Family Business Alliance

2023 Homegrown & Headquartered Family Businesses

  • Ashley Academy
  • Barton Automotive
  • Lensing Building Specialties
  • Red Wing Shoes
  • Sonitrol of Evansville
  • The Slade Company
  • VeriTardus Marketing

E-REP’s Homegrown & Headquartered initiative is the critical intersection between local legacy family-owned businesses, regional headquartered firms, and E-REP’s business retention and expansion programming. These strategic efforts are intentionally focused on driving business growth and economic prosperity by highlighting the impact and importance of our regional homegrown & headquartered businesses and connecting them to relevant and timely resources.

Congratulations to Lensing Building Specialties on 75 years of business. Thank you for your contribution to the Evansville Region!

Pictured left to right: Kevin O’Donohue – Manager at Lensing Building Specialties, Joe Theby – Chairman/CEO at Lensing Tool and Supply, Matt Theby – VP Architectural Sales

Lensing Building Specialties is an Evansville-based residential and commercial building materials distributor celebrating 75 years in business. What first started as a small operation selling a few residential products in Evansville evolved into a robust distribution business serving customers across four states and employing nearly 130 team members.

In the greater Evansville area, we install a variety of our products to serve local businesses and homeowners more adequately. Whether we’re installing windows on a local home or commercial overhead doors in a manufacturing facility, we’re proud to contribute to the vitality of this region.

As a family-owned business, our growth depends on the quality of team members, customers and business partners coming from this area. We’ve been fortunate to work alongside so many talented professionals who share our commitment to this community. We’re grateful to contribute to and benefit from the strength of this region for 75 years and look forward to the continued growth of our team and our community.

Pictured left to right, Sonitrol of Evansville Sales Team:
Jennifer Hayes, Jessica Gwaltney, Sherri Wright, and C Tom Dempewolf

Congratulations to Sonitrol of Evansville on 60 years of business. Thank you for your contribution to the Evansville Region!

“Sonitrol of Evansville is proud to be a third-generation family-owned company right here in Evansville. For nearly 60 years we have protected the places and people you love. Our commitment to the community extends beyond the quality security systems we provide to working side by side with Evansville Police Department, to giving back to numerous non-profit organizations throughout the year. We pride ourselves on being the best in the business and look forward to serving Evansville for generations to come.”

– Sam Standring, President, Sonitrol of Evansville

Congratulations to VeriTardus Marketing on 7 years of business. Thank you for your contribution to the Evansville Region!

“Hello! I’m Erin Hagan, a digital marketer and fractional CMO with over seven years of experience in driving online engagement and brand growth. I currently work as a freelance marketing consultant with VeriTardus Marketing, where I’ve led numerous successful campaigns for global brands. Outside of the office, I’m an avid reader, hiker, kayaker and dog mom.”

– Erin Hagan, VeriTardus Marketing

Congratulations to Red Wing Shoes – in business since 1905. Thank you for your contribution to the Evansville Region!

“At Red Wing Shoes in Evansville, our purpose is to make a lasting and positive difference in people’s lives. We are fueled by our strong values and the commitment to craftsmanship that has been at our core since 1905. Our legacy of purposeful craftsmanship never leaves our mind and sustains everything we do. When we introduce new products or consider new partnerships, we apply what was developed so successfully with that first pair of Red Wing Shoes. It becomes a natural extension of our purpose and a vision of the craftspeople behind each product. Being locally and family owned, we enjoy the opportunity to give back to the people here in the tri-state area and beyond and we take that opportunity every day to make each customer we assist as safe a comfortable in their work environment as we can. It is our pleasure to have done so over the last 4 decades of being in the tri-state. As we grow, our appreciation for our hometown roots grows with us. “

– Nate Isley, Store Manager, Red Wing Shoes

Pictured from left to right: David Gillihan, service advisor; Nick and Maureen Barton, owners; Ryan Seaton, service advisor; and Tobias Brown, service advisor

Congratulations to Barton Automotive Services for 17 years in business. Thank you for your contribution to the Evansville Region!

Barton Automotive has proudly served the tri-state community for 17 years. Committed to providing quality service, their expertise spans high-level, complex diagnostic repairs to routine maintenance. They service all makes and models, drawing from decades of experience working on everything from passenger cars to company fleet vehicles.

Customer trust and satisfaction are the guiding principles that propel the Barton Automotive team. They believe that personalized service, complete transparency, and open communication are the best ways to empower owners to make informed decisions about routine service and vehicle repairs.

Barton Automotive is a locally-owned business that understands the value of a thriving community. Actively involved in and supportive of numerous non-profits, industry initiatives, educational institutions, and workforce programs in the region and state.

Pictured from left to right: Mark Mullen, Bethany Swartzentruber, Sean Rath, Emily Slade Manzo, Kelly Woosley, Margo Borre, Stella Heichelbech, Dana Selke, Katelin Keene (Not all Slade Company team members pictured)

Congratulations to The Slade Company – in business since 1993. Thank you for your contribution to the Evansville Region!

The Slade Company was founded by Tom and Lisa Slade in 1993 and has grown from a traditional print shop with 5 employees to a full-scale print/signs/apparel/label/promo production facility with 4 locations and 55+ team members. We believe that printing is about telling a story. From grand openings to multi-faceted business proposals to extensive hospital and school hallway creations and installations – the Slade family has been honored to help our customers tell their stories for over a quarter of a century.

We are now several years into the second generation of family leadership, continuing to invest in our business, teammates, and community to bring world-class print solutions to our customers. We pour family values and passion into our work – with a watchful eye on technology and solutions that will address today’s printing needs. Our passion is helping our customers tell their stories and watching them unfold as we continue to invest in the local community.

Pictured from left to right: Jason Murphy, Nevin Ashley, Cody Gilbert

Congratulations to Ashley Academy, now GRIT Athletic Academy – in business since 2018. Thank you for your contribution to the Evansville Region!

GRIT Athletic Academy, formerly Ashley Academy, was founded by Nevin Ashley in 2018 and has grown from just one cage giving baseball lessons to a robust team of professional instructors and a full-service facility. Covering all aspects of Baseball, Softball, and Speed & Agility – we are proud to be a small business with a large impact. Our passion is to develop, encourage, and train athletes locally and beyond Evansville, Indiana. With a triple-threat set of owners and 10+ trained and qualified instructors, GRIT offers cage rentals, team rentals, private lessons, small group lessons, classes, camps, and more. Memberships and packages are available, as well as GRIT Instructor-led practices for high schools. We are proud to be the official training facility for Top Tier Athletics, a national organization and top performer in travel baseball.

We believe that development is key and with that focus, when opportunity presents as an athlete who has trained with us they are equipped to capitalize. Each athlete has different learning styles and abilities, our approach is customized to each person for growth both on and off the field and/or court. With family values, experience firsthand in the professional sports industry, and passion for our community we create a culture that both the athlete and parents enjoy.

We are excited to move to a new location in February 2024 located at Green River Road and Morgan Avenue, and we are expanding our offerings to include basketball, physical therapy, and strength training.