Eleven Georgia Business Brokers Named to Million Dollar Club with Over $60 Million Sold

Eleven Georgia Business Brokers Named to Million Dollar Club with Over $60 Million Sold

Eleven members of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) helped business owners and entrepreneurs sell and buy more than $60 million worth of small and medium businesses in 2013.

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

“The business climate in Georgia certainly improved in 2013, and we of the GABB were glad to be a part of stimulating the economy,” said GABB’s 2013 President Matt Slappey.  Our transactions put tens of millions of dollars in the Georgia market and allowed banks to put a lot of money on the street via business acquisition loans. Allowing our clients to achieve liquidity from their business is a primary goal. Many will retire but some will turn around and buy another company right here in Georgia.”

Topping the GABB’s 2013 Million Dollar Club is C. David Chambless, president of Abraxas Business Services, Inc., and the 2014 president of the GABB. “It is an honor to lead the GABB, both as the top producer in 2013 and as the president in 2014,” he said. “Our organization is truly unique: we are an organization that provides its members with robust support in serving our members – the business owners and business buyers of Georgia.”

Other Top-Five business brokers include Jon Merry, an associate of the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc. of Gainesville; Jeff Merry, owner and founder of the Business House, inc. of Gainesville; Steven Josovitz, vice president of The Shumacher Group; and Matt Slappey, owner of the Decatur branch of Murphy Business and Financial Corporation.

Multi-Million Dollar Club members also include Matt Wochele, president of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; Dean Burnette, founder of Best Business Brokers of Savannah; and Eric Gagnon, founder of We Sell Restaurants, Inc.  Rounding out the honors are Michael Kelly of Coldwell Banker High Country Realty; Gareth J. Young of Abraxas Business Services, Inc.; and J. Snypp of Preferred Business Brokers.

Jeffery Merry, who has been GABB’s top producer in eight previous years and has been a part of the Million Dollar Club since its inception in 1999, was honored with the GABB’s Phoenix Award.

The Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) is the state’s only professional organization and Multiple Listing Service 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, as well as around the country, in a variety of fields, including animals and pets, automotive, business services, child care, cleaning, construction, schools, electronics equipment, fitness, flooring, floral, food businesses, gas stations, landscaping, manufacturing, medical,  shipping, restaurants, retail, security, signs and businesses related to the internet.

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., which focuses on businesses with revenues between $5- and $30-million in the manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, technology, and services industries. An inactive CPA, Mr. Chambless has served in sales, marketing, and executive roles in technology firms; as CFO for Aaron Rents and various private companies; and as a management consultant. Chambless currently serves on the membership committee of the Atlanta chapter of Business Executives for National Security and on the Sporting Clays committee of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has served or is serving in various roles in the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), including as a member of its board of directors and chair of its Leadership Council. He has served on the boards of the Grant Park Conservancy and the Southeast Atlanta Business Association. Mr. Chambless is actively involved in All Saints’ Episcopal Church. His other community investments include service on the boards of The Samaritan House of Atlanta and the Resource Opportunity Center of Atlanta, and on the Advisory Council of 24/7 Gateway, a homeless-services center. Mr. Chambless has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. Mr. Chambless and his family live in historic Grant Park.

GABB  2014 Treasurer JON MERRY is a Senior Business Broker with the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc. of Gainesville.  In 2012, Mr. Merry received recognition as one of five brokers to join the Multi-Million Dollar Club for closed M&A transaction.  In addition, Mr. Merry is owner of M&E Appraisals, Inc. located in Dawsonville, GA.  Further, he is a Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) with the National Equipment and Business Builders Institute (NEBB Institute) for over 10 years.  A CMEA is intensively trained in the legal requirements involving professional appraisal standards, as well as the methodology approach employed in establishing fair market value, orderly liquidation value, and forced liquidation value in any market condition.  Mr. Merry is a member of the International Society of Business Analysts (ISBA), Georgia Lenders Quality Circle (GLQC), and the International Business Broker Association (IBBA).  As 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.

JEFFERY E. MERRY, SR., a past president of the GABB, was the GABB’s top producer the past eight years and has been a part of the Million Dollar Club since its inception in 1999.  Jeffery was recently honored with the GABB’s Phoenix Award, which esteems an individual who has earned Million Dollar Club status for 10 years. 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 more than 300 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 Masters 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 is married to attorney Rebecca Speir Merry, has three children, five grandchildren, and enjoys travelling, reading and riding his motorcycle.

