Georgia Oak Partners: Our History, Your Future
As 2020 draws to a close—and we continue to grapple with the unique challenges and opportunities it has presented all of us—we at Georgia Oak Partners are pausing to reflect on our history as we gear up for the future in 2021. It’s the time of year to count our blessings, give back to others, and to focus on those important values and partnerships that have brought us to where we are today.
This holiday season, we partnered with our portfolio company, Farm Burger and the Gateway Center of Atlanta, in providing meals for the men of Upward and Recuperative Care. The Gateway Center is located in downtown Atlanta, GA, and connects people experiencing homelessness with the necessary support to become self-sufficient and to find a permanent home.
Gateway Center programs are designed to address the underlying barriers that prevent individuals and families from transitioning out of homelessness, such as unemployment, behavioral health, housing affordability, and/or medical conditions. Gateway Center provides a trauma-informed and client-centered environment where individuals can receive the tools they need to end their homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency. To ensure the alignment of services, Gateway Center has focused its efforts on the five keys to success.
Five Keys to Success:
1. Housing Placement and Stability
2. Health and Wellness
3. Family and Community Engagement
4. Job Skills Training and Placement
Local Focus, World-Class Results
At Georgia Oak, we invest exclusively in Georgia- and Southeast-based companies, and we do so with specific intention. Georgia is our home, in both geography and spirit. The Southeast is our community. We invest locally and deeply, knowing full well that we can’t disappear into the mist or pack our bags for Wall Street when times get tough. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are committed to the long-term viability of companies and communities in our home state. Investing here makes the most of our passion and proximity, while fostering stability for our partners. The key to this is pretty simple: being in the neighborhood lets us do business face-to-face and stay focused on the people involved in every partnership. From hands-on support for managers to deep knowledge of the suppliers, employees and customer base: we get it because we live here, too.
Putting Partners First: Then and Now
Our first partnership started in 2013 with our flagship investment in TeamOne logistics. Since then, we have supported TeamOne on multiple fronts, including placing our operating partner, Dean Ditmar as Chief Commercial Officer to support CEO Page Siplon in taking the company’s growth to the next level by 2022.
As Page Siplon, CEO of TeamOne, reflects:
"Sharing my vision for growth with the team drives strong morale in a big way. The growth impacts every single one of us on the team, and we all need to work together to make it happen. In sharing our growth plan, which we have branded The Road to 100, the team learned we are adding several people to fast track reaching our growth goals. Sharing a bright spot in challenging times is a great way to strengthen everyone’s spirit."
We have been working in partnership with the nation’s first fast-casual pizza franchise since 2013. Leveraging our knowledge of local markets and talent, Georgia Oak helped place Lisa Dimson as Your Pie’s first-ever Chief Marketing Officer in 2019, as well as Ashley Williams as Director of Training—with a combined 28 years of restaurant industry experience. As 2021 approaches, YourPie has added veteran Mike Tillis as its VP of Operations & Support and added a partnership with InMoment to improve customer experiences in the new year.
With a full roster of talented executive leadership, Your Pie is positioned for growth and ready to meet the challenges of the new year and beyond.
We partnered with family- and fishing-friendly Sailfish Boats in 2017. In 2020, we helped place a new President CEO, Rob Parmentier, and supported him as he navigated onboarding with the Sailfish team through the limitations of the pandemic. As of November, Sailfish has experienced a growth spurt: adding nine new dealers in 60 days. According to Parmentier, the new dealer partners “not only fill open markets and opportunities for Sailfish, but also represent the best in their individual markets for sales, service, and building customer relationships.”
With their new leadership and distribution venues in line, Sailfish is ready to capitalize on growth opportunities as families seek new adventures in the coming year.
Pivoting to Meet Important Trends
At Georgia Oak, we are always balancing our long-term focus with the ability to adjust to meet broader investment trends happening globally. Like most investment groups, we’ve refined our approach this year to include lessons learned from the pandemic, as well as cultural and social movements that challenge us to question assumptions and create more inclusive and empowering opportunities for local companies. We’ve seen the need for quick reactions and recoveries, as well as for solid contingency planning. We believe the lessons learned from this year will translate long into the future.
As Silvia Mah writes for Forbes.com:
"With an eye toward intersectionality, strong communication and transparency, I hope and imagine we’ll come out of isolation even better than before, tackling the world’s most challenging problems with strong innovation leaders and the investors ready to invest."
Ready to Grow? Serving You in 2021 and Beyond
If you have your company’s mission, vision and strategy in place, and you think you’re ready to take things to the next level, we can help! We’re here to help you assess your company’s potential and strategy with an objective eye, as well as to provide critical material and personnel resources to make your vision a reality.
This year has been a test of fortitude for all of us, but we’ve also seen wonderful opportunities to change the way we do business and open up new opportunities for growth and iteration. If you are ready to make 2021 the year of new beginnings for your company, we are ready to stand beside you on that journey.
The Georgia Oak team wishes you health, happiness and prosperity in the new year!
Links & Resources
• Investment and Innovation Trends 2020: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2020/12/17/investment-and-innovation-in-isolation-how-investors-weathered-this-year/?sh=38f9eead3c38
• Three Questions to Ask if You’re Ready to Grow your Company: https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2020/12/17/three-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-you-want-to-grow-your-company/?sh=335aae704ab2
• Partner Link, TeamOne Logistics: https://www.teamonelogistics.com
• Partner Link, YourPie: https://franchise.yourpie.com
• Partner Link, Sailfish Boats: https://www.sailfishboats.com
• YourPie InMoment Partnership: https://franchise.yourpie.com/partnership-with-inmoment/
• YourPie Leadership Changes 2020: https://franchise.yourpie.com/changes-to-executive-team/