Success Stories


When you think of tool companies, green doesn’t generally spring to mind.  One tends to think of dirt, grime, and the smell of oil.  US Tool Group, formerly known as U. S. Tool Grinding, and now commonly referred to as US Tool, is putting the color green and the smell of money into the equation. 

In this disposable age, US Tool is bringing back the concept of repairing and reconditioning.  The average drill and boring tool can be recycled four times.  The environmental impact is the equivalent of four million pounds of raw material each year.  The reduced mining, smelting, and grinding, creates a substantial energy saving, along with preserving natural resources.  Additional transportation savings are gained because the tools don’t have to go through as many stops to get to the end user.   Pollution is reduced.  The earth itself is just a little greener. 

But all that wouldn’t make much difference in the corporate world if it didn’t save businesses money too... Read More

If you have a stereotype of typical owners and managers of a manufacturing company, throw it out the window right now.  Taylor Packaging Company manufactures plastic packaging for products.  The technical name for that process is thermoforming.  They produce packaging for the fishing and hunting products, electronic products, automotive parts, Crown Royal, and other products.  They also have a small line that folds and assembles boxes.  If you’ve bought a fishing lure it was quite likely in packaging manufactured by Taylor Packaging.  But, if you have a stereotype of a brawny guy with a ball cap who owns and runs the plant, you need to adjust your mindset.

Taylor Packaging is owned by the mother and daughter team of Ginger Taylor and Sara Taylor Hardy.  Ginger is energetic and radiates so much confidence you almost don’t notice how tiny she is.  Sara is quieter, but no less impressive.  Their different personalities create a dynamic and successful business team. 

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Persevering, dedicated, caring, adaptable, good communicator, giving, problem solver, involved, honest, and motivated are all extremely desirable character traits.  They exemplify many successful business owners—especially Susan Morton, President, CEO, and owner of Data Dash, Inc.  Morton is beginning her twenty-first year in business, but she worked hard and sacrificed to get there and she is aggressively pursuing the future of her business. 

A former triathlete and marathoner, Morton brings the same perseverance to her business that it took to train for races.  She sacrificed to achieve her goals—to include selling her home to raise capital for her business when she couldn’t get a business loan.  She still didn’t have enough capital, so she found three investors.  (She bought them out in 2000 and is now the sole owner of Data Dash.)

Morton had other help along the way.  Her late mother, Mary Ellen Maurer, a stay-at-home mom, was Morton’s unpaid assistant at the... Read More

If you think there is no possibility of success in these economic times, spend a few minutes talking to Dave Steward, co-owner of World Wide Technology, Inc. Steward is the Chairman of the Board and co-owner Jim Kavanaugh is the CEO. Dave founded the company in August 1990 and reached out for help from the SBA on February 2, 1992. He remembers the date quite clearly because, “You remember the dates that changed your life.” He attributes a great deal of his success to Maureen Brinkley, Patti Guttmann, and the late Dave Fox of the SBA’s St. Louis District Office. Steward says he walked into Maureen Brinkley’s office when he applied for SBA’s 8(a) program and told her he would have $15 million in sales in the first year. She challenged him to reach those goals and he has long since surpassed them.

The SBA 8(a) program taught Steward how the government did business, the unique government culture, and assisted him with getting into subcontracting with the Department of... Read More