GABB Million Dollar Club Member 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, appraisal services and has been retained by law firms for his expert opinion to help settle disputes. Mr. Josovitz, a resident of Norcross, earned a B.S. 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. He is Multi-Million Dollar member of the GABB’s Million Dollar Club and received the 2012 Million Dollar Club Lifetime achievement award.

GABB Lifetime Multi-Million Dollar Club Member and 2013 GABB President MATT SLAPPEY is the owner of the Decatur branch of Murphy Business and Financial Corporation. Mr. Slappey has been the top broker in Murphy Business & Financial Corporation of Georgia from 2008-2013.  Matt’s focus is on businesses with values between $2MM – $50MM and believes that his results for his clients are the ultimate acknowledgement of his abilities.  He has ranked in the top 10% of the GABB each year of his membership.  Mr. Slappey, a native of Decatur/DeKalb County, draws from his experiences in previous business transactions, his Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Broker Association (IBBA), degrees in Accounting, Economics and Business from Presbyterian College and 12 years of experience in management for a Fortune 100 healthcare company. A seven 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 and enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, playing in a band, and enjoying the great outdoors.

MATT WOCHELE CBI founded Preferred Business Brokers, Inc., in 1996 after a 17-year career as an investment banker. He is a life member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers Million Dollar Club and a member of the International Business Brokers Association. Under Mr. Wochele’s leadership, Preferred has represented hundreds of 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 business brokerage field. Having a career in both the public business arena and now the private sector has been rewarding and certainly interesting. Mr. Wochele resides in Sandy Springs with his wife, Kathy, a professional artist. Kathy and Matt have five daughters and one son-in-law.

DEAN BURNETTE founded Best Business Brokers in 2009 after more than two decades of starting, buying and selling businesses. With roots in Southwest Louisiana and Georgia, Mr. Burnette draws from his experiences as a business owner, previous buying and selling transactions, the International Business Broker Association (IBBA), and GABB. He is a member of the Real Estate Commercial Alliance (RCA) a subsidiary of the Savannah Area Board of Realtors (SABOR), the 2013-2014 President of the Savannah Small Business Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, the Savannah Folk Music Society and the Derenne Business Owners Association. He is a member of the Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR), the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and also a proud sponsor of the 2014 Georgia Logistics Summit. Mr. Burnette is married to Dr. Deborah Burnette, has two children, three grandchildren, and they enjoy traveling, playing music, kayaking, running and being in four parades a year on their float the “Santa Maria.”

A GABB Million Dollar Club Member for the sixth consecutive year and 2011 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 their 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 both the United States and Canada.

MIKE KELLY, GRI, is an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker High Country Realty. He founded Mike Kelly Realty and Development in Blairsville, Ga., which specialized in the brokerage of commercial and industrial real estate and businesses in northeast Georgia and western North Carolina. Mr. Kelly has a strong background in the commercial and industrial field, working in valuation consultation for 20 years with the world’s largest appraisal company in the world, American Appraisal Associates. Mr. Kelly operated several startup companies in Florida and after achieving significant growth in a decade, sold the companies at the peak of the market. Mr. Kelly was born and raised in Freeport, New York, and graduated from St Peter’s College in New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Mike and his wife Ruth have four married daughters and eleven grandchildren. Kelly is a Director of the North Georgia Technical College Foundation, past president of the Rotary Club of Union County, a member of St. Francis of Assisi’s Finance Council and an active member of the Blairsville-Union Chamber of Commerce.

GABB 2013 Treasurer GARETH YOUNG works with Alpharesults to help companies obtain Georgia business income tax credits: his specific focus is the Georgia retraining tax credit, especially businesses with between 100 and 1,000 Georgia-resident employees. Mr. Young has extensive experience in business and corporate development, finance, and the nuts and bolts of running a small business. He was Executive Director of Corporate Development for BellSouth Corporation, where he was responsible for developing and executing business expansion strategies through mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and other transactions. Mr. Young began his career at Deloitte in the UK, where he spent seven years. He left the corporate world in 2006 to pursue both independent business livelihood and his spiritual path. In addition to becoming a successful entrepreneur and an accomplished speaker, Gareth is one of the founding members of the Red Clay Sangha, an Atlanta Buddhist community, and is very involved in interfaith activities, serving on the boards and in executive leadership with several Atlanta organizations. He is a father of two teenage children, a graduate of Oxford University, and an author of novels, works on spirituality and social justice, and a weekly blog.

J. SNYPP, a former GABB Board member, 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 multiple day care centers, a travel agency and cooking school. Mr. Snypp is married and has two sons. Therefore, 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.