Top 40 Growth Company Beats All Odds

Just like any other young professional, Tracey Grace was committed to her career and performing with her eye on excellence, as she emerged from the prestigious University of Pittsburgh with an MBA. She has successfully knocked down many barriers as the founder and CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts (IBEX), a training, technology, and professional services firm.

There have been many economic downturns that have forced companies to rethink the ways they approach business. This was the case for a Dutch consulting firm where Grace held several roles, eventually moving up the ranks to become VP. She was challenged to grow the company’s revenues right in the crux of what is known today as The Great Recession. This challenge was met by her fierce tenacity and fervor to succeed. She took the company to record breaking numbers in a new unexplored vertical—IT training and consulting—specifically in the healthcare field right as health systems were migrating to electronic health records.

Although she was producing, the company’s leadership decided this was not a viable growth segment and advised her to refocus. They did not see a valuable future in the Health IT space. This became a pivotal turning point for Grace’s future.  Given the relationships she had formed, and her work ethic, she could not bring herself to sever ties so easily with this newfound customer base who valued her expertise and relied upon her guidance. And this marked the birth of an independent consultancy that would become IBEX IT Business Experts today—an award-winning certified woman, minority-owned small business.

After launching the company, of course, there were growing pains. Navigating as a newly minted entrepreneur is not an easy task. With limited resources Grace gravitated to the federally funded support resources, one of which was the Atlanta MBDA Business Center. “The Atlanta MBDA Business Center was pivotal in sharing information and providing collaboration that helped send me on a strong path forward. At one event the Center referred me to, I reconnected with an acquaintance who referred me to a client that I’m still winning contracts with today,” says Grace. MBDA is the only federal agency tasked with promoting the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses. They provide technical training, market knowledge and insights and networking for nominal fees and in many cases offer free programming designed to provide greater access to capital, contracts and markets.

“We were able to share a poster in the first Poster Walk Competition at an Advanced Manufacturing Summit, and one of the attendees from Chicago came to us and wanted to collaborate on a government contract,” explains Grace. This is a true testament to the importance of the community MBDA cultivates for small minority owned businesses.

“As IBEX continues to grow, we are focused on giving back, keeping in mind our early hardships, we have been able to develop a solution to help enterprises to better engage minority owned businesses through our technically advanced supplier diversity vendor management system, Certifiably Diverse,” says Grace. Within the next five years, IBEX’s intent is to exponentially increase its footprint by introducing proprietary products aimed at both national and international markets.

IBEX was recently selected as one of the 2021 Georgia Fast 40 for middle market growth by Atlanta’s Association for Corporate Growth. The company was invited to be one of three groups on a project with the Department of Transportation, and Ms. Grace was recently named to the board of North Fulton Community Charities. IBEX has retained a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of growing companies for the last three years and is ranked as number 32 for the Inc. list in Georgia. To learn more about IBEX, be sure to check out their website and follow them on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

 

Pandemic. Pivot. Profit.

Sanquinetta Dover, a South Carolina native, received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in economics.  One of her first positions after graduation was in New York City.  Ms. Dover began working as a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) bank liquidator. She noted that she quickly climbed the rankings in her group, travelling around the country helping to close and liquidate failing banks. Soon after relocating to Chicago, she realized that there existed no more opportunities for growth or upward mobility in her work, and after taking advice from some of her career mentors, Ms. Dover became an entrepreneur in Chicago in 1984.  She later moved to Atlanta in 1996 and founded DoverStaffing.

DoverStaffing provides full-service staffing solutions within Georgia and the Southeast Region. Today, DoverStaffing is one of three groups that operate under the Dover Brands alongside human capital management consulting firm DoverSolutions and workforce training group Dover Training Institute. DoverStaffing and the other Dover Brand groups have had continuous success over the years, securing an official, state-wide contract with the State of Georgia in 2008 to provide staffing services for Georgia state government agencies and University System of Georgia operations.

Ms. Dover stated that her relationship with the Atlanta MBDA Centers began after participating in a number of events through the National MBDA. She later became a client of the Atlanta Business Center in 2005, and she has participated in a number of programs offered by both Centers including yearly attendance in the advanced manufacturing summit, attendance on trade missions to South Africa and China, and participation in financial round table discussion with other clients.

“One thing about the workshops and the seminars that I have been able to attend is that they’re a great way to learn overall… This will be our 5th year [attending the manufacturing summit], and I always learn something new, inspiring, and innovative that I can bring back and share with my team.”

Sanquinetta Dover

Most recently, Ms. Dover has capitalized on the assistance offered by the financial team at the Atlanta MBDA Centers on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application. Ms. Dover observed that the loan forgiveness application process was very convoluted and that she specifically employed the knowledge and expertise of the Atlanta MBDA Centers to help her through the process. According to Ms. Dover, the advice and direction offered to her by the Center’s staff changed her understanding on various portions of the application process and guided her in the right direction. After receiving funding for the first round of PPP, Ms. Dover sought assistance from the Atlanta MBDA Centers when she needed to complete her application for the second round of PPP.

The future looks bright for DoverStaffing! After sustaining themselves through a global pandemic, Ms. Dover felt the drive to reevaluate the operations and services provided by her brands. As a lifelong learner, Ms. Dover constantly looks for new ways to pivot for her brands to stay current and relevant. After the mass online shift as a result of the pandemic, Ms. Dover began exploring opportunities to provide more training services online and other ways to shift into a virtual environment.

DoverStaffing is currently staffing remote/work from home call center positions that provide information on rental assistance programs. They are currently looking for individuals who speak English and bilingual Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, or Vietnamese. For details on this position and to register for future opportunities, please go to Find a Career at www.doverstaffing.com

To learn more about DoverStaffing, make sure to visit their website and follow their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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