AS SEEN IN Inside Business, November 2013
Business type Lake, pond, fisheries and stormwater management
Based Virginia Beach
Revenue 50 percent growth from 2010 to 2012
Employees 14 in 2010; 17 in 2011; 22 in 2012
Kevin Tucker's employees are just as important as the water when it comes to quality.
As president of Virginia Beach-based SOLlitude Lake Management Co., Tucker said the company strives to provide value-added service.
"We don't compete on price," he said. "We compete on value."
The company, which Tucker started in 1998, provides management services for lakes, ponds, fisheries and storm water retention systems, improving the water quality, preserving natural resources and reducing environmental footprints.
"Testing is one part," he said. "Mostly we're managing the water, helping to prevent and treat algae and nuisance and invasive aquatic vegetation like phragmites, a tall weed-type marsh plant that's a little bigger than a cattail."
Their services also include buffer management, mosquito control, geese control and lake mapping.
If you drive around Hampton Roads, chances are you will see work done by the company. SOLitude Lake Management also installs and manages the fountains on lakes and ponds that dot business properties and apartment complexes in the area.
"Those fountains are circulating and aerating the water which helps water quality and they are also a decorative improvement," he said.
Solitude has 26 employees and satellite offices in nine states. Locations include Newport News; Richmond; Fredericksburg; Charlottesville; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Newark, Del.; Gaithersburg, Md.; Millsboro, Del.; Avondal, Pa.; and Cherry Hill, N.J.
Past clients include the city of Newport News, the city of Chesapeake and Chesapeake Bay Management Inc., to name a few.
From 2010 to 2012, company revenues saw a 50 percent increase and the number of employees grew from 14 to 22.
Applicants go through three rounds of interviews and personality assessments. The first two employees hired are still with the company. Low turnover is one of Tucker's secrets to success.
"We're focused on having a few quality people, having them do a lot of work and paying them well," he said.
"The size, depth and parameters of every pond are different," Tucker said. "You can have a small pond on a small site that might cost $1,500 a year to manage. Some sites have up to 20 to 30 ponds and will go into six figures. It's really a big range."
In the next five years, SOLitude Lake wants to expand and become a national company.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs.
Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.