happy(Ours), Concerts, Panel Discussions, and more! 


With plenty of space and a convenient location, we often turned our office into an intimate music venue, hosted panel discussions, did professional training, held clothing swaps, and more.

The COVID Years

Like everyone else, the pandemic had a huge impact on our business. We shut down our office on March 13, 2020, and started working remote. The Greenway office space became a food share for our beloved Whittier/Wedge neighborhood. 
Thankfully, our work is conducive to working from home. We were already using Zoom and Slack, so that also helped quite a bit. We use our office space on Franklin Avenue as a mail stop and for client and team meetings.
As we anticipated our clients' needs, our services expanded to include Zoomkeeping and virtual event production. We're thankful that we were able to aide our clients in moving galas, trainings, and other events to a virtual format.
ArcStone helped produce some amazing virtual events which kept our clients connected to their community, allowing them to raise funds and continue to further their missions.
Over the years, we’ve grown and evolved as an organization. We are thankful for our amazing team and clients doing vital work to make the world a better place.
A recent ArcStone happy hour photo with some of the staff and our new custom made wooden 25 year plaque.

Cheers to 25 years!


David & Lisa

Topics: Inside ArcStone

See our nonprofit work.