Three high school buddies, Shane Millwood, Denny Hewell and Jason Smith, founded SteelCo Buildings in 2001.
Within a couple of years, the young company was on its way to changing the very design of Newton County.
"Jason went to Georgia Southern, Shane was off to the Marine Corps and I went to the Air Force," said co-owner Denny Hewell. "I don't exactly know how our paths crossed again, but we did. Then we decided to start a construction company."
The business built its reputation with each building erected. Within two years, the company celebrated its 250th unit. By 2007, they had quadrupled their building output, reaching 1,000 units. The company quickly garnered a reputation for their solid customer service and attention to detail, a discipline they keep as a professional mantra.
Along the way, SteelCo has collected awards for their achievements as a small business. They recently accepted an award from the National Association of County Park and Recreation. They also won the Dick James Small Business of the Year award in 2006.
"Our number one goal is to provide a quality product, a competitive price and customer service that is second to none," said Hewell. "Even the unhappy customers would at least tell you we did everything we said we would do.
"Any problems we've ever had, we've taken it head-on and try to come up with a solution that would appease everyone," he continued.
The construction company provides custom engineered buildings for business and residential facilities. Each building is designed and customized for its own unique requirements. Hewell notes the trends have led the business to specialize more in eco-friendly and energy efficient materials.
In addition, the company achieved an astounding feat last year, when they built Peachtree Academy in merely five weeks; the crew worked tirelessly every single day until the project was completed.
"The Academy had a deadline; they had to open the school at a specific time," said Hewell. "We knew that going into it, so we worked around the clock and got it done."
SteelCo continues its building streak, slowly expanding their business beyond the borders of Newton County. But they don't just make buildings. Their involvement in the community include donating $20,000 in steel products to the Newton County Recreation Center, helping them build an entrance to City Pond Park. They have also hosted an event that raised $23,000 for Relay for Life in 2008.
This New Year's Eve, Millwood and his band, The Shane Millwood band, will perform at Georgia Piedmont Technical College (formerly DeKalb Tech) for the Project ReNeWal Boot and Belles Ball charity event. It will take place in the DeKalb Tech ballroom suite at 8 p.m. SteelCo employees, including Hewell and Smith will be there to cheer their friend Millwood along.