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Blend Of Talents Link R-MC Alumni

December 1, 1999

By Linda Evans

After 17 years of building and running their own Ashland-based electrical company, Kerri Brunton Valentine ’82 and her husband Mike decided the timing was right to sell the company to a larger firm.

A unique blending of the talents of the Valentines with two other Randolph-Macon graduates made the acquisition by Integrated Electrical Services (IES) of Houston, Texas, happen. Charles Moncure ’82, a principal of Dominion Partners, L.C., advised the Valentines, prepared an informational memorandum on the company, contacted the 12 largest prospective buyers of the business, and helped to negotiate the terms of the acquisition. Harold Starke ’67, partner with the law firm Mays & Valentine in Richmond, Virginia, and the Valentines’ long-time attorney, “put the deal together legally,” Valentine said.

“This transaction is a real R-MC success story,” noted Moncure. Valentine, who has done business with Randolph-Macon graduates before, says that she enjoys working with her fellow alumni because “they’re smart, they work hard, and I like dealing with a high caliber person. I’ve never been disappointed.”

While the Valentines had worked with Starke for many years, their connection to Moncure happened by chance. Valentine called Dominion Partners when she noted in a newspaper article that the company had brokered a similar deal for a local mechanical firm. Even though she had been approached for many months by other brokers, she decided to try working with a local company. When she called and explained what she wanted, she was connected to Moncure, with whom she had lost touch since their days as classmates at Randolph-Macon. “It’s a small world,” she laughed in recalling the telephone call.

The Valentines began their company from their home during the economic downturn of the 1980s. They have grown from no employees to a staff of 84 and from small, residential jobs to large, highly-technical projects. The firm, which also employs another R-MC graduate, Thomas (T.C.) Casson ’87 as vice president of office operations, has also provided electrical work for many Randolph-Macon construction and renovation projects.

The acquisition gives Valentine Electrical many benefits, including more than 80 partner companies that share information and provide savings due to economies of scale. The acquisition also gives the Valentines’ employees a broader career path, and IES provides Valentine Electrical with more work through contracts with large companies, such as Home Depot and WalMart, that have multiple sites nationwide. “This was a huge factor” in our decision to sell the company, Valentine said.

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