Success Stories

In its 15th year of business, Athena Construction Group, a contracting and construction company, employs 55 people, has four offices, three company vehicles, and operates in two-time zones. Back when the company started operating in 2003, it was serving a very different market, residential remodeling. The business was struggling from the get go, juggling zoning and safety regulations. Athena’s current president, Amber Peebles, then a government contract paralegal, was managing a gargantuan law firm merger that included a $20 million dollar construction project. In that role she learned about veteran set-asides.  When Athena’s founder, Melissa Schneider desired to grow the remodeling firm, she brought Peebles aboard as the firm’s president, and the pair turned its attention to government contracting. However, analogous to the chicken or the egg dilemma, government contracts were hard to come by without bonding and past performance.

Through what Ms. Peebles refers to as “... Read More

Intellectechs, Inc.

Prior to 2008, Jeri Prophet was an influential person in a number of established companies. She wanted to take the companies to the next level. Yet in each company, the owners were not interested in growth. So she did what any true entrepreneur would do; she started her own firm, and IntellecTechs, Inc., was born. Prophet serves as the President and CEO, yet she views herself as part of big family where everyone is respected and treated equally.

IntellecTechs is an information technology firm whose specialties include: managed IT services and consulting, security, web design and training. There isn’t one aspect of the IT field IntellechTechs isn’t involved in.

“I have plans for this company to grow slowly while remaining strong financially,” said Prophet, confidently. “I want to teach my sons how to be entrepreneurs by keeping them engaged in the business. Within the company, employees are treated as family. We all take care of each other.” 

IntellecTechs’s... Read More

Taylor Made Diagnostics

Walking into Taylor Made Diagnostics’ office condo, the sights and sounds are not what you’d expect from a typical medical office. They were aggressive in purchasing a spot in a recently constructed office building in Chesapeake’s industrial South Norfolk with Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s huge cranes to the east and to the northeast is the heart of Norfolk with BAE Systems, Colonna Shipyard and hundreds of Department of Defense support contractors. It is no accident that Taylor Made Diagnostics picked the location site centrally located in the heart of an industrial community and within minutes of Hampton Roads cities.

While their familiar name may tempt you to believe they make or fix golf products, in fact they are an industrial medicine firm that focuses on health, wellness and prevention of workplace illnesses and injuries. Being in an industrial area puts Taylor Made Diagnostics in the center of their target clients.

Owner Caroline Taylor is like a cross between... Read More

Dory Wilgus

If you have seen military ceremonies and parades, you have seen their products. So what are they? Uniforms? Rifles? If you guessed flags made by U.S. Flag and Signal, you are correct.

And, like McDonalds, General Electric, Wal-Mart, Xerox, IBM, U.S. Flag and Signal has a leader who started on the ground floor and worked their way up to run the company.  

U.S. Flag and Signal is an expert in making high-quality flags that meet the U.S. Army Heraldry’s strict material and quality control standards. In 1990, the owner passed away and the family did not want to continue running the operation, so they made a deal with Dory Wilgus and her partner Ed Capps to take over the business. Wilgus handles operations while Capps manages the finances.

When Wilgus started with the company, she was a new wife to her high school sweetheart, who had joined the Navy and was stationed in Norfolk.  She knew how to sew and was hired by U.S. Flag and Signal in 1975. She worked her way... Read More

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