Two of the fastest-growing Indianapolis-area private companies are being run by Butler University Lacy School of Business graduates, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported in its July 18-24 edition.
GreenLight LLC, which ranked No. 6 in the IBJ’s “Fast 25,” is headed by CEO Russell Hughes ’04, who was a Butler Business Scholar winner. Greenlight sells collectible diecast model cars.
Williams Creek Management Corp., No. 13 on the list, is run by President Neil Myers ’99. Williams Creek specializes in natural-resource construction—projects where communities want to meet regulatory requirements associated with the Clean Water Act and create something practical and beautiful.
“Huge congratulations to both Russell Hughes and Neil Myers for successfully leading the tremendous growth of their companies,” said Steve Standifird, Dean of Butler’s Lacy School of Business. “I’m delighted to see Lacy School of Business alums having this type of positive impact in the local business community.”
According to the IBJ, GreenLight has grown 199 percent from fiscal year 2013 to 2015. The newspaper reported that to build the business, GreenLight put together a strategy to add licensing agreements with the likes of the Elvis Presley estate, IndyCar and other high-profile entertainment entities, and purchased diecast manufacturer GMP out of suburban Atlanta.
GreenLight is now in the process of buying First Response Replicas in Frankfort, Kentucky. In the past two years, it has also grown its relationships with retailers and distributors, adding Walmart and Target to the list of places that sell GreenLight cars.
Hughes told the IBJ that GreenLight has several high-end license agreements in the works that should add to the company’s opportunities for retail and promotional exposure.
“We’re very careful how we manage inventory and license agreements and guarantees,” he was quoted as saying. “Despite the growth, we are conservative in how we go about things.”
Williams Creek has grown by 125 percent from fiscal year 2013 to 2015, the IBJ said, and Myers was quoted as saying that the company expects similar growth over the next three years.
Williams Creek’s projects include things like rain gardens, storm water management systems and pond edge planting systems that prevent soil erosion. In Lafayette, Williams Creek was part of the team that created the Durkees Run Stormwater Park outside Lafayette Jefferson High School. The park is part of the city’s long-term plan to reduce raw sewage overflows and improve the water quality of the Wabash River. Durkees Run prevents sewer overflows by diverting 100 million gallons of storm water from Lafayette’s Wastewater Treatment plant.
Myers told the IBJ that early on, it was a challenge to get potential customers to buy into his company’s idea.
“We were on the cusp of creating a market in central Indiana that did not exist, and we were one of the early pioneers and adopters of this kind of work,” he said. “It’s become more of a natural course of acceptance than anything else.”