Nineteen Georgia Business Brokers Achieve 2020 GABB Million Dollar Club
Friday, January 8th, 2021
Nineteen members of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) were named to the 2020 Million Dollar Club for helping broker the sale of nearly $61 million worth of small, medium and large businesses.
The GABB Million Dollar Club awards recognizes outstanding business achievements of professional Business Brokers for successfully closing business acquisition transactions totaling one million dollars or more. The GABB has the only Accredited Real Estate School in Georgia that focuses on business and Commercial Real Estate-related transactions and CE Credits.
The top producer for 2020 was C. David Chambless, president of Abraxas Business Services, Inc., a former president of GABB.
“I am honored to be a member of GABB’s 2020 Million Dollar Club,” said Chambless. “I have been a member of the GABB for 17 years, and I have benefited greatly from that membership through the superb semiannual education conferences; access to some of the best bankers, attorneys, accountants, and other professionals; and networking through the best business brokers in Georgia.”
Business brokers among the top five brokers with multi-million dollars in business sales for the year are Jeffery Merry, senior business analyst at the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc.; Lisa Young, Senior Business Advisor at Transworld Business Advisors; Robin Gagnon, co-founder of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com; and Steve Weinbaum, a Certified Restaurant Broker with We Sell Restaurants.
Other multi-million-dollar brokers were J. Snypp, Vice President of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; Matt Wochele, founder of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; Rob Margeton, an M&A Intermediary with Ryco Advisors, LLC; Mannie Maddox, a business broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial Metro Brokers; Nick Modares, GABB secretary and president and managing broker of Business Brokers Inc./Atlanta Business Advisors; Steve Josovitz, Vice President of The Shumacher Group.
Other million dollar honorees were Sarabjeet Kaur, a business broker and Realtor with Virtual Properties Realty; GABB President Dean Burnette, the founder of Best Business Brokers; Eric Gagnon, the president of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com; Brian Judson, a business broker with Best Business Brokers; Jon Merry, a senior business broker with at the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc.; Jon Roman, business intermediary, franchise consultant and developer at Transworld Business Advisors; Karl Barham president of Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree; and Pedro Ferreira, a business advisor with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta.
Ms. Young, Mr. and Mrs. Gagnon and Mr. Modares were all honored as a life members of the Million Dollar Club for achieving more than a million dollars in sales for three consecutive years.
The Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) is the state’s only professional organization dedicated to buying and selling businesses and franchises. The GABB’s website t lists hundreds of businesses and franchises for sale throughout Georgia in a variety of fields, including automotive, business services, child care, cleaning, construction, electronics equipment, fitness, flooring, floral, food, gas stations, landscaping, manufacturing, medical, shipping, restaurants, retail, security, signs, and businesses related to the internet.
“GABB members have resources and experience that can smooth out the complicated processes involved in business acquisitions and mergers,” said GABB President Burnette. “Our business brokers are committed to a code of ethics in buying or selling a business in Georgia.”
