In 1995, Steve Hart and Bruce Hickman were working together in Charlotte for another environmental consulting company. They both had clients who were appreciative of the responsiveness and caliber of expertise they brought to their projects. However, corporate culture made service to clients second to billing. Due to their frustrations with the culture of a large firm, Steve and Bruce began having conversations about how they could create a firm to better serve their clients. These conversations led to founding of Hart & Hickman, which came into existence in 1995 with eight employees.
Highs and Lows
The first few years were exciting. Several key clients remained loyal to Bruce and Steve providing interesting projects and opportunities early on. As with most start-ups, there were many highs, but some mistakes were also made along the way. From the outset, the firm operated with a commitment to long-term success putting in place the right administrative and business development from day-one. On the flip side, some of the early mistakes ultimately resulted in Steve and Bruce being the sole owners of the firm faced with some of the financial obstacles associated with starting and growing a business.
Then & Now
In the early days, the excitement and nearly crushing cyclical workload went hand-in-hand. Our clients trusted us to perform the really tough jobs more than they trusted the big firms, and they still do. At that time, the good news was that we often caught the big fish, the challenge was that the fish was often bigger than the boat. Now as a larger firm, we can handle these demands more gracefully, with more talent and bandwidth to share the load.
Over the years, Hart & Hickman has tried to take time to celebrate our success, which wouldn’t be possible without our exceptional staff. Events through the years included annual company outings to the Queens Cup Steeplechase, baseball games, hockey games, and an annual holiday party that was graciously hosted by Steve and Lisa Hart for many years. We’ve also enjoyed many team building events, such as participating in 24 Hours of Booty, entering multiple relay teams in the Lake Norman triathlon, testing our skills at escape rooms and murder mysteries, and many more.
Thank You for All that You Do
Thanks to all of our employees and the lessons learned over the past 25 years, Hart & Hickman is truly set up for success. We are committed to identifying and discussing the changes and new directions that need to be pursued in order to continue the firm’s outstanding reputation and to build an even better workplace over the next 25 years.