Custom Security Specialists– Bob All, Owner and CEO
Custom Security Specialists installs and maintains residential and commercial security solutions. Keeping customers and communities safe and free from fear is away of life at Custom Security,and employees are available 24/7,no matter what the customer needs. Currently the company has fifteen employees and does about $2 million in revenues.
From 1981 to 1986, Bob managed Home Safety Equipment Company on Hilton Head Island. In 1998, he formed Custom Security in order to continue providing the integrity, professionalism, and personal service that has become their trade mark and foundation for success. A family culture has developed over the years and continues now with daughter Robin All Blair as the company continues to grow. It is set apart as the company that cares for its customers and teammates as a family cares for each other.
British Open Pub– Damian Hayes, Owner and CEO
British Open Pub is a family-friendly pub-style restaurant featuring authentic English food with additional American favorites. It offers the finest ales and single malts cotches from the United Kingdom, in an atmosphere of good cheer surrounded by plenty of golf memorabilia. Blarney is invited, singing encouraged, and good humor admired.
Espy Lumber– Mike Reeves, President
Espy Lumber has been providing quality building materials for the Low Country since it was founded in 1958 by Wesley Espy. Initially, its primary business was to furnish concrete to the emerging resort developers.
In the 1960s, the population of Hilton Head grew and the business was broadened to include lumber and building materials. As a result,the company outgrew its original location. In the 1970s, Espy sold the concrete operation and continued to expand the lumber and building materials business. In 1979,Espy was acquired by Rodman A. McLeod and H. Ross Arnold III from the Wesley Espy estate. During the next thirty-four years, until his passing in 2013, Rod guided Espy into becoming a leader of building supplies in the Low Country.
Rod instilled in each and every employee the importance of honesty, integrity, and hard work. The 1980s and 1990s brought continued growth and expansion. In 1998, a twelve-acre site was acquired in Okatie, South Carolina, and a second location opened for business in January 2001, with their headquarters being moved to this location.
Since the company’s founding in 1958, there have been many recessions, and the building industry has had recessions when the general economy did not. But Espy has weathered the mall,including the Great Recession of 2008–2009.
Hilton Head Glass/Veronica’s Art Glass – Tom and Veronica Zombik, Owners
Tom and Veronica moved to the Hilton Head/ Bluffton, South Carolina area in 1998 from the small town of Chicopee, Massachusetts. In Chicopee they were co-owners of a family-run glass business. After a very hard recession in the early 1990s, they concluded that bringing the company back on top would be difficult and that there really was little growth potential in that area. They visited the Hilton Head area and loved it, soon the return trip they decided to sell their interest in the business in Chicopee, pull up stakes, and move to Bluffton, South Carolina, with their two young daughters,Jessica and Christine, despite neither of them having a job.
Tom quickly found work in the glass business because of his experience and expertise in that field, and Veronica started establishing her art glass business.Ultimately,they set a goal to start a custom glass and fabrication company like they had in Chicopee.
For four years they planned and did their due diligence about the area market, the location of the company, and the customers they wanted to target. They felt that Bluff ton was the right place to start their new business due to its rapid growth and significant upside potential. In 2002,they bought a building and called it Hilton Head Glass and Veronica’s Art Glass Studio. They specialize in all the fields of the glass industry.
Tom does all the mirror, glass, table tops, shower enclosures, and commercial custom glass. They focus on the residential market because people are always upgrading their homes. Veronica does stained glass ,leaded glass,etched glass,and more. Tom and Veronica believe strongly in having a company that is diversified in order to survive in today’s market.
International Dunnage, LLC – David Crenshaw, Owner and CEO
International Dunnage is an American and Turkish joint-venture company with sales offices based in Savannah, Georgia, and Istanbul,Turkey. All products are manufactured at International Dunnage’s state-of-the-art production facilities in Istanbul.
Quality is the highest priority, and International Dunnage has a full range of quality control processes. All L2 to L5 dunnage airbags are 100 percent tested and approved. International Dunnage offers excellent service with rapid and prompt delivery, as well as creative solutions for customer requirements. The fully integrated production consists of extrusion, weaving, coating, and bag conversion, utilizing the latest technology and equipment. Quality control is carried out at every stage of production under strict conditions of ISO 9001, and all products are made to comply with AAR and RAC standards.
Island Tire & Automotive Services – Berry Edwards,Owner and CEO
Island Tire &Automotive represents a forty-year-and-growing Hilton Head Island tradition of family ownership. The company was founded in 1973 to serve the automotive needs of the rapidly growing is land community and was founded on the basic principles of providing quality products, honest service, and exceptional customer convenience, and making are as on able profit in order to sustain and provide for all of the Island Tire team.