GABB broker members have represented thousands of business sellers and buyers, and the group has a dedicated membership of lenders, attorneys and other professionals to assist business buyers and sellers at every step of the process. The GABB.org website has more than 400 business-for-sale listings. Find a professional business broker today at https://gabb.org/gabb-business-brokers/
DAVID CHAMBLESS is the president of Abraxas Business Services, Inc., which provides integrated services to sellers (and buyers) of businesses with revenues of $5-to-$30 million, with a focus on businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, technology, and services industries. He has been president of GABB twice, is a lifetime multi-million-dollar member of the Million Dollar Club, and has earned the prestigious GABB Phoenix award for a decade of reaching the Multi-Million Dollar Club. Prior to Abraxas, he held various positions in sales, marketing, and executive roles in technology firms; as CFO for Aaron Rents as well as for private companies; and as a management consultant. Mr. Chambless has a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. He is an inactive certified public accountant. Prior to graduate school, Mr. Chambless commanded components of a U.S. Army Pershing Missile unit in West Germany. Mr. Chambless is very active in his communities. He is a member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), the Association for Corporate Growth, and a longtime member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). He serves on a fundraising committee of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and on the board of the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. In his involvement with the Technology Association of Georgia, he served as a member of the TAG board of directors and its executive committee as well as the chairman of TAG's Leadership Council; he was a founder and the chairman of TAG-FinTech; he chaired TAG-Finance for seven years. He served on the boards of directors for the Grant Park Conservancy and the Southeast Atlanta Business Association, where he is Director Emeritus. Mr. Chambless is actively involved in the All Saints' Episcopal Church community, where he has ushered for 37 years and currently serves on the church’s finance committee. He was a 15-year board member of The Samaritan House of Atlanta. He served on the board of directors for the Resource Opportunity Center of Atlanta and on the Advisory Council of 24/7 Gateway, a homeless-services center under the auspices of the United Way of Atlanta. Mr. Chambless is the proud father of five men and the honored husband of Lisa McLeod-Chambless, who earned a Ph.D.,from Georgia State University and was most recently an academic executive at Three W International in Beijing.
JEFFERY MERRY, Sr., MBA, J.D., After employment by a Fortune 100 company, Mr. Merry began the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc. more than 20 years ago, and it has become one of the most successful business brokerage firms in the Southeast. As a Business Intermediary, Jeffery has been involved in more than 300 mergers and acquisitions that have ranged in acquisition price from $60,000.00 to more than $15,000,000.00. He specializes in serving the manufacturing, distribution, veterinary, service, and medical industries. Jeffery, a former GABB president and a current board member, is a lifetime member of the GABB’s prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Club and was the first Georgia broker in the GABB to receive the Phoenix award for being in the Multi-Million Dollar Club for 10 consecutive years. He holds a Bachelors Degree from Mercer University, an MBA from the University of Illinois, and a Juris Doctorate from Atlanta Law School. Jeffery is also a licensed real estate broker in many states. Further, he is an Adjunct Professor of strategic management, accounting, and finance in MBA programs. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Suwanee, Ga.
LISA YOUNG is a business broker with Dunwoody office of Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta. Ms. Young graduated from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville where she received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a major in Information Systems. She has worked in the real estate industry since 2000 as well as owning a couple of small businesses before joining Transworld. Through her extensive background in real estate, entrepreneurship, and business consulting, Lisa brings a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise to her clients and is passionate about helping them achieve their goals. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, swimming, boating, golf and volunteer work with organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and her church. She has two adult sons, two grandchildren, and she splits her time between Marietta and Greensboro, N.C.
ROBIN GAGNON CFE, MBA, CBI is the co-founder of We Sell Restaurants, the largest restaurant brokerage firm in the nation and the only franchisor dedicated exclusively to restaurant sales. She is one of the most prolific Restaurant Brokers in the industry and is a specialist in franchise resales. Robin is the co-author of Appetite for Acquisition, an award winning book for restaurant buyers. She serves as the Vice-Chair of the Women’s Franchise Committee of the International Franchise Association and is on the board of the Women’s Franchise Network Atlanta. A Certified Franchise Executive, she has also completed study, testing and experience requirements by the International Business Brokers Association to be awarded the credential of Certified Business Intermediary or CBI. Robin holds an MBA from Appalachian State University, graduated first in her class and was named "Outstanding MBA” of her graduating class. She is a lifetime emeritus member of the Appalachian State University Business Advisory Council and founding member of the Entrepreneurship Board. Robin is a licensed real estate salesperson in both Georgia and Florida. She has been named a National Industry Expert by Business Brokerage Press in Franchise Resales. She teaches, trains and speaks nationally on the profession of Business Brokerage. She has written and delivers the only Certified Restaurant Broker training nationwide offered as part of the We Sell Restaurants franchise brand.
