Team O’Neil Rally School of Dalton honored as the SBA 2013 New Hampshire Veteran Owned Business of the Year
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced they honored Team O’Neil Rally School of Dalton with the SBA 2013 New Hampshire Veteran Owned Business Award. Owner Tim O’Neil, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and five-time US and North American Rally Racing Champion was one of America’s brightest rally stars. At the height of his career with Volkswagen and Mitsubishi, O’Neil withdrew from the competition to follow his passion to teach.
He opened Team O’Neil Rally School in Dalton, New Hampshire, a car control and rally training facility. For the past 18 years business owner Tim O’Neil has trained thousands of everyday drivers, plus professional rally drivers, US government and private security personnel, in advanced car control, rally and winter driving techniques.
O’Neil got his hands dirty early in life at his family’s logging business in Whitefield, New Hampshire. In1977, he joined the United States Air Force and became a Fuel Systems Technician, maintaining F-111s at Canon Air Force Base in New Mexico. It was this experience that laid the groundwork for future success. According to O’Neil, "Working in the Air Force taught me a great deal about work ethic, discipline and pride in one’s work. It made me believe that I could achieve anything I set my mind to." In 1982, he returned to New Hampshire and worked at several car dealerships where he received factory training for a variety of makes. Soon he decided to go into business for himself and opened Franconia Service Center, a foreign car repair shop with 5 full-time employees.
At the same time he followed his passion for competitive driving and began a 15 year motorsports career in stock cars. He won rookie of the year honors in 1982, and was crowned Canada’s Novice of the Year in 1986. After winning the New England Division Championship in 1987, Tim was recruited to drive for Volkswagen and later Mitsubishi. O’Neil went on to win many individual and manufacturer championship events in the US and internationally.
O’Neil’s professional success in rallying led to another passion, driving instruction and coaching. He worked with a number of major automotive manufacturers to teach other drivers advanced driving techniques and introduce new products. He instructed more than 3,000 students at driving schools in the United States, England, Scotland, and Wales, developed the nationally recognized O’Neil Winter Driving Techniques, and coached many drivers to National Championships. His specialties included sport utility vehicle safety and survival programs.
In 1997 O’Neil and his wife Holly opened their driving school, Team O’Neil Rally School and Car Control Center, to teach rally and winter driving techniques. They started small with only a few cars and a small but dedicated staff of three. Within a few short years he was looking for more space. The location was a foregone conclusion: it had to be a place where the weather was as challenging as it was inspiring, the demands on the driver unrelenting, and the rewards of mastering the "art" of driving unmatched. A place where four season training was possible. The site for the school, the Great North Woods of New Hampshire, was a foregone conclusion.
So O’Neil sold his hugely successful auto maintenance business and purchased a 300 acre tract of land in Dalton. Along the way he consulted with SBA’s Small Business Development Center and took advantage of SBA’s Patriot Express loan program, which is designed to streamline financing for military veterans who are entrepreneurs. His business continued to grow by serving the needs of individuals, private security firms, and military for tactical driving techniques in various terrains. Plus he continued to train new generations of rally drivers.
By the summer of 2007, classes were so overbooked that he was turning away customers. O’Neil decided to develop another training area. With the support of TD Bank and NCIC he expanded the "North End" of his operation, hired more instructors, set up more cars for training and hired more mechanics. Today the company has grown into what many consider the premier all-season rally school in the US, employing some 26 people, including instructors, mechanics, operations, and administrative staff.
O’Neil said, "I’m proud to represent all the veterans who followed their dreams to start up their own business and I’m honored to be able to build a business on training security professionals and as times are changing to be able to offer the same type of training to people who are unable to get these skills elsewhere. We have steadily seen the trends change over the past 4 years and we have been working towards re-branding the company to appeal to the mainstream motorist."
