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The Georgia Association of Business Brokers

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Eleven Georgia Business Brokers Named to Million Dollar Club with More than $58 Million Sold

Eleven members of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) helped business owners and entrepreneurs sell and buy more than $58 million worth of small- and medium-sized businesses in 2014.

GABB members represent owners of Georgia businesses in extremely important transactions: the sales of their businesses. GABB members help owners determine the asking prices of their businesses, create marketing plans and strategies for selling their businesses, and identify and qualify buyers while keeping the sale confidential from employees and customers.

“In 2014, not only did the economy continue to strengthen, but business owners became more confident in their optimism about the economy,” said GABB’s 2014 President C. David Chambless. “With that increasing optimism, we believe that 2015 will be a banner year in the sale of businesses. Members of the GABB are uniquely positioned to provide professional guidance to business owners and business buyers in successfully transacting the sales of businesses.”

Topping the GABB’s 2014 Million Dollar Club is Matt Slappey, owner of the Decatur branch of Murphy Business & Financial Corporation and past president of the GABB.

Rounding out the top-five producers are Jeff Merry, owner and founder of the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc. of Gainesville; GABB Treasurer Jon Merry, an associate of the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc. of Gainesville; GABB President C. David Chambless, president of Abraxas Business Services, Inc.; and Matt Wochele, president of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.

Multi-Million Dollar Club business brokers include Eric Gagnon, founder of We Sell Restaurants, Inc; David Still of Capital Endeavors, Inc.; J. Snypp of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; Steven Josovitz, vice president of The Shumacher Group; GABB Secretary Kent Reed of Murphy Business & Financial Corporation; and Art Lennig, regional director of Murphy Business & Financial Corporation of Georgia.

Mr. Wochele was honored with the GABB’s Phoenix Award, signifying that he has been a Million Dollar Club member ten times.

The Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) is the state’s only professional organization dedicated to buying and selling businesses and franchises. The GABB maintains a web site that lists hundreds of businesses and franchises for sale throughout Georgia in a variety of fields, including automotive, business services, child care, cleaning, construction, electronics equipment, fitness, flooring, floral, food, gas stations, landscaping, manufacturing, medical, shipping, restaurants, retail, security, signs, and businesses related to the internet.

The Awardees

Slappey Matt

Matt Slappey

GABB Lifetime Multi-Million Dollar Club Member and 2013 GABB President MATT SLAPPEY is the owner of the Decatur branch of Murphy Business & Financial Corporation. Mr. Slappey has been the top broker in Murphy Business & Financial Corporation of Georgia from 2008-2013. Matt has a wide array of experience on transactions typically in the $1 million-$50 million range. Mr. Slappey, a native of Decatur/DeKalb County has a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Broker Association (IBBA); degrees in accounting, economics, and business from Presbyterian College; and twelve years of experience in management for a Fortune-100 healthcare company. A 7-year active duty veteran, Mr. Slappey was a pilot and military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. He is an active member of Oak Grove United Methodist Church, the IBBA and M&A Source, and the Hall County Chamber of Commerce and enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, playing music, and enjoying the great outdoors

Jeff Merry 2013

Jeff Merry

JEFFERY E. MERRY, SR., past president of the GABB, has been the GABB’s top producer numerous times, and has been a part of the Million Dollar Club since its inception in 1999. Mr. Merry, owner and founder of the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc. of Gainesville, is a member of the International Association of Business Brokers. For more than two decades, his firm has specialized in serving the manufacturing, distribution, veterinary and medical industries. As a business intermediary, Certified Exit Planner, and consultant, Mr. Merry has been involved in mergers and acquisitions that have ranged in acquisition price from $60,000 to more than $15 million. He has been an adjunct instructor for the MBA program at North Georgia College. Mr. Merry holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois Edwardsville, and a Juris Doctorate from Atlanta Law School. Mr. Merry, a resident of Dahlonega, is a licensed real estate agent in Georgia and Florida, a senior business analyst, and a member of the Exit Planning Institute. He has three children and five grandchildren, and enjoys travelling, reading and riding his motorcycle.

jon-merry

Jon Merry

GABB Treasurer JON MERRY is a senior business broker with the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc. of Gainesville. Mr. Merry has a keen understanding for the buying and selling process, and is well versed in the industry handling a wide range of deal making activities for the firm and has assisted with numerous M&A transactions. In 2012 and 2013, Mr. Merry received recognition as one of five brokers to join the Multi-Million Dollar Club for closed M&A transactions. In addition, Mr. Merry has been a Certified Machinery/Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) with the National Equipment Business Builders Institute (NEBB Institute) for more than 10 years. A CMEA is intensively trained in the legal requirements involving the USPAP standards, as well as the methodological approach employed in establishing fair market value, orderly liquation value, and force liquation value in any market condition. Mr. Merry is owner of M&E Appraisals, Inc. of Dawsonville, Ga., and is a member of the International Business Broker Association (IBBA), the International Society of Business Analysts (ISBA), and the Georgia Lenders Quality Circle (GLQC). A native of Georgia, Mr. Merry was a professional umpire for Minor League Baseball for 11 years. He and his wife, RaeLynda and their two sons, Jacob and Joseph, live in historic Dahlonega.

2014 GABB President C. David Chambless

C. David Chambless

A lifetime member of the GABB Multi-Million Dollar Club and 2014 GABB President, C. DAVID CHAMBLESS is the president of Abraxas Business Services, Inc. Prior to Abraxas, he held various positions in sales, marketing, and executive roles in technology firms; as CFO for Aaron Rents as well as for private companies; and as a management consultant. A member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), Mr. Chambless has a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. He is a certified public accountant (inactive). Active in community work, he has served as a board member of the Technology Association of Georgia, on the membership committee for the Atlanta chapter of Business Executives for National Security, and the Sporting Clays Tournament committee for the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Chambless is very involved in the All Saints' Episcopal Church community. He was a fifteen-year board member of The Samaritan House of Atlanta and is on the Advisory Council of 24/7 Gateway, a homeless-services center under the auspices of the United Way of Atlanta. Mr. Chambless and his family live in historic Grant Park.

