Being self-employed was just part of the make-up of Phil Fred’s developing persona growing up on a dairy farm in Fulton County, Ind. It wasn’t a stretch to believe that he graduated from Purdue with a degree in agriculture. But after graduating he didn’t go back to...read more
It was a proud moment for Bill Fite when he went to his grandmother to seek her approval to resurrect the business name of Fite Plumbing. She was excited about the revival, telling him to “absolutely bring Fite Plumbing back out!” With her blessing, the second iteration of Fite Plumbing opened on January 1, 1989. It is another proud moment for Bill Fite to host the grand opening of the new Fite Plumbing location this month.
Fite’s grandfather had operated a plumbing business for many years on the west side of Indianapolis. Several other Fite family members worked in the business. As a boy, Bill would be in and out of the plumbing supply barn next door. “We would build forts and there were always plumbing pipes in them, as grab bars or weapons, not for running water. I would ride the back hoe with him, too.” When Fite was in junior high school, his grandfather died, and the business was dissolved.
Over summer breaks in high school, Fite worked in a local plumbing business and after graduating, he worked there to pay for college. He says that he really enjoyed construction plumbing and always figured he would eventually be a builder in some way.
When Martinsville native Jeff Main left for college, economics was his major. He was interested in economics, but his primary objective in selecting DePauw University was both more focused, and broader. “My intention in college was to learn to learn,” Main said. “I tried to develop a broad-based knowledge and understanding of business, but then learn how to apply a variety of skills.”
His first job was as a bank examiner for the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions. After three years, it was a personal connection with fellow church member, Charlie Horrell, that changed his course. Horrell asked Main to join him in opening an office of Hilliard Lyons in Martinsville. “Charlie was in business in the Bloomington office and saw a need and opportunity in Martinsville,” Main said. “He became my mentor and senior partner in the business.”
Main says that for the first part of his career it wasn’t his position to think organizationally. “But it informed my beliefs,” Main said. “I learned from other talented people and I learned to trust the things they emphasized. Because of them I developed the confidence to put my own thoughts into practice.”
The heart of the services the Hilliard Lyons teams in Bloomington and Martinsville provide is helping families and businesses save, plan, invest, and manage their money and assets.
For individuals and families, Main and his team work toward goals such as securing lasting assets for retirement, savings for college educations, and transitioning wealth from one generation to another.
While the home he shares with wife, Terra, and their two children is elsewhere, Clay Hamilton says he spends about an equal amount of time in Mooresville, making it home, too. When you are a hands-on owner/operator of a business that is successful and growing, that’s how it is. Hamilton has no qualms about the time he devotes to Whites Electrical.
Hamilton was one of those lucky few who came out of high school with a direction. Beginning at 14-years-old, he became a staple on construction sites. During his junior and senior years of school, he participated in construction programs at Central Nine Career Center in Greenwood. The instructors were business professionals, contractors in the area, who led the construction of a home each year by students from Johnson, Morgan, and a portion of Marion Counties.
The experience helped Hamilton narrow his path. “I liked being around equipment and building things,” Hamilton said. “There’s nothing quite like standing back and saying, ‘Hey, we did that.’” When school ended each year, Hamilton continued to work for his instructors in their personal businesses.
The trades appealed to him, as Hamilton expressed, “because I like working hard and to have dirt on my hands. And the trades aren’t going anywhere. There aren’t enough tradesmen, and even fewer craftsmen out there.”Read the Full July 2018 Edition Here
You might already know that The Martinsville Candy Kitchen is celebrating 100 years in business this year. There will be a big community celebration on April 6, 2019 with kids’ activities from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and an Open House at the shop at 7 p.m. True to form being an historic tradition in Martinsville, there are plans to have former owners there and lots of surprises.
You might also already know the history of the shop. Greek immigrant, Jimmy Zapapas opened the business in April 1919. He produced candy canes and other sweet treats. His original recipes as well as his original equipment and tools have been passed down from owner to owner through the years. The store has actually moved several times along the street on the square. Hundreds of families both local and from far away have made candy from The Martinsville Candy Kitchen, especially candy canes, a tradition stretching across generations.
What you might not know is that the Candy Kitchen came perilously close to closing its doors after 85 years. It was Martinsville residents John and Pam Badger that rescued the shop fifteen years ago.
It was 20 years ago, in November 1998, that Michael Miller came to live in Mooresville. He had graduated from the Indiana University School of Optometry in 1991. After several years with the Indiana Eye Clinic in Greenwood, he had decided he wanted a private practice of his own. He began the search for an optometrist who was ready to retire or sell his practice. He learned about Dr. Bill Kirby in Mooresville. Dr. Kirby had about four decades serving the Mooresville community.
Looking at the beginning
Miller grew up in a small town in northern Indiana called Plymouth. His mother had developed early onset macular degeneration and had been legally blind since the age of 28. He understood the challenges visually impaired persons faced on a daily basis. Driving, in particular, was an issue. She needed special permits and could only drive under certain restrictions. Living out in the country made it a more of a hardship. When Miller and his sister earned their driver’s licenses, it was easier for the family.
The personal understanding of the importance of eyesight, along with his interest in science and mathematics, led him to the medical field, particularly relating to the study of sight and sight correction. He was not interested in medical school or actually performing surgery on eyes. With that in mind, and because all of his family, including himself, wore glasses or contacts, his thoughts turned to optometry. “We developed a really good relationship with the family eye doctor,” Miller said. “He was very encouraging and supportive of me going into optometry.”
It speaks volumes for both sides that the new superintendent of the Monrovia-Gregg School District, Kirk Freeman, said he wanted to finish his career in a great school district to help them become the best of the best.
Freeman began his career at Eminence Middle/High School in Morgan County. Unlike many new teachers, he had already completed a four-year obligation in the United States Army from his college days in ROTC at Indiana State University. He served in the medical service corps, achieving the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged.
Over three years there, he coached the boy’s junior varsity basketball team and the boys and girls track team. While there, he returned to Indiana State for a master’s degree and to get the principal licensure. In his last year at Eminence, he was the principal.
He spent a year at Linton-Stockton High School in Green County, Ind. and then nine years in Clay County. He was principal at Northview High School in Brazil and at Van Buren Elementary in Clay City. In 1994, he completed a doctorate degree at the Terre Haute campus of Indiana State.