Ronny Bolton, the owner of R.B. Bolton & Associates, sold the Aiken-based company last week to focus on retirement and time with his five grandchildren.
“I have reached pretty much all of my goals in life,” the 72-year-old said. “My bills were paid. I said, ‘What am I working for anymore?’ ”
Bolton, originally from North Augusta, started the business in 1977 after working for 10 years at Citizens & Southern National Bank, now Bank of America. As a banker, Bolton developed a relationship with E.G. Meybohm, the president and founder of Meybohm Realty. Bolton transferred 28 clients to Meybohm Commercial in the sale and sold his downtown Aiken office.
Bolton worked with his wife, Vicki, and son Clay, who operated the sales department for five years and will shift to teaching sports management at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C.
All other employees were part time, with the exception of one full-time agent who is now working at Meybohm’s Aiken office, Bolton said.
R.B. Bolton & Associates focused primarily on commercial developments, with limited residential and some assisted-living projects. Bolton said his company developed Aiken’s first residential retirement community, Kalmia Landing. Since then, several other assisted-living facilities and nursing homes have moved to Aiken.
“We saw the retiree market coming years ago, and we prepared for it,” Bolton said.
About 90 percent of the firm’s business was in the Aiken market, he said.
Bolton also served on Aiken’s planning commission in the 1980s, spending five years as chairman.
During his decade on the board, Bolton said, he helped mold planning ordinances that included landscape maintenance requirements for businesses and billboard bans within city limits.
“I did it for the good of Aiken,” he said of his time on the commission.