Louis B. Lynn’s family tree is rooted in entrepreneurship. His grandfather owned a grocery store and his father ran a butcher shop.
“My father was businessman of the year back in the ’60s. Last year, we won the Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award,” says the president and chief horticulturalist of ENVIRO AgScience Inc. (No. 84 on the be industrial/service companies list with $28 million in revenues).
The 29-year-old family-owned business provides construction, construction management, architectural, and landscape services. In addition to its Columbia, South Carolina headquarters, ENVIRO has offices in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
Lynn launched ENVIRO in 1984 using his severance pay for 15 years of service after being downsized from a middle management position at Monsanto, one of the nation’s largest agricultural companies. As someone who follows the “each one, teach one” principle, Lynn could have become a college professor; he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horticulture from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. But it was the entrepreneurial bug and a green thumb that led him to create a commercial lawn care business that he has cultivated into a full-service construction management company servicing private sector, government, education, and military clients.
Now it is the next generation, Lynn’s children, who are spearheading plans to make ENVIRO a multinational company. His daughters Adrienne Lynn, 39, an engineer, and Krystal Conner, 36, a pharmacist, serve as vice presidents. His son, Bryan, 28, is a landscape manager.
Furthermore, a succession plan is in place for Lynn to pass the reins on to his daughters and thereby transition ENVIRO into a certified minority- and woman-owned enterprise. Lynn will stay on as chairman, while Krystal will serve as CEO and Adrienne as president.
“My father didn’t pass on a business but the desire to start a business,” the 64-year-old Lynn says. “We are the first generation in my family to have a real opportunity to pass on a substantial business.”