TAEBC founding board member, Dan Hurst of Strata-G, sells company to employees

Dan Hurst, CEO and Founder of Knoxville-based Strata-G, has sold his company to two of his longtime vice presidents. Elliott Barnett will assume the position of CEO, and John Patterson will serve as president. Strata-G is a valued member of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, while Hurst is a founding board member.

“These guys that have been with us 15 years are natural leaders, they know our business, they’ve built and are committed to our culture,” Hurst told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “We just had to figure out the right financial mechanism and details of business to make it work, and we did. I think we’ve done it in a way that we’re proud of each other for and thankful a lot for.”

Hurst founded the small business with senior engineer Darrell Daugherty in 2002. The engineering firm now has 250 employees and is ranked as the largest veteran-owned business in East Tennessee by the Knoxville News Sentinel‘s Book of Lists. Last year, Strata-G was named the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business of the Year

This sale has been a couple years in the making and will allow Hurst to focus most of his time on long-term strategy and outreach, while Daugherty will still serve as lead engineer until a new successor is appointed. 

“Succession is a fun word,” Hurst said. “We’re all succeeding together, and we’re doing it by them not kicking us over the hill; that’s in our benefit and theirs. The fact that we’ve got a path that lets all that ‘juice’ stay in the company, I think, is useful.”

TAEBC awarded Hurst the annual Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award during the Annual Meeting on March 5, 2020, at Schneider Electric’s Nashville Hub. The Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award honors exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

“As a founding board member of TAEBC, Dan Hurst embodies the qualities of a servant leader,” said Cortney Piper, Executive Director of TAEBC. “His dedication and commitment to building a new organization that represents an entire industry that makes Tennessee a better state in which to live, work and play is truly admirable. That same vision and devotion have enabled Dan to lead and grow a successful business in East Tennessee that embraces energy innovation, environmental stewardship and sustainability.”

To learn more about Strata-G and its commitment to pursuing advanced energy projects that improve Tennessee’s communities, contribute to the state’s advanced energy economy, and ensure the wellbeing of Tennesseans, click here.

Strata-G honored by U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a Dream Big Awards Finalist

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced Knoxville-based Strata-G as one of three finalists for its annual Dream Big Awards. The Awards, presented by MetLife, celebrate the achievements of small businesses and honor their contributions to America’s economic growth.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Their grit, determination, and generosity give real meaning to the term free enterprise. When small businesses thrive, our communities prosper, and that’s good for everyone,” said Tom Sullivan, U.S. Chamber vice president of small business policy. “The U.S. Chamber is proud to honor small businesses who inspire themselves and others to dream big through their actions, contributions, and leadership.”

“We are honored by our selection as one of three Dream Big Award finalists,” said Strata-G President, Dan Hurst. “It’s a testament to our professional staff of more than 200 scientists, engineers, health and safety experts, and project managers who practice our core values of integrity, service, and quality each day. We appreciate the U.S. Chamber’s recognition.”

Award winners will be announced at the Dream Big Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 16, in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Strata-G is a team of engineers, scientists, safety professionals and project managers dedicated to the responsible care of client-entrusted resources in the environmental, energy, defense, utilities and infrastructure sectors.