Thirteen Georgia Business Brokers Achieve GABB 2018 Million Dollar Club

GABB President Mike Ramatowski congratulates top GABB Million Dollar Award broker C. David Chambless.

Thirteen members of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) were named to the 2018 Million Dollar Club for helping broker the sale of more than $71 million worth of small, medium and large businesses.

GABB members represent owners of Georgia businesses in important and complicated transactions: the sale of their business. GABB members help owners determine the asking price of their business, create marketing plans and strategies for selling their business, identify and qualify buyers, and have the knowledge, experience and skills needed to help maintain the confidential nature of the process.

The top producer for 2018 was C. David Chambless, president of Abraxas Business Services, Inc.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the GABB, Georgia’s professional association for business brokers,” said Mr. Chambless. “The GABB is a leader in helping small business owners sell their businesses, and I am proud to be a member.”

Business brokers who were among the top five with multi-million dollars in business sales for the year are Matt Wochele, founder of Preferred Business Brokers.; J. Snypp, Vice President of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; Steve Josovitz, Vice President of The Shumacher Group; and Greg DeFoor, founder and President of DeFoor Business Services

Business brokers with multi-million dollars in sales included Robin Gagnon, co-founder of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com; Jon Merry, a senior business broker with THE BUSINESS HOUSE; Tim Greene, Business Broker and Consultant for DeFoor Business Services; Lisa Young, Business Broker at Transworld Business Advisors; Jon Roman, business intermediary, franchise consultant and developer at Transworld Business Advisors; and Jay Fenello, Business Broker and Intermediary with BizPlacements.com.

Other Million Dollar Club members are Richard S. Burgess, president and founder of Priority Business Acquisitions, Inc.; and Eric Gagnon, the president of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com.

Mr. Josovitz earned the GABB’s Phoenix Award for being a member of the Million Dollar Club for more than ten years. Mr. Roman was named a life member of the GABB Million Dollar Club for achieving more than a million dollars in sales for three consecutive years.

The Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) is the state’s only professional organization dedicated to buying and selling businesses and franchises.  The GABB’s website t 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.

According to GABB’s President Mike Ramatowski, selling a business is a complex process that business brokers help owners and sellers navigate.

“Buying or selling a business using a professional business broker is one of the best economic decisions a business owner will ever make,” said Ramatowski, who is president of Georgia Business Associates, Inc. “This was a great year for doing transactions, and no matter what the market does, owners and buyers will always get their best deal using a professional who is experienced in these transactions.

GABB broker members have represented thousands of business owners and buyers, and the group has a dedicated membership of lenders, attorneys and other professionals to assist business buyers and sellers at every step of the process.

The Awardees:

C. David Chambless is a former GABB president and president of Abraxas Business Services.

C. David Chambless is a former GABB president and president of Abraxas Business Services.

DAVID CHAMBLESS is the president of Abraxas Business Services, Inc. which provides integrated services to sellers (and buyers) of businesses with revenues of $5- to $30-million, with a focus on businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, technology, and services industries. A former GABB President, Mr. Chambless has earned the prestigious GABB Phoenix award for a decade of reaching the Multi-Million Dollar Club. 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. Mr. Chambless has a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Georgia Tech.  He is a certified public accountant (inactive). He is a longtime member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). Active in community work, he has served as a member of the Technology Association of Georgia board of directors and its executive committee and as the chairman of its Leadership Council, TAG-Finance and TAG-FinTech. Mr. Chambless has chaired the membership committee for the Atlanta chapter of Business Executives for National Security; is on the board of the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center; and on the Sporting Clays Tournament committee for the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has been on the boards of the Grant Park Conservancy and the Southeast Atlanta Business Association, and is very involved in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church community. He served for 15 years on the board of The Samaritan House of Atlanta. He has served on the board of directors for the Resource Opportunity Center 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, along with his last at-home son, maintains his family’s home in historic Grant Park while his wife works in Beijing, China, where she is a principal with Three W International.

Matt Wochele

Matt Wochele CBI (Certified Business Intermediary) founded Preferred Business Brokers, Inc., in 1996 after a successful 17-year career in the investment banking industry. He is a life member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers Million Dollar Club, Phoenix Award recipient and a member of the International Business Brokers Association. As president and managing broker of Preferred he has had the opportunity to be personally involved in hundreds of private business sales. The combined personal experience in the public sector with the private business sales has positioned the company to handle both the smaller main street business deals and the larger middle market business acquisitions. Mr. Wochele volunteers with the Atlanta Mission and is a member of the Atlanta Rowing Club. On a personal note Matt and his wife Kathy, a professional artist, have been married thirty five years, live in Sandy Springs, and have five daughters, one granddaughter and one grandson.