Matt Wochele

Matt Wochele

Matt Wochele CBI (Certified Business Intermediary) founded Preferred Business Brokers, Inc., in 1996 after a successful multi-year career as an investment banker. He is a life member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers Million Dollar Club, a Phoenix Award recipient and a member of the International Business Brokers Association. Under Mr. Wochele's leadership, Preferred has represented numerous private business owners in the sale of their businesses. As the managing broker, he has had the opportunity to guide and train a number of successful agents in the brokerage field. Having the experience in both public business sales and the private sector has been rewarding for his firm and their clients. This dual experience has positioned Preferred to handle both the smaller main street business purchases as well as middle market acquisitions. Preferred’s geographical scope stretches to many states. Recent transactions for Georgia listings have included buyers from Illinois and Iowa. Mr. Wochele resides in Sandy Springs with his wife, Kathy, a professional artist. Kathy and Matt have five daughters and two sons-in-law.

Eric Gagnon

Eric Gagnon

A GABB Million Dollar Club Member for the seventh consecutive year and a former GABB President, ERIC GAGNON is the president of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com. He has been designated an industry expert by Business Brokerage Press. A radio personality, frequent speaker and writer, Eric co-hosts a radio show dedicated to the restaurant industry that is broadcast from the nation’s 7th largest media market. Mr. Gagnon expanded the We Sell Restaurants brand into a franchise in 2012 that is growing with offices across the country. Mr. Gagnon is the co-author of Appetite for Acquisition, an award-winning book on restaurant brokerage that was named "Best of 2012" by Small Business Book Awards. In addition to GABB, Eric is a member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and has served as a speaker at its national meeting. He is also a member of the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF), the Southeast Franchise Forum (SEFF) and the International Franchise Association (IFA). Eric is licensed as a broker in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. He holds degrees from major universities in the United States and Canada.

David Still

David Still

GABB Lifetime Multi-Million Dollar Club Member and former GABB President DAVID R. STILL is the founder, designated business broker, and lead business appraiser of Capital Endeavors, Inc., established in 1995 and located in Lawrenceville, Ga. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. As a Certified Business Intermediary, he specializes in the mergers and acquisitions of privately held companies with gross sales between $1 million and $50 million. Mr. Still was a co-owner and publisher of the Gwinnett Post-Tribune newspaper. Mr. Still received the GABB Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. Mr. Still is the Chairman of the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Lawrenceville and active in multiple non-profit organizations. He is married and has two grown children, one daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

J. Snypp

J. Snypp

J. SNYPP lives in Dunwoody, grew up in Atlanta, and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in marketing. Mr. Snypp spent more than two decades in the office- furniture business before becoming a business broker and has been with Preferred Business Brokers, Inc. for eight years. He has found success selling businesses in a variety of industries, most recently selling day-care centers, a travel agency, and a cooking school. Mr. Snypp is married and has two sons. When he is not selling businesses, he is usually coaching a football or baseball team, camping, canoeing, water skiing, scuba diving, or involved in some other family activity.

Steve Josovitz

Steve Josovitz

STEVEN JOSOVITZ is vice president of The Shumacher Group, where he heads the restaurant business brokerage division and provides commercial retail and restaurant real estate site selection, sales and lease negotiation expertise. A former restaurant owner and trained professional chef, Steven has an extensive background in restaurant and hotel management. He also offers consulting and appraisal services. He has been retained by law firms for his expert opinion to help settle disputes. Mr. Josovitz, a resident of Norcross, earned a Bachelor of Science in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Florida International University in 1981. Mr. Josovitz is a member of the Georgia Restaurant Association, International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Retail Brokers Network.

Kent Reed

Kent Reed

KENT REED of Murphy Business & Financial Corporation has earned both of the prestigious designations of BCI (Board Certified Intermediary) and ABI (Accredited Business Intermediary). Mr. Reed is skilled in negotiations and an experienced advisor on management and financial issues. Mr. Reed holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management and Marketing from Western Carolina University. His previous professional career included positions in Fortune-100 and smaller companies. His experiences as a business-development executive and retail-marketing specialist have given him the necessary skills to help maximize the efforts of motivated buyers and sellers. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tracey, and their 10-year-old twin boys as well as traveling, fishing, music, and the North Georgia mountains. He is a member of Rotary International-East Cobb (currently president-elect), the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (2014 treasurer), and the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). With thousands of businesses in Atlanta, Mr. Reed has access to a broad spectrum of business types and sizes and works closely with many of Atlanta’s top business leaders.

Art Lennig

Art Lennig

ART LENNIG is regional director for Murphy Business & Financial Corporation - Georgia, Inc.. Mr. Lennig has served GABB as secretary, treasurer, vice president, and president. He earned a marketing degree from the University of Evansville. Art owned his own business for 20 years prior to becoming a business intermediary. He believes that his prior business experience has been very beneficial when representing business owners. His membership in the GABB has helped himself and also enabled him to assist other brokers as they start their careers. Mr. Lennig is a member of International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). Mr. Lennig has earned the prestigious Certified Business Intermediary (CBI®) designation. In 2003, he received the Senior Business Analyst (SBA) Award from the Society of Business Analysts. He is also a member of Institute of Certified Business Counselors (I-CBC). He is also a Life Member of the GABB Million Dollar Club. He resides in Acworth with his wife Pam, and they have two sons and five grandchildren.

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