The Society of Entrepreneurs has elected four (4) new members to the organization; the new members are: Ron Coleman, Competition Cams; Kim Heathcott, Clarion Security; Jay Myers, Interactive Solutions, Inc.; and Kent Ritchey, Landers Auto Group.
The inductees will be officially inducted into The Society of Entrepreneurs at the 26th Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
The Society of Entrepreneurs was formed in 1991 to recognize the historical importance of the contributions of individuals who have over a prolonged period, demonstrated a gift of entrepreneurship and used this gift to not only create or build a successful business but have also used their gift in service to the community.
Ron Coleman is the President of Competition Cams, a world leader in valvetrain technology, and under his management the company has acquired several other businesses; including: TCI Automotive, LLC (manufacturer of performance transmission and torque converters) and Quarter Master Industries (manufacturer of performance clutches, bell housing and related parts) to make it the successful operation that it is today. Coleman founded the National Muscle Car Association, which is recognized as the largest national sanctioning group dedicated to street-legal vehicles. Ron Coleman is also the Founder, President and Chairman of Xceleration Media, LLC, a media company that owns and produces print and on-line magazines; including: Power and Performance News, Drag Racing Scene, Street Rod Life, One Dirt.com, Gearheads for Life, Cars & Parts and Cars & Scars (a monthly video show).
Coleman was elected to the White House Conference on Small Business twice. He served on the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Advisory Council, was a two time Delegate to the U.S. Congressional Small Business Summit, and was on the Advisory Council for the United States Small Business Administration. Coleman was active in issues involving government regulations and taxation of business, and testified before the Senate Small Business Committee to encourage the reduction of regulations that impact small business. Coleman was active in the U.S.-Japan Auto Parts Trade Agreement, which for the first time gave U.S. companies a fair chance to compete with product sales in Japan.
Coleman served on the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Board of Directors for two terms and dedicated his professional time to a four-year stint as SEMA Chairman of the Board. He also served on the Joint Operating Committee for Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW).
Locally, Ron Coleman is very involved in the community, some of the organizations in which has played an active role are: Memphis in May, Memphis Library Foundation, Memphis Museum Systems, St. Peter’s village, Associated Catholic Charities, Memphis Chamber of Commerce and is a Graduate of Leadership Memphis.
Kim Heathcott is the CEO and Owner of Clarion Security, a security guard services company founded in 2009. Ms. Heathcott started Clarion with one employee and no customers and has built the company to be the largest women-owned business in Memphis for the past three years, earning over $10 million dollars in projected 2017 revenues. The company has made the Inc 5000 list for three consecutive years as well as winning numerous pacesetter growth awards in the local Memphis market.
Prior to starting Clarion, Ms. Heathcott had an 18-year financial services career in corporate and asset-based lending, with an emphasis on fraud auditing and control investigations. In 2013, Ms. Heathcott was named President of the Memphis Chapter of The National Association of Woman Owned Business (NAWBO) after serving as Program Chair, Treasurer and President-Elect. As Past-President, Kim Heathcott created and founded the Memphis NAWBO Women’s Business Accelerator which has graduated two cohorts of 20 women the past two years. It’s innovative design and programming has driven the Memphis Chapter membership to almost double since inception.
In July of 2013, Ms. Heathcott was named a “Superwoman in Business” by Memphis Business Journal. Ms. Heathcott also has served on the board of the Greater Memphis Chamber and currently serves on the Chamber Small Business Council board. Ms. Heathcott holds an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Economics, with a minor in Business Administration. Additionally, she earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University through its Executive MBA program in 1996.
Interactive Solutions, Inc.
Jay B. Myers is founder and CEO of Interactive Solutions Inc. (ISI), a Memphis-based firm that specializes in video conferencing, distance learning, telemedicine, and audio-visual sales and support.
Jay started ISI in 1996 and has built it into a $25-million company with 55 employees & offices in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, as well as Oxford, MS, & Little Rock, AR.
ISI has received numerous corporate awards and recognition in the past several years. The company was named to INC. magazine’s list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States seven times in the past 11 years. ISI also was recently featured in the Small Business section of the Wall Street Journal. In addition, ISI was named the Memphis Business Journal Small Business of the Year in 2001 and in 2003 was the first recipient of the Kemmons Wilson (founder of Holiday Inn) Emerging Business Award.
In 2007, Jay published his first book, Keep Swinging: An Entrepreneur’s Story of Overcoming Adversity and Achieving Small Business Success and subsequently received the 2010 Ethan Award for success as an entrepreneurial author.
A natural storyteller, Jay is a sought-after speaker at CEO conferences and entrepreneurial development programs where he shares inspiring stories and practical tips based on growing ISI from $11- to $25-million during the Great Recession. Jay’s message as detailed in his second book, Hitting the Curveballs: How Crisis Can Strengthen and Grow Your Business, reveals creative, practical strategies to achieve business success in difficult times.
Jay was inducted into the Christian Brothers High School Hall of Fame in 2011 and is active in numerous Memphis area community and civic organizations. Myers currently serves on the advisory board of the Chickasaw Council (Boy Scouts of America) Bancorp South and the National Foundation for Transplants. He is also past chairman and a current board member/executive committee member of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.
Landers Auto Group
Kent Ritchey, a franchised automobile dealer for 48 years, is the Founder and President of Ritchey Management, LLC. and Landers Auto Group. New car franchises include Audi, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Nissan, Ram and Volkswagen brands. He operates dealerships in Collierville, Memphis, Southaven and Jackson, MS.
Kent grew up in an automobile environment and learned the business from his father Bruce Ritchey, a long time automobile dealer in Eastern Arkansas. He spent several years as an executive with Homer Skelton, a pioneer Memphis mega dealer and Roger Penske, head of Penske Auto Group and one of the largest automobile dealers in the world.
Kent and Janice, his wife of 47 years, began buying dealerships during the 2007 financial depression and in ten years built Landers Auto Group into the largest, by revenue, privately held dealership group in the Mid-South. They sell 10,500 new and used automobiles annually. Their business model includes Partner/GM’s with equity positions in the dealerships; thus building financial equity and succession management.
The dealerships operating principals are: People, Product, Promotion, Profit.
Kent, Janice and the Landers Team are generous on many fronts. They raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through partnerships with the FedEx St. Jude Golf Classic and the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. They donate time and money to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital through the WREGTV Go Jim Go campaign. Landers is a longtime partner with Susan G. Komen Mid-South, raising money for breast cancer awareness and prevention. Education is a favorite and Landers is a large supporter of the Collierville Education Foundation, the Germantown Education Foundation and Desoto County Education Association.
Kent is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Memphis. He is a long time Board and Executive Board Member of the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South and is currently Chairman of the BBB. Additionally, Kent serves on the Board of the Greater Memphis Automobile Dealer Association and is President of this 101 year association.
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