Those same principles guide the owners and staff in everything they do today. Island Tire believes that the customer is number one. The company is run by Berry Edwards III, who bought Island Tire in 2011. He previously owned an engineering and design firm with another partner. In 2009,the partner bought him out, and he began looking for another business,finding Island Tire for sale in 2010. Island Tire is proud to be a part of the American Tire Distributors Protection Plan Plus network, which is a network of locally owned tire dealers who uphold the highest degree of integrity, personal service, and technological innovation. Island Tire also offers a nationwide parts and labor warranty as well as a nation wide road hazard warranty on tires.
JCB of Georgia– Gayle Humphries, CFO
JCB of Georgia is your dealer for new JCB and used equipment for construction, agriculture, compaction, industrial, waste, and recycling industries in Eastern Georgia and Southern South Carolina. As a JCB equipment dealer, the company carries a full line of backhoes, wheel loaders, excavators, skid steers, track loaders, Vibromax compactors, industrial forklifts,tele handlers,Fastrac tractors,off-highway dump trucks,utility vehicles,and attachments. JCB also rents out equipment,
provides maintenance services, and sells parts for JCB and other
manufacturer’s equipment at highly competitive prices through their
Grid Iron Parts Solutions subsidiary.
The company started in 2001 with fourteen employees servicing the Coastal Georgia and the Augusta,Georgia regions. As the business continued to growand expand,it moved into its new facility adjacent to the JCB North American Headquarters in Pooler, Georgia, just outside of Savannah.
Gayle Humphries joined the company in 2004, and today it has twenty-four employees and annual sales of $11 million. Tony Reardon is owner and CEO. The company’s motto is, “We take pride in our ability to provide complete equipment solutions to our clients while upholding the highest standards for customer service and support.”
The Landings Club – Jesse Ruben, CFO
The Landings Club on Skidaway Island is a private club dedicated to serving members with an active lifestyle and resort-class amenities in a vacation setting. Located twelve miles from historic Savannah, The Landings Club offers members access to six golf courses, two marinas, thirty-three tennis courts, seven restaurants,five swimming pools, and an innovative fitness and wellness center.
Covert Aire– Mike Covert, Owner
Covert Aire is a family-run business, owned and operated by Michael and Theresa Covert,that is local to the Bluffton / Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Savannah market. The Coverts have four daughters.Covert Aire covers theentire South Carolina Low Country and Midlands, the Sea Islands, and the Sand Hills of Georgia, and has recently expanded to northern Florida beaches. Factory trained staff are nationally certified by organizations such as NATE, EPA, NIULPE, ACCA, ASHRAE, and other certifying
organizations. Covert Aire says that if it“heats,cools,or refrigerates, we fix it!”
National Inter state Insurance – Alan Spachman, Founder (retired)
In 1989, National Interstate Insurance opened its doors with the idea that customer service and personal attention mattered. Clients were more than mere claim numbers; they were people, with real lives, real questions, and real needs. The company was built around its customers,and in the process became one of the leading specialty property and casualty insurance companies in the country.
Today, National Interstate has more than 570 employees, including operations at Van Liner Insurance Company in Missouri, each of whom is committed to providing the highest level of personal service, the most efficient claims processing, and the best products.
As a leading specialty property and casualty insurance holding company, it offers more than thirty different insurance products, including traditional insurance, innovative alternative risk transfer (programs for commercial companies, and insurance for specialty vehicle owners).These products are available through a variety of distribution channels, including independent agents and brokers and affiliated agencies. Its insurance subsidiaries are rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Headquartered in Richfield, Ohio, National Interstate also has operations in Kapolei, Hawaii; Mechan icsburg, Pennsylvania; and Fenton, Missouri; and offers customized insurance options for:
• Passenger transportation companies
• Truck transportation companies
• Moving and storage companies
• Alternative risk transfer insurance programs for commercial risks
• Recreational vehicles
• Transportation and general commercial businesses in Hawaii and Alaska
Alan Spachman founded the company after spending a year developing the business plan for NIC and raising $5. 2 million from
thirty investors. He invested $600,000 of his own money, which was his total life savings.
Reclamation By Design– Pat and Ron Strimpfel, Owners
Reclamation By Design is a custom home builder located in Bluffton, South Carolina. Pat and Ron have been building in the South Carolina Low Country since the early 1980s. Their goal is to provide clients with a pleasant building experience at a cost-effective price. Ron is a master carpenter and a builder with extensive background and history in the construction business.The irmotto is,
“Crafted by hand, inspired by history.”
