By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
Strategy, a keen sense about business opportunities, and a desire to support his community clearly drive Eric Barton as he guides the continued growth of Vanquish Worldwide LLC.
“The military is a thread through many of the things we do,” the Owner, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Maryville-based company says. The knowledge gained from his service as a Marine and a contractor for government agencies has provided a strong foundation for the now eight-year old company.
Today, even as Vanquish Worldwide continues to support government clients, it is also focused on diversifying its portfolio, a strategy that Barton said became important as federal government needs in Iraq and Afghanistan began to change.
Two acquisitions in 2013 underscore the evolution at Vanquish Worldwide. One – Front Range Training and Consulting – was a 10-year old entity at the time that delivered training to law enforcement officers and U.S. Department of Defense personnel. Its client base was complementary, but the acquisition of Front Range added a broadened mix of services.
The other – Peak Technical Institute – was founded in 2009 to offer a certificate training program for technicians dealing with unexploded ordnances. Today, the company offers three additional certificate programs including a unique one in Professional Household Management (PHM) that fills needs in the military as well as private sector.
Barton explained that very senior military officers have enlisted aides who manage their households, much as PHMs do for high net wealth individuals.
“We have an exclusive contract to provide this training for all U.S. Air Force aides,” Barton says. The training covers everything from day-to-day operations to more specialized topics like international etiquette, household security, and emergency management.
The course for military aides is two weeks, while the one for private employers is four weeks.
Drawing on Vanquish Worldwide’s logistical and transportation work for the military, Barton and his team have become an Independent Service Provider for FedEx Ground, rapidly growing that business.
Even as Barton focuses on growing the Vanquish Worldwide portfolio, he’s also heavily involved in community activities. Barton and the company are generous supporters of a number of local organizations as well as causes related to veterans. We are well aware of his support for the Tennessee Veterans Business Association and its annual business plan competition.
“I wake-up every morning being thankful and wanting to be a good person,” he says. “I want to be pleasing to God and my family and have a good time.”
We asked Barton for some advice he would offer other entrepreneurs.
“There’s something magical about having one-, three- and five-year goals,” he says, adding “Write it down, think about it, and envision doing it.”
He clearly has been practicing that philosophy.