MAU leader named Entrepreneur of the Year

The Augusta Metro Chamber of Com­merce on Tuesday honored MAU Presi­dent Randy Hatcher as the 2013 top entrepreneur on the heels of the company’s 40th anniversary this year.

Hatcher has been at the helm of MAU Workforce Solutions since 1999. The temporary staffing and recruiting agency was founded as Mr./Ms. Temps in 1973 by his father, William Hatcher Sr., who died in July. The company, now on the corner of Greene and Fifth streets, celebrated its 40th year of business in May.

Hatcher was given the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the chamber’s annual member economic luncheon at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. He thanked friends, company employees and, specifically, his father for their support.

“For me, even more special is the family that created my opportunity to continue as an entrepreneur,” Hatcher said, “and that’s my dad, who really was a quintessential entrepreneur that started a business in America with $500 (and) that today could be one of the largest employers in the nation in our industry.”

For three consecutive years, MAU has made Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest-growing private firms in the country, through cultivating relationships with major manufacturers such as BMW and E-Z-Go.

The company has never had an unprofitable year, said Jay Forrester, a chamber board of directors member.

“Today’s recipient thinks of himself as a person who is happiest creating something that did not exist before,” Forrester said. “He’s happiest when there are more jobs created, profit made, and communities and lives made better.”

Last year, MAU donated more than $160,000 to charity, including $23,000 to the Amer­ican Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Hatcher said his faith is a cornerstone of the business.

“I think that an entrepreneur has to have faith, because you have to believe in a path
that you’ve not been on before,” he said.

The award is given based on use of innovative business practices, growth and performance, community image, involvement, impact and operational excellence. Hatcher is its 39th recipient.

The chamber recognized downtown restaurateurs Sean and Krista Wight as recipients of the Entrepreneur Rising Star award for up-and-coming entrepreneurs who have made progress in their business and are positioned for growth.

In the past three years, the Wights have opened Frog Hollow Tavern and Farm­haus Burgers on Broad Street. Their third restaurant, Craft & Vine, is expected to open as a tapas bar on Broad Street in early 2014.

“I really hope to see downtown continue to grow,” Sean Wight said. “Part of our mission and our goal is to help downtown grow as a whole.”

Kevin Wade, owner of intelliSystems, named Entrepreneur of the Year
Steve Kendrick receives Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award
Local companies continue to make Inc. 5000 list
Bill Hatcher, founder of job firm MAU, dies at 87
MAU celebrates 40th anniversary with renovations
SPEAKER TOUTS MCG

Dr. Peter Buckley, a dean at Georgia Regents University’s Medical College of Georgia, spoke at the event about the medical school’s role in innovation.

He said the institution’s founders were all innovators and entrepreneurs by leading the way in medical advances.

Buckley said GRU’s medical program is the ninth-largest in the nation by class size, with close to 900 students. Last year, he said, there was an 18 percent increase in applications.

“When you combine the kind of cutting-edge education with the progressive regional campus outreach strategy, it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that people are knocking down the doors to get into our medical school,” he said.

Buckley said research continues to be a driving force for local recruitment of other medical professionals. Recent grants, including $10 million for a diabetes study and $9 million for sickle cell disease research, are paving the way for improving the quality of life in Augusta, he said.

“We’ve also … tried to develop new companies and commercialize our work in a way that will bring both new dollars and a new source of dollars to our institution,” he said.

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