2019 New Member Announcement

After careful consideration by the membership committee and the Board of Directors, The Society of Entrepreneurs is pleased to announce the selection of three (3) new members to the organization; the new members are: Chris Bird, Dillard Door & Security, Inc.; Steve Charles, M.D., Charles Retina Institute and Carl Ring, Ring Container Technologies.

The new members will be inducted at the 27th Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet which will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis.

Chris Bird
Dillard Door & Security, Inc.

From his earliest recollections Chris Bird was always interested in business, commerce and sales-from operating drink stands by the neighborhood tennis court to advertising his lawn mowing business on white match book cases with a rubber stamp with his contact information. In college, Chris even started 1520 Enterprises Unlimited to loan money to friends who were short on funds pending payday or mom and dad’s deposit. Although unincorporated and unlicensed that business was very similar to today’s payday and title loan businesses.

After college, at this grandfather’s urging, Chris studied for and passed the life insurance licensing exam. With the desire to be his own boss driving him, he left that business and started a series of businesses-Microcomputer Consulting Associates, consulting and custom software design; Lido Development, LLC-buying, improving, developing and selling real property and Spec-Tech architectural consulting. (Notable local projects included Peabody Place, Target House and FedExForum)

In 1999, Chris was asked to consider purchasing Delta Door and Hardware Co. by its owners and spent a year inside the company working towards that goal. In 2000, at a meeting of Memphis Rotary, John Dillard told Chris he wanted to retire. Chris formed an agreement with John Dillard, Jr that he would form a new corporation that in two years would purchase the assets of the existing Dillard Door & Specialty Co. Chris took $75K in savings and a personal note from JD to capitalize the new corporation Dillard Door & Security, Inc. At the time of purchase, the company had 12 employees and was doing about 2 million in revenue. In 5 years the company had grown to about 50 employees and 6 million in revenue. In 2008, the security portion of the business had become large enough that they started a separate company Dillard Security Services, LLC to better handle the needs of the security business.
While the recession years took its toll on new construction related businesses, the security and service sector of our business continued to thrive and produce more than 8mil in revenue and both are climbing.

In 2013, due to the increased amount of business done with law enforcement entities, a Federal Firearms License was procured to offer firearms, as well as other security services, to law enforcement contacts. DSS Firearms, LLC is now almost a stand-alone business.
In 2018, Dillard Door acquired Tri-State Glass, a 60 year old, family owned business that had a large portion of its revenue from Dillard. This is coming full circle because when John Dillard, Sr. started his business in 1947 it was called Southern Glass and evolved from just glass to what Dillard Door & Security, Inc. is today.

Chris Bird is actively involved in various church and community organizations including the Memphis Rotary Club Board, Regional One Health Foundation Board of Directors, Calvary Episcopal Church Vestry, Door and Hardware Institute, the Construction Specifications Institute, Morrison Architectural Scholarship Fund at UofM, Memphis Heritage Board, NFIB State Leadership Council and Crime Stoppers.

Steve Charles, M.D.
Charles Retina Institute

Steve Charles, MD is the world’s leading vitreoretinal surgeons and has developed many of the techniques and devices used by vitreoretinal surgeons worldwide. He has performed over 36,000 vitreoretinal surgeries, lectured in 50 countries and operated in 25, delivered 17 named lectures, and over 1000 speaking trips. He authored a leading textbook in the field which is now in the 5th edition and in 6 languages and authored over 174 articles in the medical literature and over 50 book chapters. He is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and International College of Surgeons and a member of the Retina Society, Macular Society, American Society of Retinal Specialists, Club Jules Gonin, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American-European College of Ophthalmic Surgery, Euro-Lam, and the Dowling Society. He is on the Board of Governors of the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research He is on the editorial board of Retina and a reviewer for Ophthalmology, Archives of Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, and British Journal of Ophthalmology, writes a column for Retina Physician and is an editor for eMedicine. He has received the Wacker Medal from the Club Jules Gonin, the first Founders Medal from the Vitreous Society, was inducted into the University of Miami School of Medicine Medical Alumni Association Hall of Fame, and was named by Ocular Surgery News as one of the top ten innovators in the past 25 years. He is consistently listed in Best Doctors in America and Becker’s Top 34 Ophthalmologists in America. He is a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee.

He is a mechanical and electrical engineer and has well over 100 issued or pending patents. He is a consultant for Alcon Laboratories and the principal architect of the Alcon Accurus and Alcon Constellation Vision System. Alcon also acquired InnoVision, a company started by Dr Charles, the Alcon Accurus and Constellation product lines are derivatives of InnoVision technology invented by Dr Charles.
He is the Founder of MicroDexterity Systems, which developed robots for dexterity enhancement for minimally invasive knee and hip replacement, spine surgery, and skull base neurosurgery. Investors included Medtronic, Baxter, and Allegiance V.Mueller. Stryker, Inc. acquired MicroDexterity Systems, in December 2009.

He is a cofounder, systems engineer, largest investor & stockholder, and Chairman of CamPlex Inc, developing advanced visualization technology for MIS spine, neurosurgery and trans-oral approaches to head and neck cancer.

He is on the board of Zeroto510, a medical device seed capital firm based in Memphis. Dr. Charles is volunteer with Orbis, the Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital.

Steve Charles is an Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-Engine, Instrument rated pilot with Type Ratings in Citation 500, 560, 650, Falcon 50and Sabre 65 jets and currently owns and flies a Sabre 65.

Carl Ring
Ring Container Technologies

Carl Ring is the retired Chairman of Ring Container Technologies. Ring Container is one of the largest plastic container manufacturers in North America. They are headquartered in Oakland TN and have grown from one factory in 1980 when Carl joined, to eighteen manufacturing locations, employing over 700 people, across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Many Memphians know Ring Container by its previous name, Ring Can Corporation, which was founded by Carl’s father, Bob Ring, in 1968.

Ring Container’s success is deeply rooted in its culture where its people are valued, challenged, and encouraged to have fun. Ring also has a “focused plant” philosophy whereby highly engineered and automated “clean-room” plants are geographically located near major customers to best serve their daily needs. To accomplish this Ring has an extensive engineering department, many of whom were recruited locally from the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University.

In 2017 Ring Container was sold to Michael Dell’s MSD Partners. MSD supports the people and culture at Ring and continues to grow the company.
Carl and his wife, Dr. Trish Ring still reside in Memphis, but now spend their summers at Blue Star Ranch which they built in the Blue Ridge Mountains of N.C. in 2014. Blue Star Ranch is a 160 acre ranch which hosts private events for leaders, teachers, groups, or individuals of various disciplines to retreat and collaborate. The cornerstone program at the ranch is Ring Leader Equine Coaching overseen by Dr. Trish Ring. Carl spends his time in his machine shop, with his horses, or dreaming up new projects to start. Together, Trish and Carl have 4 children and one grandchild.
Carl earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1978 and currently sits on the President’s Advisory Board

P.O. Box 770839
Memphis, Tennessee 38177