Jen Sadler noticed she was only one of a few women in the mass of 400 students in the lecture halls at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. But it did not intimidate her. Because, she said, “I was there on a mission to get my business degree.”
She began college in the late 1960s, pursuing a degree in psychology, although business was what she had on her heart. “I didn’t know it was OK or acceptable at that time,” Sadler said explaining why she was taking psychology classes instead of business classes at first. She switched majors and nothing else mattered. Women were stepping into new roles and she was right there on the front lines and credentials were important.
After graduating, Sadler went to work for Mayor Richard Lugar and then went on to work at the Indiana Department of Commerce. While she was there, she met Stan Sadler, who was working in commercial real estate sales downtown. He encouraged her to take classes to become a Realtor™. Again, credentials and a deep knowledge of the field were important to her, so she took all the classes and exams necessary to not only be a licensed real estate agent, but a licensed broker as well.
Bob Jensen wanted to teach, and Dave Jensen thought he’d be an engineer. It sort of worked out that way. Not officially, but Bob does teach, and Dave uses those engineering skills in their roles at Jensen’s Pools and More.
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.”
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 the self-employed life on a farm. He took a job working for an agricultural fertilizer and chemical company and moved to Ohio. Initially he was assistant plant manager and later transitioned into sales. But he missed Indiana and watched for an opportunity to move back home.
That chance came in 1978. After building a home in the rural outskirts of Mooresville, he and his wife of one year, Barb, settled into life in Morgan County. He liked the area because, he said, “In five minutes you can be in deep country.” He also saw an opportunity and when he befriended a competitive sales representative, they created a partnership and started a lawncare business in Mooresville. “That was good,” Phil said. “I learned a lot about agronomics and business operations.” The partnership lasted about five years and then the pair went their separate ways. Phil went back to sales for another company until too much time on the road began to chafe. “I was travelling and had a one-year-old son at home,” Phil said, “I decided that if I didn’t try to start a business then, I probably would never have another chance.”
Even though it is a gray, foggy, cool day in March, Ron Overton is looking out the window at The Links of Heartland Crossing surveying the 200-acre golf course and smiling. He’s in the lounge, appropriately called the Sand Trap, relaxed and ready to talk about his newest venture, the one that is making him smile.
The longtime resident of Mooresville worked hard for forty years alongside his brothers at Overton Industries to build an international operation. He is now semi-retired and felt the need for a new opportunity, a new challenge. That challenge came in December 2018 when he and partner, Shawn Stewart, made the decision to purchase The Links at Heartland Crossing. Stewart currently owns and operates a successful construction business. Although neither had ever owned a golf course before, both were owners of successful businesses and they had done their homework.
B. J. Pendill learned early in life that what a professor said, “Hard work is the path to success” was true in every aspect of life. It was, by the time that professor began repeating it to him daily as B. J. cleaned his horse stalls, already part of what he calls his DNA.
For him and his four siblings, it was the Bloomington family’s culture that everyone pitched in to take care of home and each other. His mother was very ill and spent a great deal of time in the hospital. “We had to grow up fast and be responsible,” B. J. said. In fact, he said, he was mowing the grass when he was only tall enough to steer it from the brace bar below the handle of the mower. He was not tall enough to reach the handle and propel it any other way.
That regular lawn-mowing experience at home turned lucrative for B. J. and his brother, Nathan. They began a lawn mowing business. “It was gratifying, and by college, we had a great business,” he said. The brothers did not leave it that. Their business evolved into a logistics transportation business. “We did a lot of commercial projects and went to school full-time,” B. J. said. “We loved the ability to go out and do something productive and then step back to see what we had created.”