Success Stories

Integrated Management Services Wins 2015 Regional and State 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award

Rod Hill is the Co-Founder and President/Chief Operation Officer of Integrated Management Services.  The firm was founded in February 1996 by Rod Hill and John Calhoun, Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Management Services.  Integrated is a full-service consulting, engineering, emergency response, management and operations firm helping public and private clients improve the environment and infrastructure. 

In 1998, Integrated Management Services entered into the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps small disadvantaged businesses compete in the federal marketplace and assist in securing government contracts. 

As a small disadvantaged business, the 8(a) certification made it possible for Integrated to solicit projects offered by the federal government that added new dimensions to its strategic plan. Integrated grew from a two person firm in Jackson, Mississippi to a firm that currently employs over than three-hundred people.  While participating in the... Read More

Everything Kayak

U.S. Navy Veteran Paddles His Way to Entrepreneurial Success

When it comes to kayaking, Michael Pornovets is a source that transcends the subculture that has become a staple to American recreation.  To speak to him is to quickly discover a passion that dates back for several years and eventually spawned into an idea one year before his retirement from the U.S. Navy. That idea soon became a quest for information and that information ultimately led to the business he owns today.

Turning his idea into something that afforded him a means to make a living while doing what he loved required the sage advice frequently found at the Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

“I first came to the GC SBDC shortly before transitioning from the NAVY. I wanted to find out how to start my kayak business correctly”. His mentors included the likes of several longstanding business counselors along the Gulf Coast.  They included Stephen Whitt, Director of the Innovation... Read More

Marissa Simms

Mississippi Young Entrepreneur Finds Success in Fashion

Looking for a great place to shop for the latest styles?  Marissa Simms, owner of Royal Bleau Boutique in Jackson, MS would have you visit her business stocked with the latest fashion trends. Simms was a college student at Jackson State University majoring in Communications when she envisioned opening a boutique.  “I had a passion for fashion and always dreamed of owning a boutique and clothing line,” said Simms.  “With only one year left of college, I decided the time was now, but I had little knowledge of the business world.”

Simms sought out a mentor and contacted Sydney Brown, Director of the JSU Small Business Development Center and attended several seminars.  Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) assistance small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs by providing a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development,... Read More

Jeff Good & Dan Blumenthal

Jeff Good and Daniel Blumenthal, Owners of Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint of Jackson, Mississippi, built a business from the ground up by being focused, fearless and fun.  The pair, best friends from high school, opened the 250-seat pizza and ice cream restaurant in April 2007 after operating two other unique and successful restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi.

 The two met at Murrah High School in Jackson in 1981 and discussed going into business together some day.  After graduation, Good attended Millsaps College and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.  Blumenthal earned an Economics degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and later attended California Culinary academy in San Francisco.  In 1994 they met up again, quit their jobs and started Mangia Bene, a three-restaurant group that includes BRAVO, Broad Street Baking Company and Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint.

 Sal & Mookie’s New... Read More