You have never heard two different success stories than that of Sylvester Hester from ARD Logistics (and several other notable companies), and Orlando Lynch, from Peachtree Movers. These MBEs came to us for our February 17th, 2015 show to talk about their struggle in building successful minority business enterprises for Black History Month, and there could not have been a better pair to talk about the real issues to both their success, and their journey. Covered are the critical issues that matter most to businesses starting out: finances, health, perspective, and dedication, and although the poised Mr. Hester, and the perpetually outgoing Mr. Lynch could not be more different as people, there is a genuine empathy and real outpouring of support from one entrepreneur to the other, that is palpable in the room. This show will leave you inspired. And we will leave you with a couple of quotes from our esteemed guests:
“What got you here, won’t keep you here, and won’t get you THERE.” Sylvester Hester
“You have to be [as a minority business] twice as good, and half as bad.” Orlando Lynch
Sylvester Hester / ARD Logistics, LLC
Sylvester Hester is Vice Chairman and Chief Operations Officer, Global Automotive Alliance (GAA). The enterprise is comprised of five manufacturing and logistics companies with eleven U.S. operations, and 1,400 employees. Since stepping into this role in 2008 Hester’s focus on operational excellence and sustained growth has resulted in a corporate acquisition, entré into new markets, an increase in facilities, innovation in product and service delivery and enhanced national and global relationships. GAA companies are: ARD Logistics, Global SQ, Grupo Antolin Wayne, Key Logistics and Vitec.
Global Automotive Alliance began as an automotive supplier in 1999 and today has the reputation for providing quality manufacturing and exceptional logistics management to aerospace, automotive, food & beverage, government and retailers. Hester led the aerospace expansion, including two new logistics operations in Charleston, SC, and in 2013 Global SQ, a logistics company providing quality inspection services for Toyota in Georgetown, KY was acquired.
His lengthy career in the automotive parts manufacturing began in 1985 as an engineering technician for General Motors Advanced Engineering. He quickly moved up to project engineer/project manager at Regal Plastics in Michigan before moving into account management at Tredegar Molded Products and Woodbridge Inoac. In 1993 Hester returned to Regal Plastics as Vice President where his success prepared him to initiate and launch ARD in 1998 when chairman and CEO, William Pickard selected him as president of ARD near Atlanta, Georgia. In 2003 he was named president of GAA’s newest acquisition, Key Logistics and today Hester is president of four GAA companies including Global SQ, and Grupo Antolin Wayne.
In addition to serving as president of GAA’s Advisory Board of Directors Hester is Vice Chair of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council transportation and logistics committee, and is a board member for the Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council and past board member of the Atlanta Business League. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
Hester is completing a Master of Science in Administration with concentration in Leadership at Central Michigan University, and has a Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering with an emphasis in Polymer Chemistry from Ferris State University. He has completed the Advanced Minority Business Executive Program (AMBEP) at Dartmouth College Tucks School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management Advanced Management Education Program (AMEP) at Northwestern University.
Orlando Lynch / Atlanta Peach Movers
Orlando Lynch established Atlanta Peach Movers, Inc. in Atlanta, GA in 1998. A relocation service company that offers commercial and residential relocation services locally in the Metro Atlanta area, nationally and internationally the company has garnered a reputation of quality and reliability among the Atlanta real estate community, mortgage brokers, home builders and national corporations.
Moving and storage service with an emphasis on customer service and quality. Gaining knowledge about the relocation industry and thinking of ways to create business have been a driving force behind the success of the company. Utilizing the Marketing degree from Arizona State University and the information gained from both Kellogg’s and Tuck’s CEO Management programs, Atlanta Peach Movers now boasts a fleet of 39 trucks and 4 tractor trailers.
Atlanta Peach Movers has received awards from Consumers’ Choice, Supplier of the Year – Tier II, 2010 from the Georgia Minority Supplier Diversity Council (“GMSDC”) and has designations for Corporate Plus ® status through the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (“NMSDC”), Certified Pro-Mover through the American Moving and Storage Association (“AMSA”) and GSA Advantage listed.
In addition to his duties as President, Mr. Lynch also is an integral part of the firm’s marketing and business development. Heading a company in itself can be a stressor, coupled with the fact that moving is one of the top five most stressful things people can do in their life, Mr. Lynch exudes the “Sense of Urgency” he demands from his staff.
Mr. Lynch sits on the Board of Zoo Atlanta and is active in supporting several non-profit organizations including Hosea Feed the Hungry, the Warrick Dunn Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Nicholas House.
Mr. Lynch is married to Kaihra Lynch and has 3 children, Taylor, Tiffani, and Orlando James Lynch.