Laurel, MD – Earl C. Hargrove Jr., president and founder of Hargrove, Inc., formally turned over the reins of the company on March 18 to his son-in-law Tim McGill, CEO, and daughter Carla McGill, vice president. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Hargrove, 79, said he would remain with the company that he and his father, Earl Hargrove Sr., founded in the suburbs of Washington, DC at the end of World War II. “I am not retiring, but merely ‘passing the torch,’” Hargrove said. “I have the utmost faith and trust in Tim and Carla to lead the next generation of Hargrove, Inc.”
McGill told Trade Show Executive that the next generation of Hargrove would be focused on an aggressive growth strategy that was put in operation two years ago. Expansion, he said, would be largely organic in nature, although timely acquisitions were not out of the question. “We are definitely focusing on our core business, which is trade shows, events and building custom exhibits,” he said. “There are a couple of lines that we are looking at possibly adding to our services. We’re not at the point of making any announcements.”
In January, Hargrove expanded into the western U.S. with the opening of an office in Las Vegas.
With a staff of more than 200 employees, the national service contractor produces over 1,000 trade shows, conventions and events each year. Hargrove has also designed the settings for a wide range of special events, parades and every U.S. presidential inauguration since Harry Truman took the oath of office in 1949. During the inaugural festivities in 2005, McGill said Hargrove produced 53 events over three days. Hargrove is already contracted for the next presidential inauguration in early 2009 and has already booked two events for next year. “This is the earliest we have ever gotten a contract for an inauguration,” he said. “Typically, it is not in place until late Fall.”
Based in Laurel, MD, Hargrove will continue as a privately held company. “We anticipate a seamless transition with no interruption of our current sales force and operation processes,” said McGill, who became CEO in 2002.