Indiana Companies to Watch
/Indiana Chamber –
lood, sweat and tears.
No, we’re not talking about the long-time jazz rock band or proposing a title
for a new action film. Actually, those are components that every entrepreneur
and company leader puts into his or her business endeavor.
There are other key elements: experience, employee drive and skill, a healthy
statewide business climate and supportive governments, to name a few. To get
an idea of how successful companies make it work,
hosted a roundtable discussion
with executives from four of the 2012 Indiana Companies to Watch.
Getting into gear
Good ideas go nowhere without drive.
“If you’re going to own your own business, you have to be a Type A. You’ve got to be absolutely
motivated and driven and have a motivation that runs probably twice as hard as anyone else,”
A former police officer, Nolan created Nolan Security & Investigations in 2006 after
becoming “disenfranchised and frustrated.”
“One night I just took out a legal pad and I started writing down what I could do, what else
I could possibly do. And I realized on my list, everything was like legal, safety, security. … And
so I decided to take $4,000 that I inherited from my grandmother and give it a run. It was
absolutely sink or swim, and there were sharks circling some days,” he recalls.
The company helped provide security during Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, which
allowed Nolan to hire 228 additional staff members for that project.
Conner, who describes an entrepreneurial “wiring,” says he started off as a teenager working
at McDonald’s and knew even then he wanted to run his own company. Following time in the Army
and college, Conner became an apprentice, then a foreman and project manager in the electrical industry.
“Then after that, the only thing you can do to grow yourself is to start your own. … So, I
think you’re wired to it, because it is so much time and so much dedication if you want to
succeed in this business,” he declares.
The desire to create his own company came to fruition in 2005 with ATEC. Also involved
with Super Bowl XLVI, ATEC provided communications contracting for the event and has since
secured $3 million in work.
It wasn’t quite as thought out for Wolfe, he admits. Wolfe Diversified Industries initially
bought a locally owned company that sold and produced school fundraising discount cards.
Today, the company’s TickeTracker software has become a leading online ticketing and gate
management software platform.
“I knew I wanted to get into business. I started scurrying to find something to buy that I thought
had potential. And I found a business that was totally outside what I did, and then obviously I have
morphed it into what we are today, which is really more of a technology company,” he explains.
Don’t press pause
Being a company leader means never being content to stay where you are, Cook says. Chief
• C. Shane Conner,
president of Advanced Technologies in Electrical and
• Christine Cook,
COO of Catheter Research, Inc., Indianapolis
• Jon Nolan,
president and founder of Nolan Security & Investigations, Avon
• J. Chad Wolfe,
president of Wolfe Diversified Industries, Anderson
By Charlee Beasor
Business Building Blocks
Winners Discuss Creating a Company to Watch