J. Snypp

J. SNYPP III, a former GABB Board member and a life member of the Million Dollar Club, 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 more than 10 years. He has found success selling businesses in a variety of industries most recently selling multiple day care centers. He is president of the Dunwoody North Driving Club, a member of the Dunwoody High School Gridiron Club and chairman of the Wildcat Classic Golf Tournament which benefits the Dunwoody High football team. He is married and has two boys aged 14 and 19.  Therefore, when he is not selling businesses he is usually coaching a football or baseball team, camping, canoeing, water skiing, scuba diving, shooting sports or involved in some other family activity. 

Steve Josovitz

STEVEN JOSOVITZ is vice president of The Shumacher Group, having joined the firm in 1992. As an Associate Real Estate Broker, he heads up the company’s restaurant business brokerage division in addition to providing 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 earned a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Florida International University in 1981 and has studied in Europe. Mr. Josovitz is a member of the Georgia Restaurant Association, Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB), International Council of Shopping Centers and the Retail Brokers Network. As a 26-year GABB member, Mr. Josovitz was awarded Life Member and The Phoenix Award and annually receives the Multi-Million Dollar Club Award and Top Five Award for business and restaurant brokerage sales in Georgia. Steven’s goals and thoughts are always “Make sure all parties – Buyers, Sellers and Landlords walk away from the closing table happy. Maintaining integrity and honesty along with professionalism and expertise is a must. The needs of your clients and those you work with must always come first before commission or personal gain.”

Greg DeFoor, former GABB president and 2018 GABB Board member

GREG DeFOOR is a business broker, a CPA and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He became a business broker in 2002 after working in public accounting followed by private industry experience as an accounting and financial executive in the healthcare and retail automotive industries. While in private industry, he was involved in a number of business transactions and decided to use that knowledge and experience to start his own firm. He has a unique blend of audit, tax, accounting, corporate finance, business advisory and transaction experience to use for the benefit of his clients. He has an active Georgia real estate broker’s license. His firm specializes in the sale of small and middle-market privately owned businesses in a number of industrial classifications. Mr. DeFoor has an accounting degree from Auburn University and lives in Powder Springs.

Robin Gagnon

ROBIN GAGNON is the Co-Founder of We Sell Restaurants and the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer.  One of the most prolific restaurant brokers in the industry and a franchise resale specialist, she holds the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokers Association or IBBA and is an MBA.  She is a writer and speaker who has addressed many groups nationwide She co-authored Appetite for Acquisition,  the industry’s leading book on buying restaurants that received the prestigious “Best of ” award by Small Business Book Awards.  Robin is a member of the International Franchise Association and serves on the Women’s Franchise Committee at the national level. She is also the Chair of the Women’s Franchise Network – Atlanta Chapter.  Robin holds an undergraduate degree and an MBA where she graduated first in her class and was named “Outstanding MBA.” Robin is an emeritus member of the ASU Business Advisory Council. She is also a founding member of the ASU Entrepreneurship Board. Robin is a licensed real estate salesperson in both Georgia and Florida and member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB), the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF).  Robin, along with her husband Eric teach the nation’s only Certified Restaurant Broker curriculum training and testing agents in the practice of restaurant brokerage.

Jon Merry

JON MERRY is a senior business broker with THE BUSINESS HOUSE of Gainesville. Mr. Merry has been in the Business Mergers and Acquisition Industry for more than 10 years. Jon specializes in serving the Manufacturing, Distribution, Service, Medical, and Health Care Industries. He 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. Since 2012, Mr. Merry has been recognized as one of the GABB’s top five brokers for closed M&A transactions and is a former GABB board member. In addition, Mr. Merry has been a Certified Machinery/Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) with the National Equipment Business Builders Institute (NEBB Institute) since 2000, and became a Master CMEA in 2014. As a CMEA, he is intensively trained in the legal requirements involving USPAP standards, as well as the methodology approach employed in establishing fair market value, orderly liquation value, and forced liquation value in any market condition. Mr. Merry is a member of the International Business Broker Association (IBBA) and the International Society of Business Analysts (ISBA). 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, Ga.