Pat had her first business at age fifteen, back in a small town in Ohio. Ron was one of ten children and has worked from aver yearly age. They got married out of high school and started a construction business, building their first spec house at aged twenty. However, they didn’t like the cold and snow, so they moved to the Hilton Head/ Bluffton, South Carolina area in 1978 when they were twenty-two years old. They used the profits from that spec house to buy a lot in Palmetto Dunes on Hilton Head and built another spec house. They made $30,000 on that house, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Today,they have a crew of six, and their company grosses about $4 million in annual revenues. While Ron is the artistic design person,does the work,and supervises the crews, Pat takes care of the administrative side of the business. What is unique is that they have been both business partners and husband and wife for forty years, which is a great testament to them that they have worked and lived together successfully for so long.
Port City Logistics– Billy Robinson, Owner and CEO
Port City Logistics was founded in 2001 and provides strategic warehouse space and transportation services. It is a leading logistics company in the South eastern United States. Billy Robinson and his partners bought the company in 2004, when the company had $1 million in revenue and five employees. In 2013, it had grown to $22 million in revenues,164 employees, and 1.6 million square feet of warehouse space in six buildings. Over the years,there have been plenty of challenges and problems,but,as Billy says, “those problems made us better and stronger.” Their motto is, “On time, on budget—the perfect logistics fit.”
Sweetener Solutions – John Curry, President and Owner
Sweetener Solutions, which manufactures high-intensity sweeteners(HIS), started in 2002 with three employees and $200,000 in sales the first year. Backed by a group of investors and equity partners, it gradually grew to reach
$1 million in sales in 2012. In 2013, its patience and perseverance paid off as sales jumped to $6 million. It now has eleven employees. The future looks bright, with sales projected to reach
$20 million in the next five years. Initially, the company was in a small 1,000-square-foot space but has now moved to a 15,000-square-foot facility. Each of today’s high-intensity sweeteners has taste and function limitations. Sweetener Solutions sources the world’s best-quality HIS to manufacture sweetener blends using proprietary,state-of-the-art technology. When compared to any stand-alone sweetener, its blends provide superior taste and functionality. The unique sweetener blends provide the taste profile and desired functionality to match customers’ food ingredient needs. Each of its sweetener blends is offered in bag-in-a-box quantities or can be portion-packed to customers’exact batch specifications.
The product development of recipe-specific HIS blends provides improved taste, reduced carbs and calories, and significant cost savings for customers. Sweetener Solutions enables customers to reduce sugar / high fructose corn syrup, reduce calories, save money, and reduce commodity risk, all the while maintaining great-tasting products. Most of the company’s applications work well in liquid applications(fruit drinks, flavored milk, yogurt, and tea are the easiest). The HIS can save customers 15 to 35 percent of their total sweetener costs,and HIS production requires significantly less water and carbon di oxide than sugar sand can shrink customers’ carbon footprint.
Peacock Cabinetry, Inc.– Terry Peacock, Owner
Peacock Cabinetry, Inc. is a full-service design firm, specializing in custom cabinetry and space planning, and committed to superior personal service with the goal of exceeding expectations. Terry is originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland but calls Savannah, Georgia, her home. She started in the cabinetry industry thirty-four years ago with Wilmington Cabinet Company,earning
$5/hour and helping customers with their cabinet selections. Over times he learned to make design drawings and moved into sales. During this time, she went to art school and also had a part-time stained glass business.She blends her artistic talents with her technical knowledge and has become a kind of “kitchen architect.”
Prior to starting Peacock Cabinetry in November 1999, she worked on commission selling cabinetry for eleven years. Her first customers came from builders who she knew since she had worked in the industry for so long. She went to SCORE, and they helped her write a business plan. To get started she needed a line of credit and approached numerous banks, all of which turned her down because at that point the company had no collateral and no track record. Finally, she found a local bank willing to help and got a $5,000 line of credit. She only used it twice in that first year and immediately paid it back. It helped that her initial customers, the builders, were willing to give her a 50 percent down payment on the job order.
Her husband,Hunter,has been instrumental in helping her shape her business philosophy, particularly in staying debt free. Peacock Cabinetry also has a division that sells and installs security safes, and Hunter handles this side of the business. Terry attributes a lot of the company’s success to Hunter. Ass he says,“I certainly could not have made this business what it is without his hard work.” Her company now employs eleven people and has four install crews with whom it subcontracts. Annual gross sales are about $3 million.
The Greenery– Scott Slawson, CFO
The Greenery provides a full range of landscaping, maintenance, and construction services for both residential and commercial customers. It also has a garden center and sells gift items.
