Central Research in Lowell, Arkansas, is a people-information firm specializing in the identification, verification, and documentation of deceased and incarcerated individuals as well as Freedom of Information Act support services. Johnny Dillard, a service-disabled veteran, started the company in 1999 with two part-time employees. The firm currently has over 50 full-time employees using technology that allows them to review over 250,000 files a week.
A successful participant in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, Johnny was the 2011 Arkansas Minority Small Business Person of the Year, and the 2012 Arkansas Veteran Small Business Champion. He was also one of eight finalists in the 2013 Small Business Tournament of Veteran Champions sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Spike TV.
Inc. Magazine rated Central Research as #1572 in its list of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the United States in 2013. The company was the third fastest growing company in Arkansas with a 253% growth in revenue over the past three years.
In 2010 Johnny helped draft two legislative bills to assist service-disabled veterans. Arkansas Governor Beebe signed these bills into law in April 2011. Arkansas Act 882 gives all state agencies a 5% goal for doing business with service-disabled veterans, and Arkansas Act 883 adds service-disabled veterans to the definition of “minority” under the state’s Minority Business Economic Development Act.
Johnny was one of the founders of the Task Force for Veteran Entrepreneurs in Washington, DC. He is currently active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marine Corps League, and American Legion. Central Research was the Arkansas winner of the American Legion’s award for hiring veterans.