Several years ago Luke and Neil Markey left their successful positions in the business and military world to form their own company, called ShieldCo, to make beautiful, high quality, three dimensional signage and art out of various types of metal, based on the skills that they had learned from their father at an early age. Both had experience and expertise in leadership and organization so they soon knew that entrepreneurs are usually engrossed in their businesses and need someone else to help them objectively look at the business, review the strategy and track the progress toward the goals. With that in mind, Luke contacted SCORE, which directed him to SCORE Mid-Maryland and he was connected to Roger Sobowiak, who is a knowledgeable and experienced mentor who could listen to Luke, evaluate the company’s strategy, and help Luke with the next steps toward meeting their goals.
Luke said “Roger has been my SCORE mentor since Nov 2016. On average we've met every 4-6 months. Roger very quickly understood our business and asked pertinent questions. In our first meeting I was expressing my feeling of being overwhelmed with conducting sales, design, and fabrication and Roger very plainly said "It sounds like you need to hire a sales person." The next month we hired our first sales person. Now we have a sales team of 5 and we are expecting to cross $1 mil in sales for 2020. In each of our meetings he updates his understanding of where we are and where we are headed and adjusts his advice and questions to it. Our conversations and his guidance have been critical for our growth and success.”
Luke and Neil have big dreams of growing their small company but both approach it with a light and optimistic spirit. “I get to work with my brother and dad, life is good, as long as we enjoy the journey, we can’t really make a mistake,” said Luke.
As of 2020, the company has grown to 14 employees and sales are growing at over 40% a year. ShieldCo signs hang in 46 of 50 US States and they have many impressive clients on their roster, including PepsiCo, Costco, Philadelphia Eagles and Brooklyn Nets.
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