The company was first established on Hilton Head Island in 1973 by Ruthie and Berry Edwards. After vacationing on the island, the couple became enchanted with the area,decided
to live the island life, and moved to Hilton Head. When the couple
relocated, they bought a small landscape nursery( Hillside Landscape Nursery)with a staff of six employees,a couple of old pickup trucks, and the desire to do something different. Ruthie and Berry focused on growing their business by hiring the most knowledgeable and experienced landscaping and gardening staff in the Low Country. That commitment to providing the highest-quality customer service in the area has helped The Greenery grow into one of the largest and most highly respected landscaping companies in the Southeast.
Lee Edwards, son of Ruthie and Berry, started his career at The Greenery as a young boy, spending his afternoons and weekends helping out in the garden nursery.Lee,now The Greenery’s CEO, is providing new leadership at the helm of this employee-owned corporation. The Greenery recently celebrated its fortieth anniversary in February 2013. Founder Berry Edwards,now retired,comments, “Who would have thought our little landscape company back in the 1970s would be what it is today?”
The company has grown from a small family-owned business to a 100-percent-employee-owned company poised for growth in South Carolina and Georgia.In the peak season, the company employs over
750 employees and has annual sales of over $40 million.
Olio Tasting Room – Penny Willimann
If you visited the home kitchen of Olio Tasting Room proprietor Penny Willimann, you would discover her counter is barely visible under all the bottles of olive oils and balsamic vinegars lined up in neatly organized rows.This obsession in her kitchen grew over many years and ultimately inspired her to open her first Northern Virginia tasting room in Old Town Alexandria in 2011 and her second in Middleburg, Virginia, a year later.
“I wanted my friends and neighbors,cooks and novices alike, to discover what I already had—that quality oils and vinegars are a game changer for your diet,your taste buds,your health and,of-course, for your dinner parties. I wanted them to try the products in the store before they buy so they could truly understand the difference.” This notion inspired the tasting room concept.
These days Penny splits her time between her “three”babies—the stores and her two small children. She can often be found in the stores “chatting it up” with customers, and occasionally you might find her four-year-old quietly snacking on bread and balsamic dip at the counter.She loves to hear from her customers about all the great ways they use the products. Send her your favorite recipe to
Since opening, Olio Tasting Room has expanded its product lines to include pastas, sauces, teas, sea salts, tapenades, specialty condiments,and more. “Weaim to source locally when possible, to know our producers, and to buy foods with ingredients we can pronounce. Olio products have graced the kitchens of many happy clients near and far, as well as exciting spots such as the Italian embassy,Salamander Resort and Spa, local wineries, gourmet shops, restaurants, and even a few wedding tables.”
Calf killer Brewing Company – Donand Dave Sergio,Owners
It all began in 2001 with two brothers who dreamed of having some sort of business together. Coincidentally, they were also beginning an aggressive home brewing hobby—expanding their palettes and those of their families. Growing up in a family construction company,
the brothers converted a horse shed in Don’s backyard into a home brewery using 100 percent recycled materials. They then began brewing Calf killer beer in 2004.
The brothers loved their beer and enjoyed serving it at family functions,friends’ weddings, and other festival sand contests.They became known for making great beers and decided to pursue a side business producing Calf killer beer on a larger scale. From 2006 to 2010, the brothers fought legal battles, raised families, worked full-time construction jobs, and honed their Calf killer beer-making craft. They collected old dairy and brewing vessels and constructed a building at night and on weekends, again using recycled materials.
Today, they continue brewing Calf killer beers on the brewing system they pieced together. The duo are always adding equipment when possible, continuously dreaming of the future, but never losing sight of the beer that is being brewed today.
Uni Source Mortgage Services,Inc.–Bill Fletcher,President
Uni Source Mortgage Services is a privately owned mortgage brokerage that was founded by Jim Fletcher in 1996 (opened for business in January 1997). The goal of establishing the company as a dynamic brokerage was a family affair from the start. Jim’s youngest son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Sharon Fletcher, were among the company’s very first employees as loan originator and loan processor,
respectively. Jim’s oldest son, Bill, joined the company in 1998.
The company initially served clients in South Carolina and
Georgia, but as the company grew, so did its territory as it expanded
to include five other states (Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi,and Tennessee). Following the 2008–2010 recession,the company reduced its footprint to South Carolina and Tennessee.The company’s head quarters are located in Bluffton, South Carolina,and Bill Fletcher currently serves as the company’s president and chief operation officer while Jim, a former certified public accountant, serves as the company’s chief financial officer.