STEVE WEINBAUM has been with We Sell Restaurants for more than five years, is a licensed real estate salesperson in Georgia and Florida and a Certified Restaurant Broker. He graduated from SUNY Albany and has more than 30 years of experience in business analysis, marketing, sales, relationship management and contract negotiations. He is a member of the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) and this is his second year in a row as a member of the GABB Multi-Million Dollar Club. Steve has sold many restaurants in both the independent and franchise space with an increased emphasis on multi-unit franchise opportunities.
SNYPP III, a former GABB Board member and recent continuing education class instructor, lives in Dunwoody, grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in marketing. Snypp spent more than two decades in the office furniture business before becoming a Business Broker. He has been with Preferred Business Brokers, Inc. for more than 14 years and serves as the company’s Vice President and Associate Broker. He has found success selling businesses in a variety of industries most recently selling a medical services company and a landscaping business. He is past president of the Dunwoody North Driving Club, a board member of the Dunwoody High School Gridiron Club and chairman of the Wildcat Classic Golf Tournament which benefits the Dunwoody High football team. He is also on the board of the Dunwoody High School Tip Off Club. He is married and has two boys ages 17 and 22. Therefore, when he is not selling businesses, he is usually trying to keep up with the boys or involved in some other family activity.
MATT WOCHELE CBI founded Preferred Business Brokers, Inc., in 1996 after a successful 17-year career in the investment banking industry. He is a life member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers Million Dollar Club, the 2021 vice president of the GABB board, a GABB Phoenix Award recipient and a member of the International Business Brokers Association. As president and managing broker of Preferred he has had the opportunity to be personally involved in hundreds of private business sales. The combined personal experience in the public sector with the private business sales has positioned the company to handle both the smaller main street business deals and the larger middle market business acquisitions. Matt and his wife Kathy, a professional artist, live in Sandy Springs.
ROB MARGETON is an M&A Intermediary with Ryco Advisors, LLC in Decatur, Ga., a professional lower middle market business brokerage firm serving Atlanta and the Southeast and specializing in the sale of owner-operated businesses with annual revenues of up to $50 million. He has more than 15 years of experience in financial services and running his own business. Prior to co-founding Ryco Advisors, Rob was a Managing Director at a New York middle market financial restructuring firm and has worked on more than 50 transactions across a diverse set of industries. Rob also has extensive experience running and managing his own business. Together with his wife, Rob acquired the flagship Fleet Clean location in 2013 and oversaw a successful sales process in 2018. During their tenure, they successfully grew revenues and EBITDA by 75% and 95%, respectively. They managed over 30 employees and serviced more than 150 clients throughout Metro Atlanta, including many Fortune 500 companies. An Eagle Scout and a Certified M&A Professional, he is a member of M&A Source and the Commercial Board of REALTORS. He and his family reside in Decatur, Ga.
MANNIE MADDOX is a business broker and Commercial Realtor with Coldwell Banker Commercial Metro Brokers. He has more than 35 years’ experience in Business Development, Sales and Capture Management in the Commercial and Federal Government marketplaces. Mr. Maddox successfully developed and led capture teams that won major Government RFPs with more than a billion dollars in revenue. His high level, large dollar volume sales experience at a Fortune 500 Executive Level has proven to be transparent and a major contributor to successful Commercial Real Estate Sales and Marketing as Commercial Realtor. He is a member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, and is a Certified Business Broker. He attended Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Patricia, and they have a son and a granddaughter.
NICK MODARES, president and managing broker of Business Brokers Inc./Atlanta Business Advisors and the managing broker for the Georgia branch of Gottesman Company, a Mergers & Acquisitions group based in Manhattan, New York. Mr. Modares has owned and operated several retail, service, and distribution companies in his lifetime. Along the way Nick has accumulated enormous education, practical experience and insight into what it takes to start, own, operate, finance, merge, sell, and acquire privately held companies ranging in size from very small to multi-national, million-dollar operations. Mr. Modares has a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management (MBA of Engineering) from the University of Evansville, Indiana and Purdue University towards his PhD. For two decades, he pursued an engineering and project management career before joining Sunbelt Business Brokers in Atlanta before he established Business Brokers Inc. In his community, he is treasurer of Atlanta Sister Cities Commission and chairs the Atlanta-Bucharest sister city committee. Nick currently serves on Board of GABB. Since 2006, Nick and his family have volunteered in the Adopt-A-Road program in Roswell. Nick and his family live in East Cobb, Marietta.
