Knoxville firm and Dream Big winner Strata-G sold to employees

Knoxville firm and Dream Big winner Strata-G sold to employees

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Strata-G founder Dan Hurst talks about selling the company to his employees.

Knoxville News Sentinel

For the first time in 18 years, Strata-G founder Dan Hurst has just one decision to make: finding and conserving 100 acres of land meant for Strata-G employees to enjoy. 

It’s a transition for someone who, as a small-business owner, made thousands of decisions year in and year out. 

Ranked as the largest veteran-owned business in East Tennessee by the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Book of Lists, Strata-G has been sold by Hurst to two longtime vice presidents.

Elliott Barnett will take on operations as CEO, and John Patterson will handle business development and growth as president. 

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From left, Dan Hurst, Darrell Daugherty and John Patterson pose for a portrait at their company, Strata-G, the largest veteran-owned business in East Tennessee, on Aug. 2, 2020. Hurst has sold the company to employees Patterson and Elliott Barnett. (Photo: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel)

This Labor Day season, Hurst is reflecting on the company he built from the ground up with senior engineer Darrell Daugherty. The two will transition over the course of several years into new roles and eventually retirement.

The sale is two years and many heart-to-heart conversations in the making. 

“Succession is a fun word,” Hurst said. “We’re all succeeding together, and we’re doing it by them not kicking us over the hill; that’s in our benefit and theirs. The fact that we’ve got a path that lets all that ‘juice’ stay in the company, I think, is useful.”

US Chamber awarded business

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Email business reporter Brenna McDermott at brenna.mcdermott@knoxnews.com and follow her on Twitter @_BrennaMcD.

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