Skip to content

Milestones 2013


Inside Business presents its annual tribute to local companies that celebrated a significant milestone in 2013. These businesses and institutions are at least 25 years old with some as old as 100, 130 and 135. Read about how they've lasted, changed over the years and what their plans are for future growth. Many have not just survived, but have thrived.


  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Brooks Transfer and Storage celebrates 135 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 1:31 pm

    Posted: December 19, 2013

    When the Civil War ended, James W. Brooks asked his confederate captain, William Warner, if he could keep his cavalry horse. He was granted permission and when he returned home to Richmond he opened Brooks Transfer in 1878 with his horse and a wagon.

    The family-owned company, now run by Brooks’ great-great-grandson, Jeff Brooks, has been moving predominantly household goods ever since.

    “We can move anything anywhere in the world,” said Jeff Brooks, who took over as company president in 1998 following his father, C. Fair Brooks III.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE DJG Inc. engineers for 35 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    For Williamsburg-based DJG Inc., its 35th anniversary coincided with a pivotal transition year.

    Daniel DeYoung founded the engineering firm in the late 1970s and retired as president at the end of last year. DeYoung and other company officials had been contemplating succession plans since the 1990s, and spent the past few years preparing for the move.

    "The transition from the founding generation to the second generation is the hardest transition to ever make," said Donald Booth, president, citing industry expertise. "So that's been our big success of 2013."

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Strickland & Jones PC counts 35 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:40 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    In December 1978, James "Jimmy" Strickland had a cardboard box with a few clients and faith that his newly launched business would stay airborne. Thirty-five years later, Strickland & Jones PC is still flying, but Strickland won't be pilot come January.

    "I'm excited about the future of the firm," said Strickland, who's retiring from the CPA firm at the end of December. "We have good, capable people that will continue to provide good leadership for the firm and superb service to the clients."

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Tidewater Community College teaches students for 45 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    Tidewater Community College's founding started with an idea and a donation. In 1966, then-Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr. initiated a state sales tax with the goal of creating a state community college system. Two years later, the Beazley Foundation donated the Frederick College site in what is now north Suffolk to start a community college in South Hampton Roads.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Town Point Club celebrates 30 years

    Updated: December 23, 2013 - 2:25 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    The elite club for Hampton Roads businesspeople in Norfolk commemorated its 30th anniversary with a $1.5 million renovation of 18,000 square feet in the World Trade Center building downtown.

    Town Point Club built a new ballroom, a new boardroom, a casual-style dining room, a lounge, a media room with an 80-inch TV and technology-equipped "touchdown rooms" for private calls, interviews and impromptu meetings. The grand opening was Dec. 2.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Virginia Stage Co. sees 35 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:53 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    In the midst of its 35th season, it's hard to believe the Virginia Stage Co. in downtown Norfolk started out as a community theater.

    "Most arts organizations are formed by an artistic leader," said Keith Stava, the theater's managing director. "The Virginia Stage Co. was formed by the community. The board said they wanted a professional staff."

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE AAA Tidewater Virginia turns 100 years old

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:37 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    AAA Tidewater Virginia was founded on Jan. 18, 1913, as the Tidewater Automobile Association, when, according to company spokeswoman Georjeane Blumling, "18 spirited men came together to advocate for more and better roads and improved safety."

    According to AAA, the men met at the Monticello Hotel where each man pitched in $100 for the venture and paid dues of $5.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Archbell Signs marks 50 years in business

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    Pete Archbell started Archbell Signs in 1963. Back then, sign-making was an organic art form, when most signs were hand-painted by "wall dogs." Finding good artists to ply their craft was always challenging," said Anne McKinney, a firm spokeswoman.


    By 1972, Archbell asked Milton McKinney, who had worked for Archbell for four years, to become a partner. From then on, McKinney was responsible for the day-to-day management of the company.

    Now hand-painted signs are basically a lost art.


  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Armed Forces Reunions Inc. marks 25 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:00 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    In the 1980s, Ted Dey started working at the Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau. It didn't take long for him to notice the number of military groups meeting each year that didn't have a go-to source to plan their meetings and reunions.

    So Dey founded Armed Forces Reunions Inc.

    The company plans meetings, reunions and conferences for all branches of the military.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Atkinson Realty ERA reaches 70 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:21 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    To get married, Betsy Atkinson had to get her real estate license.

    "It was like a prerequisite," she said, about marrying her former husband John Atkinson, the Virginia Beach city treasurer.

    Though he was destined to take over Frank Atkinson Real Estate, the residential real estate firm his father had created at the Oceanfront in 1943, John was more interested in politics.

