Sunday, November 10, 2002

Everclear emerges as true up-and-comer



By James McNair
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WALTON - What telecom shakeout?

UP-AND-COMERS
Up-and-comers for 2001
Basco Manufacturing Co.
Mason
Chief executive: George W. Rohde
Business: Maker of shower doors, tub enclosures, mirrors and ventilated shelving
Derringer Food Services
Cincinnati
Chief executive: William H. Derringer
Business: Provides vending machines and coffee-break services and supplies
Everclear Communications
Walton
Chief executive: Kerry S. Bowlin
Business: Installs and maintains towers and other equipment for wireless telecommunications network operators
Oswald Co.
Cincinnati
Chief executive: Kenneth Oswald
Business: Construction, management and design for commercial and institutional markets
United Medical Resources
Cincinnati
Chief executive: Victoria Bennett Buyniski
Business: Administrator of self-funded health benefit plans
If anything is shaking out at Everclear Communications, it would be trucks, work crews and transmission towers that are helping to build the nation's wireless telephone infrastructure.

The pace of installing towers and other equipment for the likes of AT&T Wireless, GTE Wireless, Nextel, Sprint PCS, Verizon Wireless and VoiceStream Wireless has, in just three years, propelled Everclear to the cusp of the Greater Cincinnati 100. With about $34 million in revenue last year, Everclear came in at 101st.

A true up-and-comer, however, Everclear expects to post $75 million in revenue in 2003, which would have been good enough for the No. 59 spot on this year's list. Its payroll has also grown, from 170 employees in 2001 to more than 200 today, said Everclear president Kerry Bowlin.

Created by the merger of three privately owned Tristate companies in 1999, Everclear calls itself a "turnkey" or "soup-to-nuts" contractor for customers in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries. It installs and services towers, lines, antennas and electronics.

"We focus primarily on the wireless facilities, which is the robust portion of the telecommunications market," Mr. Bowlin, son of co-founder Blevins Bowlin. "We do construction, maintenance and upgrades, and as the consolidation of the market takes place, a lot of smaller companies can't meet the cash requirements to run a business in today's environment. We've been able to sustain that and grab more market share."

Everclear's business locations and the whereabouts of its employees vary with its jobs. For now, that puts Everclear in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida.

"Depending on which markets are generating upgrades and new construction, we can be anywhere in the lower 48 states, but we concentrate on east of the Mississippi," Mr. Bowlin said.

E-mail jmcnair@enquirer.com



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Everclear emerges as true up-and-comer