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Personnel file - June 2009: Security


Joe Budd
CEO, The Budd Group Inc.

Even as a child, Joe Budd took the family business seriously. After church, he helped make the rounds of buildings cleaned by what was then North State Supply Inc., a small janitorial company his father, Richard, had purchased in 1963.

Budd, 46, still works at the family business, though things have changed. For one, he’s in charge. In 2001, he bought the Winston-Salem-based company, renamed The Budd Group, though his father is chairman emeritus. For another, it now operates in the Carolinas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida, and it provides security and landscaping in addition to cleaning services. About 1,100 of its 3,100 employees are in security.

Taking over the company has been a lifelong mission. In addition to the after-church duties, he worked there during summers and other breaks from high school and college. After earning a bachelor’s in business from High Point University in 1983 and his MBA two years later from Wake Forest University, he started full time in the sales department.

Under his father’s direction, the company had grown steadily. The decision to add security services in the early 1980s was easy, Budd says. “This was really at the request of the clients.” After a modest start, the security division got a boost in the early 1990s when The Budd Group bought security companies in Raleigh and Tampa, Fla.

Security is now the second-largest division, after janitorial services, and accounts for about 30% of revenue, which topped $70 million last year, up 15% from 2007. Its approximately 250 security clients include drug companies, high-tech businesses and accounting firms. High-tech surveillance is among the most requested services. “It’s changed over the years. We’re no longer just providing the night watchman.”