STEVEN JOSOVITZ is Senior Vice-President of The Shumacher Group, having joined the firm in 1992. As an Associate Real Estate Broker, he heads up the company’s restaurant business brokerage division in addition to providing commercial retail and restaurant real estate site selection, sales, and lease negotiation expertise. A former restaurant owner and trained professional chef, Steven has an extensive background in restaurant and hotel management. He also offers consulting, appraisal services and has been retained by law firms for his expert opinion to help settle disputes. Mr. Josovitz earned a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Florida International University in 1981 and has studied in Europe. Mr. Josovitz is a member of the Georgia Restaurant Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Retail Brokers Network. As a 29-year GABB member, Mr. Josovitz was awarded Life Member and The Phoenix Award and annually receives the Multi-Million Dollar Club Award and Top Five Award for business and restaurant brokerage sales in Georgia. Steven’s goals and thoughts are always “Make sure all parties -- buyers, sellers, and landlords -- walk away from the closing table happy. Maintaining integrity and honesty along with professionalism and expertise is a must. The needs of your clients and those you work with must always come first before commissions or personal gain.”
SARABJEET KAUR, a business broker and Realtor with Virtual Properties Realty in Duluth specializes in commercial properties, hotels, and convenience stores. She is a member of the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of REALTORS (NAMAR), and the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors. She was 2019-2020 Million Dollar Club Gold Award-winner with NAMAR; a Million Dollar Club Active member 2019 with Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors; and an All-star award winner with Virtual Properties Realty 2019-2020. She is a member of Asian American Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). She studied in Delhi, India with certifications in IT and fashion designing. She earned her Realtor license in 2017 and is a licensed Life Insurance agent in Georgia. She and her husband, Prakash Srivastava, and her teenage daughter live in Cumming, Ga., where they are involved in social activities with Sewa International, a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, nonprofit service organization.
DEAN BURNETTE, GABB president from 2019-2020, is the founder of Best Business Brokers (B3) in Savannah. More than three decades of business ownership and management experience in various industries have given Dean a wide range of experience and business knowledge. These experiences contribute to his abilities to help identify and qualify appropriate buyers, put together sales prospectuses, negotiate terms of a sale, recognizing the importance of confidentiality in these types of business transactions. He has been a member of the GABB Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Club. Dean is excited about the many opportunities that the current economic conditions and recent economic events have created in Georgia. He is a sponsor of the Georgia Logistics Summit; a member and past president of the Savannah Small Business Chamber; a member of the Savannah CFO Council; Savannah Traffic Club; Savannah Real Estate Commercial Alliance; the Georgia Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, and serves on the Education Advisory Committee for the Georgia Real Estate Commission. He is married, has two children and four grandchildren.
ERIC GAGNON, CBI is the founder and President of We Sell Restaurants and wesellrestaurants.com. Eric holds the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokerage Association (IBBA) and was named a Fellow of the IBBA in 2018 for his outstanding contribution to the business brokerage industry. A frequent writer and speaker in the restaurant industry, Eric co-authored Appetite for Acquisition, an award-winning book on buying restaurants. He has also been designated a Business Industry Expert by Business Brokerage Press. He has earned the IBBA’s Outstanding Producer Award for multiple years. He’s a Past President of the GABB and Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Club; he was also the recipient of the GABB Phoenix Award, presented to a select few who have received the Million Dollar Award for more than a decade. Eric is a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA) where he serves as a board member for VetFran, a strategic initiative of the IFA and the Franchise Education and Research Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of Directions for the Southeast Franchise Forum (SEFF). Eric is a licensed real estate broker in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. He oversees the development and training of Restaurant Brokers nationwide and has created the industry's only Certified Restaurant Broker coursework and testing program.
