The Vermont office of the Small Business Administration has given the Family-Owned Small Business Award to James and Karen Mount of Mount Family Group. Mount Family Group (MFG) was originally started in Burlington as a family-owned business in 1982 by David and Francis Mount. MFG is in the personnel placement business, specializing in temporary help. From $25,000 in sales when it began, MFG has grown to a nearly $30 million company.
In 1995, the Mounts began to look among their five children for a family member who could become involved with the company and eventually take over as manager or owner. Karen, the wife of their eldest son Stephen, joined the company in 1996 and learned every aspect of its operations. She became David Mount's main adviser in administration and marketing matters. Karen became instrumental in training employees, in helping open new offices and eventually took on the role of Director of Administration. In 1997, James Mount, the Mount's second son, joined the company and served for several years as a personnel recruiter and customer service representative. The Mounts established the company on five principals for dealing with workers and customers, the first of which they listed as 'outrageous customer service'. They also emphasized integrity, respect, fun and keeping the business family friendly.
In the fall of 2010 the transition to the second generation was completed with James Mount assuming 60 percent of the shares and Karen Mount 40 percent. James Mount says the company is looking at breaking all sales records this year. He also noted how pleased the company was to be recognized by the SBA. His father David also was pleased with the honor. 'I thought that award was fantastic,' David said. 'It validates the things we've been doing over the last 30 years. I'm very, very proud of our son James and daughter-in-law Karen. They've taken over the business and are doing a wonderful job.'