April 27, 2012By Business Journal Staff
Where are they now?
Checking in with past CEA recipients
Advanced Maintenance (2011)
Chris P. Holman, CEO and director of franchising
Advanced Maintenance continues to be a leader in commercial vehicle service, repair and management in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. In 2011, our company had a 27 percent growth in system-wide sales. We also completed and moved into our new corporate headquarters and franchise training center in May of last year.
New company locations are being targeted through our new area developer agreements and area representative agreements, as well as our individual franchise location offerings. Future corporate locations are in the works for early 2013.
Advanced Maintenance has garnered noteworthy recognitions. This year, we have been recognized by Military Friendly Franchise as an outstanding franchise system for veterans and CEO Chris Holman was re-appointed to the International Franchise Association’s Vet Fran Committee. We were also recognized as a green company by Fleet Magazine in January of this year. And in March, we were named by CCJ Journal as national leader in on-site vehicle maintenance and repair.
Glide Bikes (2011)
Ed Mondello, president
In addition to our warehouse in Los Angeles, we have opened a location in Wilmington and have added two people to our staff. We are also thinking of adding a warehouse in Seattle, Wash. Our growth trajectory is not as fast as I would like but we’re still growing and adding new dealers and international locations.
We have some new products in the pipeline and hope to have our first production run over the next three months.
Cape Fear Rain Water Harvesting, Inc. (2011)
Cape Fear Green Solutions, Inc.
Richard A. Harris, president
Since last year, my company has seen significant growth in business, primarily in new military construction taking place at Camp Lejeune.
We are contracted and working with three prime contractors designing and installing large rainwater harvest systems for four dormitories or bachelor-enlisted quarters and a motor transport facility. The military is committed to using our technology to reduce its demand on the local water supply by 50 percent. We are bidding many more projects on the various bases.
Our full-time employees have increased from four to eight, and we project steady growth over the next five years.
CMS Tool and Die, Inc. (2010)
Nick Chambliss, president
Being named the Coastal Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year has been a tremendous promotional tool for our company.
Last year, we expanded our building space by adding a 1,600-square-foot building on an adjacent lot. It is used for additional office space, storage and material storage and preparation. We cleared and resurfaced the area behind our building for additional parking and storage.
Our key personnel have been diligent in maintaining high standards in order to attract new customers and keep existing customers coming back. We have added a shipping/ receiving/stock manager staff position.
Due to these efforts, our 2011 sales exceeded 2010 sales by 13 percent, while the first quarter of 2012 exceeded the first quarter of 2011 by 104 percent and the overall sales for 2011 by 57 percent. This sales increase has resulted in our adding a second shift and a part-time third shift, with four part-time employees.
We have expanded our production capability by investing in a new Haas high-speed vertical machining center. We’ve also bought a large-capacity panel van to make deliveries and to transport raw material. We created a new website that is much more conducive to bringing in new clients, and added the video from the Coastal Entrepreneur Award ceremony and GWBJ article. Both are also on our Facebook page.
N2 Publishing (2010)
Duane Hixon, CEO
The Coastal Entrepreneur Awards were great for us and offered excellent exposure. We made the Inc. 5000 list last year as the 1,130th fastest-growing private company in the nation, the 30th fastest-growing company in North Carolina and second fastest-growing in Wilmington. We also made the list of the 30 fastest-growing media companies in the U.S. alongside companies such as LinkedIn and Pandora.
We’ve opened up over 100 locations across the U.S., and now have over 150 full-time people on our team with another 100 part-timers. We continue to hire people from all over the U.S. They are moving to Wilmington to enjoy this awesome city and work with a cool company. We’ve also hired many recent UNCW grads to help keep up with our growth.
N2 Publishing is on track to exceed $20 million in sales this year.
Holt Oil Company (2010)
Bill Holt, district supervisor
This year, we opened a new convenience store that we’ve been working on for almost two years. It is located in Cameron, N.C., in the heart of military expansion at Fort Bragg.
The store offers a Quizno’s and Going Postal in addition to typical convenience store items and gasoline sales. We are very pleased with the outcome of the project and look forward to strong sales growth.
Bill Holt joined a nationwide study group designed for convenience store operators. He attends a three-day meeting four times a year in different parts of the country. The facilitator leads the group in discussions of sales, profit, expenditures and other facets of our business. We have found it to be very helpful in giving us benchmarks for success.
We’ve also upgraded some outdated equipment and signage.
Freedom Lawns USA, Inc. (2009)
Mark A. Tamn, president of Freedom Franchises, Inc.
Freedom Lawns USA, Inc. and Freedom Franchises, Inc. have continued to grow organic-based lawn care companies and the franchise system since winning the Coastal Entrepreneurship Award in the service business category. The company has grown more than 15 percent company-wide since 2009.
From our corporate offices in Hampstead, we now operate eight franchise locations in North and South Carolina. Freedom Lawns also has its own private label of organically fortified lawn and plant fertilizers that are available for retail. The company was awarded Platinum Green status in 2010 by the Green Business Bureau.
Freedom Lawns is currently seeking to expand into the Fayetteville, Raleigh and Hilton Head markets within the next 18 months.
Stephanie L. Kimbro, founder
My company was acquired in October 2009 by Total Attorneys, a Chicago-based company. Since then we have worked with that company remotely to further develop the technology and to promote the concept of online delivery of legal services. From our startup, I have had the opportunity to publish two books for the American Bar Association on technology and practice management. Both were best-sellers in the profession. This success has led to speaking opportunities across the country and in Canada. The first week in May, I will be speaking at Stanford Law School.
I have been involved in advising other tech startups and I am currently on the advisory board of a legal tech startup in Silicon Valley. I’ve established a reputation in the legal profession for my work with virtual law practice and with the ethical issues involved in cloud-based delivery of legal services. Now I’m ready to turn back to Wilmington to find ways of getting involved in the tech community here and providing mentorship at the local level.
Global Test Supply (2009)
Robert Preville, former CEO
My update: I’ve sold the business and am currently unemployed!