BRIAN JUDSON is a senior business broker with Best Business Brokers of Savannah. He has more than a dozen years of experience in business assessments and sales and 30 years of operations management in the service sector. He is active in the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Chamber, and in 2020 will be installed on the board of Buy Local Savannah, while continuing to mentor high school students and serve on the board for TEDx Savannah. Brian has served on the Historic District Board of Review, United Way Funding Review Panel and is a Master Docent for the Telfair and Jepson Museums of Art. His wife, Liza, works as a coordinator in student success advising for SCAD, they have a daughter, and are active in Savannah’s art community.
JON MERRY, a senior business broker with THE BUSINESS HOUSE of Gainesville, has been in the Business Mergers and Acquisition Industry for more than 15 years. Jon specializes in serving the Manufacturing, Distribution, Service, Medical, and Healthcare Industries. He has a keen understanding of the buying and selling process and is well versed in the industry handling a wide range of deal making activities for the firm and has assisted with numerous M&A transactions. Since 2012, Mr. Merry has been recognized as one of the GABB’s top five brokers for closed M&A transactions and is a former GABB board member. In addition, Mr. Merry has been a Certified Machinery/Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) with the National Equipment Business Builders Institute (NEBB Institute) since 2000 and became a Master CMEA in 2014. As a CMEA, he is intensively trained in the legal requirements involving USPAP standards, as well as the methodology approach employed in establishing fair market value, orderly liquation value, and forced liquation value in any market condition. Mr. Merry is a member of the International Business Broker Association (IBBA) and the International Society of Business Analysts (ISBA). A native of Georgia, Mr. Merry was a professional umpire for Minor League Baseball for 11 years. He and his wife, RaeLynda, and their two sons, Jacob and Joseph, live in historic Dahlonega, Ga.
JON ROMAN is the owner of Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Perimeter, an award-winning group of five agents, an office manager and a marketing sales specialist. For nearly 18 years, prior to Transworld, Mr. Roman had helped entrepreneurs to obtain funding when acquiring, selling or franchising businesses. He established, acquired, operated and sold his own businesses for more than 20 years. Mr. Roman is a former commercial banker with experience in a multitude of deals. Throughout his career, Jon financed mergers and acquisitions, business expansions, construction and development projects. He evaluated businesses, built and consolidated financial records and shared opinions regarding business plans, and/or exit strategies. Mr. Roman is a lifetime million-dollar member of the GABB and is currently serving as the group’s treasurer. Among other qualifications, Jon is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), a (Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) and a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization. He lives in Lawrenceville with his wife, Laura, and his children Ryan and Emma.
KARL BARHAM is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree – a global leader in business brokerage, franchise development, and franchise consulting. He has more than two decades of global business executive experience managing businesses, directing global marketing, sales and operations. He now advises business owners on business exit and acquisition strategies. Mr. Barham has an MBA from Emory University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University at Buffalo. He is the treasurer for the nonprofit organization Global Growers, which partners with people from diverse cultures who grow fresh food for their families and for local marketplaces, and volunteers with Start:Me, a free small business training program for entrepreneurs. He co-founded and co-hosts the Capitalist Sage Podcast in which entrepreneurs and business experts speak to the real world life of doing business. Karl resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and two daughters.
PEDRO FERREIRA is a Business Advisor with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta, helping small and mid-size business owners exit their companies by selling their business to third parties confidentially. Pedro is committed to creating win-win deals by listening to the needs of all the parties involved, and providing the most comprehensive business sale process. Pedro has successfully sold businesses in several industries including Tech, Hospitality, Construction, Distribution, and Beauty. With a background in Business Journalism, Pedro has been a PR Director with the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce, and has published several business and economics articles in government and international media publications. A native of Brazil, Pedro speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish.