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Ribbon cutting held for SHINE
SHINE Systems & Technologies officially opened Thursday in Patrick Henry Mall. Pictured (from left) are Lisa Lyle of the Martinsville-Henry County EDC; Shine Systems employees Jay Dymek, Julie Humble, Glenda Dean, Jamie Ferguson and Ben Turner; Francis Zehr, Henry County School Board; SHINE Systems employee Drema Austin; company President Jeff Thomas; company office manager Jon Doss; company employees Ashley Gravely and Greg Pitsenberger; Will Vaughn of Patrick Henry Mall; Henry County Administrator Tim Hall; and Sharon Shepherd of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. See story, Page 5-A. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Friday, March 22, 2013
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A red ribbon was cut Thursday to officially open one of the area’s newest businesses.
“The Martinsville Solutions Center is now open and ready for business,” said Jeff Thomas, president of SHINE Systems & Technologies, which opened its office in the Patrick Henry Mall.
“It’s great to be home. It feels like yesterday,” said Thomas, a former Fieldale resident who graduated from Fieldale-Collinsville High School before attending Hampden-Sydney College and forming SHINE.
“I am so excited to be giving back to the community I grew up in,” he said to several people attending the grand opening.
SHINE Systems & Technologies is a consulting firm that helps clients with research and development, software engineering, business and military intelligence, biometrics, technical training and administrative support, according to previous reports.
The company has offices in Charlottesville, Tysons Corner and Shenandoah, and serves customers throughout the country and internationally, previous reports stated.
SHINE, Thomas said Thursday, is not an acronym. It is a large part of his goal of “making our customers, partners and employees shine. If we can do that, we will all be successful,” he said.
Although it has been in the area for only a short time, the Martinsville site already has exceeded expectations, Thomas said, adding that the office has nine employees who have a mix of talents that include software development, office operations, graphics and others.
“We thought we would have seven (employees) right out of the gate,” he said. To have exceeded that number is a step toward meeting the company’s goal of growing.
“This office is vital to our growth. We don’t want it to stay small. We want to double, triple” or grow even more, Thomas said.
The company went from 16 employees to 100 workers in a year, he said, and he is expecting similar growth in the Martinsville area.
The current space will provide room for about 22 employees, Thomas said, and noted that the company already is considering a nearby property for a future expansion.
The earliest an expansion could occur is June, Thomas said.
Employees in Martinsville will provide customer service to open source intelligence operations and also support SHINE’s other initiatives, sites and new products, Thomas said.
Bob Bowers, a retired intelligence officer and a senior adviser to Thomas on all intelligence matters, said he views the Martinsville office as a “great opportunity. We’re really proud of it.”
Like Thomas, Bowers said he works out of the company’s corporate offices in Charlottesville, but likely will be in the Martinsville-Henry County area from time to time.
SHINE also has operations in Shenandoah and Page County, but Martinsville and Henry County “is my community,” Thomas said. “I grew up here,”
Whether he runs into new and old friends at restaurants, events or the like, Thomas said he is intent on “enjoying an ongoing relationship (with local residents and the community) that will last for years and years to come.”