Outstanding Veteran-Owned Small Business Owner: SCORE Awards
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (TheStreet) -- Joel Goldberg, founder and CEO of Aurico, an employment screening, background check and drug testing company, says being in the U.S. Navy provided him with many lessons to take to heart in the business world, but the most important was to "do it right" the first time around.
He started Aurico in 1991 in the spare bedroom of his home. Two decades later, the company, which now includes his son Ben as president, has 80 people on staff in a downtown Arlington Heights building.
Winning SCORE's Outstanding Veteran-Owned Small Business award for 2012 (SCORE is a Small Business Administration partner organization designed to mentor entrepreneurs), Goldberg's company is the first of seven winners to be profiled by TheStreet.
A conversation with Goldberg follows:
Explain what Aurico does and the industry it serves:
Goldberg: We are in what's typically known as the background screening business, that is, for companies of all types that are looking to find out who they're potential employees are before they hire them. We also do drug testing and due diligence investigations for companies that want to check out other companies before they do business with them. Aurico works with all sectors of business, including manufacturing, the service industry and not-for-profit.
My background was within business all along -- operating seven automotive franchises for 16 years -- but I also had experience in U.S. Navy intelligence. I saw a big opportunity for high-quality service background screening. A lot of what I saw out there was not very thorough.
How has the company held up during the recession?
Goldberg: We experienced our first recession after 9/11. And we were heavily based in manufacturing. We realized that we needed to establish a much broader range of clients across all business sectors. So we sold our way through that recession and continued to grow our business across business segments. Because of that we did not get hurt by the most recent recession and continued to grow over the past couple of years by 30% a year.
What does it mean to be a veteran and business owner amid today's political rhetoric?