    "When we were dating, he said 'If you want to marry into this family, you've got to get your real estate license,'" Atkinson said. "Being young and in love, I ran out and got it in 1968."

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE CBRE Hampton Roads marks 30 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:10 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    There was the $29.9 million sale of Tapestry Park Apartments in Chesapeake, USAA's lease on 314,778 square feet of office space in The Concourse at Northampton in Norfolk, and the $28 million sale of Haygood Shopping Center in Virginia Beach.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Chesapeake marks 50 years as a city

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:55 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    Instead of throwing its own events to celebrate the city's half-century mark, the Chesapeake 50th Anniversary Committee used the money to spotlight events being held by other groups.

    "We didn't want to organize a banquet for the 50th to compete against the sports club banquet or have a parade that would compete against the Rotary Club parade," committee chairman Roland Davis said. "Our goal was to illuminate the events that were already there."

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Crenshaw, Ware & Martin PLC celebrates 90 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:42 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    All named partners in the Norfolk-based, multi-discipline law firm Crenshaw, Ware & Martin PLC are recipients of the same, rare award.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Ferguson supplies plumbing materials for 60 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:10 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    In the early 1950s home construction boomed.

    Seeing a need for an organized warehouse where contractors could go for plumbing supplies, Charles Ferguson partnered with Ralph Lenz and Johnny Smither and together the trio raised $165,000 to open two supply houses - one in Birmingham, Ala., and the other in Maryland. A year later, in 1953, they moved into Virginia and opened Crossroads Supply, a supply house and holding company in Alexandria.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Guernsey Tingle Architects designs for 30 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    Guernsey Tingle Architects was founded as Magoon/Guernsey Architects in 1983, after the two firms, Magoon and Guernsey, merged.

    Four months later, Thomas Tingle joined the Williamsburg firm, and then became principal in 1986.

    At the time, the firm had about seven employees.

    The firm now has a staff of 19, including eight licensed architects and two registered interior designers, who design all types of businesses, including government, federal, multifamily, commercial, resort, recreational, residential and institutional buildings.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Hoy Construction marks 80 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    In its 80 years, Hoy Construction has built apartment complexes, retail outlets and warehouses. The firm is responsible for the Cox Communications Virginia headquarters in Chesapeake. Its associates were involved in the old Wards Corner shopping center and are constructing the new one. They've left their mark on Hampton Roads, and it all started with L. J. Hoy.

    "He started building houses out of his garage," company Vice President Jeff Knowles said.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Hurrah Players sets the stage for 30 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:34 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    Known throughout Hampton Roads as a cheerleader for the performing arts, Hugh Copeland knew the arts were his calling from an early age.

    Growing up in the small town of Belvidere, N.C., he recruited neighbors and classmates to perform in plays he wrote and directed.

    When he moved to Norfolk to teach, he started Hurrah Players in 1983 out of a church basement in order to provide affordable, family-oriented entertainment for the community. Students from all over Hampton Roads flocked to be part of Copeland's classes

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Marva Maid marks 50 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 2:05 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    In the early 1950s, a group of farmers who made up the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association decided to expand and build a dairy farm in Newport News.

    They named it Marva Maid, and 50 years later, the dairy has more than 200 employees and distributes its milk from Northern Virginia to Roanoke and in North Carolina. It also has a distribution center in Richmond.

    "The plant was designed and built to serve a growing population base as well as the needs of the numerous military installations in the area," said Dan Cawley, a company spokesman.

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE MSA PC marks 40 years in business

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 4:24 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    The recession posed some challenges to engineering consulting firm MSA PC, prompting it to slash salaries and benefits. But the persistence and hard work that this Virginia Beach company has practiced for 40 years helped it weather the downturn.

    "We have patience with each other and with the economy," said founder and President Robert "Bob" Miller III, "and we just never give up. We just keep pushing that rock up the hill."

  • ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Nansemond Veterinary Clinic treats pets for 75 years

    Updated: December 20, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    Posted: December 20, 2013

    Founded in 1938 by Dr. Joseph Kress, and then known as Kress Animal Hospital, the now-Nansemond Veterinary Clinic in Suffolk primarily treated livestock.

    Dr. Jeffrey Klemm took over the clinic from Kress in the 1980s and changed the name to Nansemond Veterinary Clinic, and now the primary patients are dogs and cats.

    Dr. Woody Kessler, who took over the practice in the 1990s, said that over the years, pets have become much more than, well, pets.

    Instead, he said, owners nowadays treat their animals much like family.