Monthly Archives: January 2013

Fifth Third Bank

Tom Heiks, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank’s North Carolina affiliate, took the time to share the vision the bank has for its motorsports involvement.

Fifth Third started life in the Ohio Valley as Fifth National Bank, opening its first doors in Cincinnati in 1858. The bank was purchased by Third National Bank in 1871, hence the name Fifth Third Bank.

Today, Fifth Third has $122 billion in assets and operates 15 affiliates in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Its four main businesses are commercial banking, branch banking, consumer lending and investment advisors. In other words, something for everyone.

Fifth Third came to North Carolina via the purchase of First Charter in 2008, and now has a strong presence in the state. The decision to enter this arena was based on the growth profile and demographics of the region. The magnitude of the motorsports industry was of particular interest to Fifth Third, and its Charlotte office has talented and experienced motorsports bankers on staff to serve this business segment. The parallels to the automobile industry in Ohio and Michigan, in which Fifth Third was and is involved, provides a business-to-business opportunity that incorporates motorsports in North Carolina.

With so many banks in the Charlotte region, Heiks says Fifth Third is distinguished by its approach, a holistic and consultative approach that brings innovative ideas and solutions to its customers. Each affiliate is able to independently make decisions regarding regional involvement. For example, the Fifth Third office in Cincinnati is the official bank of the NFL Bengals, while the office here concentrates on motorsports.

Fifth Third has partnered with Roush Fenway Racing, sponsoring Ricky Stenhouse this year and also working with the CARS Trade Show to be held in Charlotte later this year. Visit here to learn more.

Corinne Economaki

Industrial Hard Carbon

Industrial Hard Carbon, in Denver, is a two-year-old successor to Anatech, which was formed in 1981. Owner George Barr told how the company got its start in motorsports. “In 1999 a Cup owner – who had two cars – had heard about ‘thin film’ in Europe used to coat wrist pins.” That was the start of Anatech’s introduction into automobile racing. Since then, the company has hard carbon-coated valve train components, transmission shifters, and suspension components. Its motorsports clients include NASCAR series’ teams, Sports Car Club of America teams, NHRA teams, Porsche Club members and drag boats.

The company also does industrial work for a variety of industries including medical instrumentation, oil and gas, printing, and aerospace.

IHC is in the process of completing its International Standards Organization 9001 certification. It’s an expensive investment that produces a significant return by validating the traceability of the company’s work.

IHC partners with its customers and the staff prides itself on the good relationship with manufacturers. There is a high level of inspection completed on all incoming material. The focus on what serves customers includes a high level of quality and engineering. The business is steady all year long as it works with motorsports teams whose logistics managers keep things moving along.
While the folks at IHC are understandably protective of the processes and equipment used, I can tell you that a private tour – after signing a non-disclosure agreement – was pretty darn interesting. Thanks to Carrie DiMarzo for her time. Visit their website here.

Corinne Economaki

Boatsman Gillmore Wagner

The big news at Boatsman Gillmore is that it’s now Boatsman Gillmore Wagner. The merger of the two firms makes it the second or third largest locally owned CPA firm.

With 35 people in two locations, Dale Gillmore and Adam Boatsman explained that their business model is to add value over and above what they are paid to do. They work on goals with their business owners and consider themselves an accounting and consulting firm. The two – who are brothers in law – formed the firm six years ago. Dale felt that the Charlotte area was open to entrepreneurs and to date five percent of the firm’s business is derived from motorsports clients.

Other areas they service include construction, real estate, manufacturing, doctors and dentists, insurance agents, architects, engineers – Dale and Adam say their client list is “as diversified as Charlotte’s industry is.”

One of the areas in which they focus is when a business owner has significant wealth invested in his or her business. That is usually not investible, and BGW becomes a financial planner on how to best monetize the business asset.

Right now, clients are concerned about possible tax increases, although Dale and Adam’s stance is there are opportunities for planning regardless of any tax changes coming our way.

They call themselves a team for folks who want a more personalized process in accounting and financial planning. See if they might be right for you here.

Corinne Economaki

Choate Construction

Founded in 1989 in Atlanta by Millard Choate, the construction company now boasts eight offices in the Southeast, including the one in Charlotte. Reputation is Everything. That’s Choate’s tagline.

With motorsports clients that read like a who’s who – Hendrick, Penske, Roush, Michael Waltrip, Stewart-Haas, Kasey Kahne Racing, Curb Motorsports, TRD, JR Motorsports, Speedway Motorsports – the Charlotte office keeps approximately 100 employees busy with projects in the racing industry and others.

Just to give you an idea of what kind of personnel it takes to undertake a large construction project, here’s a sample: project managers, superintendents, pre-construction managers (who have engineering backgrounds), administrative staff, field staff, marketing professionals, and management.

The client usually brings his or her architect together with the contractor to work together on a given build. The team approach favored by Choate coordinates all aspects of work. Choate uses Building Information Modeling software and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating system. You can see some of the LEED implementation in the Charlotte office.

Choate is licensed in 40 states and a visit to the website is pretty impressive. Choate has Fortune 500 and Global 500 clients, many of which represent the 70 percent of new projects it starts each year from repeat clients. Many thanks to John Dudas for the tour. Start yours here.

Corinne Economaki

Choate Construction

Founded in 1989 in Atlanta by Millard Choate, the construction company now boasts eight offices in the Southeast, including the one in Charlotte. Reputation is Everything. That’s Choate’s tagline.

With motorsports clients that read like a who’s who – Hendrick, Penske, Roush, Michael Waltrip, Stewart-Haas, Kasey Kahne Racing, Curb Motorsports, TRD, JR Motorsports, Speedway Motorsports – the Charlotte office keeps approximately 100 employees busy with projects in the racing industry and others.

Just to give you an idea of what kind of personnel it takes to undertake a large construction project, here’s a sample: project managers, superintendents, pre-construction managers (who have engineering backgrounds), administrative staff, field staff, marketing professionals, and management.

The client usually brings his or her architect together with the contractor to work together on a given build. The team approach favored by Choate coordinates all aspects of work. Choate uses Building Information Modeling software and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating system. You can see some of the LEED implementation in the Charlotte office.

Choate is licensed in 40 states and a visit to the website is pretty impressive. Choate has Fortune 500 and Global 500 clients, many of which represent the 70 percent of new projects it starts each year from repeat clients. Many thanks to John Dudas for the tour. Start yours here.

Corinne Economaki

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