Tim Greene

TIM GREENE is a Business Broker and Consultant for DeFoor Business Services and specializes in the evaluation, marketing, sale and acquisition of businesses in a variety of classifications.  His technical expertise, analytical background, and experience owning businesses enable him to provide professional services to buyers and sellers of many types of businesses. His areas of expertise include businesses engaged in document shredding/management, carpet/flooring, construction and engineering.  Tim has provided consulting advice on over 30 document management related business transactions over the past 5 years for his clients and is well known in the industry.  He is very active as a Business Broker and has transactional experience with a variety of business types including asphalt paving, concrete construction, landscaping, HVAC, carpet and flooring and hardware stores.  As a licensed Business Broker and Consultant and through proven web sites and connections, he has global access to buyers and sellers. Mr. Greene has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Ohio Northern University in 1979.   He began his employment with Marathon Oil Company in Findlay, Ohio.  After a number of promotions and transfers he settled in Atlanta, Georgia.  Following his entrepreneurial drive he purchased part ownership in an industrial company providing services to the oil, paper and power industries.  That company was a fast growing organization that grew primarily through acquisition of existing operating companies.In 1999, Tim purchased a concrete services business and grew sales volumes, later adding a significant volume of asphalt paving.  He sold that profitable business in 2007 and is now utilizing his knowledge and expertise to assist sellers and buyers of businesses. Mr. Greene lives in the West Cobb area of Acworth, with his wife, Sharon.  His two children attended Harrison High School and are now adults.

Lisa Young

LISA YOUNG is a business broker with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta, working in the Dunwoody office. Ms. Young graduated from Georgia Military Prep School and Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville where she received a Bachelors in Business Administration with a major in Information Systems. She has worked in the real estate industry since 2000 as well as owning a couple of small businesses before joining Transworld. She enjoys gardening, swimming, boating, golf and volunteer work with organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and Lake Oconee Church.  She has two grown sons, one grandson and she splits time between Marietta and Lake Oconee.

Jon Roman

JON ROMAN is a business intermediary, franchise consultant and developer at Transworld Business Advisors and a member of the GABB board. After 18 years of various business ownerships, including startups, established or franchised ventures and a full-time career as a commercial banker, he founded the local Transworld Business Advisors office in
Atlanta. His experience includes mergers and acquisition of privately owned companies with revenues of up to $30 million. His team includes buyer and seller agents, franchise consultants and business evaluation specialists. Mr. Roman is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), a member of the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG), of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Transworld Business Advisors has more than 400 brokers and more than 150 offices worldwide.

Eric Gagnon

ERIC GAGNON is the President and founder of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com, ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine as the nation’s fifth largest business brokerage franchise and the largest focused on the restaurant industry.  An expert in restaurant sales and valuation, he is a frequent speaker, writer and radio personality for the industry.  Mr. Gagnon is the co-author of Appetite for Acquisition, an award winning book on buying restaurants.  He is past President of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers, has been named to the GABB Million Dollar Club many times, has received the GABB Lifetime Million Dollar Club Award and received the prestigious GABB Phoenix award for a decade of reaching those milestones. Business Brokerage Press first designated Mr. Gagnon as an Industry Expert over a decade ago.  In addition to GABB, Eric is a member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the International Franchise Association (IFA), and the Southeast Franchise Forum (SEFF) where he serves on the Board of Directors.  He is also a member of the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF). Mr. Gagnon is licensed as a broker in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

Richard S. Burgess

RICHARD S. BURGESS is owner and founder of Priority Business Acquisitions, Inc. (PBA) which uses a Christ-centered, straightforward, successful approach to its Mergers and Acquisitions services. Mr. Burgess is also the treasurer of the GABB. He has more than 20 years of successful M & A and real estate experience, is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia, and can handle the sale, acquisition and financing of privately held companies and real estate. Mr. Burgess  understands that choosing the right intermediary to help you accomplish your goals can be a difficult and anxious experience.  His goal is to make the process as smooth and rewarding as possible through clear communication and attention to clients’ objectives.  He is a resident of Lawrenceville, GA, attends Christ The Lord Lutheran church, and also owns Priority Real Estate Services, LLC to handle exclusive real estate deals.

Jay Fenello

JAY FENELLO is the founder of BizPlacements.com, a Business Brokerage website dedicated to helping people buy and sell small businesses and franchises, especially owner-operated companies. Jay started his career as a computer engineer for IBM in Boca Raton, Fla., where he worked on a new product called the IBM PC. Soon after, he returned to school where he earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, one of the top programs in the nation. He first started in business brokerage in 1995, and has since worked for several firms, including one of the largest M&A firms in the country. Jay is a member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors and the Georgia Association of Business Brokers, where he has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top brokers in the state. He resides in Woodstock.