When Duty Calls

For the military, only the best will do. So Denise Gilchrist sets her company apart by emphasizing quality.
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This story appears in the May 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Supplying mission-critical parts is at Crestwood Technology Group's core. Founded by Denise Gilchrist in 2000, the company distributes electromechanical and obsolete parts to the U.S. military, as well as to defense and aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Although Gilchrist had a strong IT background, she brought in her brother-in-law as COO to provide the necessary electronics expertise. Building a strong team of employees from the start was essential, she explains, as was getting her products in front of customers. According to Gilchrist, 42, "We were just banging on doors, [working the] phones constantly."

Now that CTG has secured its reputation in the industry, sales for the Yonkers, New York, firm have skyrocketed from $7.3 million in 2005 to projected 2008 sales of $20 million. "We can talk to a giant organization," says Gilchrist. "Just give our company's name, and they know who we are." They also know that CTG has developed an industry-leading quality assurance and counterfeit avoidance process that verifies the authenticity and quality of every product.

Edition: July 2017

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