Drummond Carpenter

Navigating to Success: Drummond Carpenter Grows from Start-up to Million Dollar Contracts

Florida SBDC at Seminole State College Assists Engineering Firm from Start to Success

March 28, 2024


Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu
Hunt Dawkins, Sub-Center Director, FSBDC at SSC, 407.708.4589 or dawkinsg@seminolestate.edu

Orlando, FL – Risk and uncertainty are hazards that every entrepreneur and prospective small business owner faces as they start their journey to realizing their vision and building the company that will achieve their goals. A bulwark against those challenges includes expert advisors and mentors who can guide, reassure, and build an entrepreneur’s or business owner’s confidence in their decisions. Chad Drummond, co-founder, president, and CEO of engineering firm Drummond Carpenter found exactly that kind of support and the assistance he needed to start and grow his company at the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida’s (FSBDC at UCF) sub-center at Seminole State College (FSBDC at SSC).

Drummond Carpenter is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) specializing in civil and environmental engineering. The firm serves clients across the nation including NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as various municipalities across the Midwest and in Central Florida, including the City of Orlando and Orange County. “What makes Drummond Carpenter special is truly its people,’ explains Drummond. “We have an incredible, very talented technical staff – many with advanced degrees – that are 100% focused on serving our clients and working as a team.”

“Our journey with the FSBDC started a year prior to us forming the company,” Drummond recalls. “I had my first meeting with Hunt Dawkins (FSBDC at SSC consultant and sub-center director) in 2015. We talked about a business plan, then developed one for what would be a successful engineering firm in Central Florida. I personally, with Don Carpenter, our co-founder, attended various webinars and in-person training to learn more about the business process. We spent a lot of time talking with Hunt about the financials, various accounting issues, how to handle payroll. Our interaction with the FSBDC was all really helpful to get the foundation for the firm set.”

“On a personal level, one of the things I really liked about the FSBDC is that you have access to business professionals, experts who are also regular people, that just want to see you succeed and help you grow,” Drummond continued. “You can sit down with these people, have a very comfortable, confidential conversation, and lay everything out on the table so you can get the best advice from their decades of experience.”

“One significant benefit that came from working with the FSBDC was it gave us the confidence, and also the tools, to grow,” Drummond comments. “Starting in 2016, we were just two co-founders working out of their houses. Today we have three offices across the country. We recently won a contract with the Veterans Administration worth over $5 million. Our staff has grown to almost 30 employees. And over the past couple of years our growth has reached levels of 40% and then 80%.”

“If I had to pick one word to describe my relationship with the FSBDC, it would be ‘navigator’,” concludes Drummond. “They’ve really helped me from before starting the company through to where we are now. They helped me navigate the process of being a small business trying to grow into a larger business. It’s been almost like our North Star, and has really benefited me, my company, and my employees.”

For information about Drummond Carpenter, please visit https://www.drummondcarpenter.com/.


About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of part of UCF’s Office of the President and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 9 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2022, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,600 jobs created, retained or saved; $793.9 million in sales growth; $66.7 million in capital formation; $103.8 million in government contract awards; and 160 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com .

About the Florida SBDC Network

For more than 45 years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2022, the Florida SBDC Network delivered 117,750 hours of consulting to 14,758 small business clients – resulting in business owners securing $446 million in capital, $445 million in government contracting, impacting 23,515 jobs, increasing sales by over $4.5 billion, and creating 825 businesses.

With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Department of Defense, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com