SBA salutes Tim O’Neil for his service to our country, his storied driving career, and his success in transforming a passion for competitive driving into a successful business venture. Congratulations to Team O’Neil Rally School and Car Control Center, the SBA 2013 New Hampshire Veteran Owned Business of the Year.
Garland Mill Timberframes of Lancaster, New Hampshire was recently named the 2013 Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Business Award winner by SBA New Hampshire. This award recognizes a business that has been passed on to the next generation, demonstrating long term staying power, economic growth, and commitment to their community.
Garland Mill Timberframes is a design/build company that provides high quality craftsmanship and materials along with state-of-the-art building methods. The heart of the operation is the Garland Mill, an 1856 water-powered sawmill that powers the mill and generates surplus energy that is returned to the grid. Brothers Tom and Harry Southworth were the first generation business owners, operating the business since 1974. They grew their company as they grew their families, hoping one day to pass the company and its high standards and quality on to their children.
Their sons, Benjamin Southworth and Dana Southworth, left for college and career opportunities. Ben’s education and travels took him to Minnesota and Norway, New Mexico and Chicago; Dana’s took him to Pennsylvania and Italy, Poland and Slovakia, New York City and several more countries. Ben married his college sweetheart, Kirsten; Dana met his wife-to-be, Izabella, in New York.
Both cousins became fathers to new sons about the same time and looked to settle down and raise their families. They came full circle, returning to their family roots in Lancaster. Keeping a promise they had made to themselves to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, they began work at the entry levels and learned the business from the bottom up. After several years they entered into a five year buyout agreement with their fathers, where ownership was gradually transitioned to the sons.
The Southworth cousins treat their employees like family, and the same values show in their customized service to customers - they are building homes, not just houses. The company is equally committed to the local community. They built and donated timberframe rest huts for the Lancaster Skating Rink, the Coos Trail Association, and the rope tow ski area in Lancaster. The Mill is an historic part of the community and the cousins want to keep it that way.
Upon being selected for the award, the Southworths said: “Garland Mill Timberframes is honored and delighted to receive the NH 2013 Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Business Award. We would like to thank Stewart Gates from the SBDC for his generous and practical guidance with numerous aspects of our business during the past three years. We would also like to thank our fathers –Tom and Harry Southworth for their cheerful and tireless efforts at making the Garland Mill and the broad community around the best it could possibly be.”
“We look forward to honoring the Southworth family and Garland Mill Timberframes” stated SBA district director Greta Johansson. “Family-owned businesses are a vital and vibrant part of our communities and this company is a shining example.”
Sandown-based JMC Construction and Associates, a general construction firm, entered its fifth year in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program in May 2012. The company, launched in 2004 as Carvalho Electric, LLC, focused solely on the electrical trade at the time.
Since becoming certified for SBA’s 8a program in 2008, the company has expanded its primary capabilities beyond the electrical trade to include general construction projects allowing them to take on additional work. As a result of JMC’s participation in SBA business development activities and matchmaking events, JMC has grown their sales exponentially with revenues exceeding the $1 million milestone in 2011.
Rachael Roderick, the SBA Business Opportunity Specialist who administers the 8a program throughout New Hampshire said "Over the past three years, John Carvalho has used an array of SBA programs and tools to propel his business forward. He has seized opportunities to learn about improved business practices and how best to respond to federal procurement opportunities." She continued, "John has also broadened the focus of his business from solely electrical contracting to take advantage of his more than 30 years in all facets in the field of construction."
JMC has successfully completed many projects including: major renovations for the U.S. Army Soldier System Center in Natick, Massachusetts, the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Hanover, New Hampshire. JMC has been awarded several contracts totaling over $1 million since becoming a government contractor.
According to John Carvalho, "The SBA and its 8(a) program have been instrumental to our success. Through these programs my company was able to build and expand credentials in the electrical and general construction marketplace."
Mr. Carvalho was recognized by the New Hampshire SBA as the 2010 Minority Small Business Person of the Year.