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Small companies, No. 4 - StoneLaurel Consulting: Landing large projects

Stoney Sellars (center) with employees of StoneLaurel Consuting, located in uptown Charlotte.
Stoney Sellars (center) with employees of StoneLaurel Consuting, located in uptown Charlotte. WWW.MICZEKPHOTO.COM

In 1994, Stoney Sellars recognized a business opportunity.

Changes in the financial services industries were leading to mergers and acquisitions among local and regional companies. Sellars realized that when companies merged, their geographic footprints would increase, and there would be a need for large-scale project and program management. He was right.

His management consulting firm, StoneLaurel, Inc. was originally founded under the name Technology Project Management.

Initially, Sellars, who is also a Charlotte developer, hired people with technology and organizational management backgrounds. Today the company is staffed with generalists who can learn from each other, as they move between the three core areas of the company. Sellars’ goal is to operate with integrity, while enabling people to do the things that are of utmost importance to them, in a meaningful way, and at the most competitive cost.

The wide range of services provided by StoneLaurel allows employees to gain exposure to diverse industries, and work with changing teams of experts. They consult in areas that include disaster recovery planning, strategy development and execution, and outsourcing management. “We don’t want anyone to feel pigeonholed,” he says. As technology continues to take quantum leaps, the company recognizes the importance of using that technology to optimize the infrastructure and capabilities of the organizations with which they work.

When Fredricka Yellets was hired in 2011 as the Executive Administrator, she found the culture refreshing. “Wherever I’ve worked there’ve always been so many restraints. You come in at a certain time, you take your breaks, and you leave at 5. Here it is not like that.”

She appreciates that if she needs to work remotely, or visit her son’s school, she can. “It helps me because I do have a family.”

Philanthropic activity is a company constant. Every member of the leadership team is required to sit on a nonprofit board. Over Thanksgiving the company adopts two families from the Department of Social Services. The company is also vested in the personal well-being of its employees. Sellars recently organized a wellness challenge in the office. Employees were split into groups of four, and whichever achieves the greatest collective weight loss will win an all expense paid trip with their families to a resort.

Sellars is proud the consulting firm has retained its focus on servicing customers, the community, and their own families, while operating with the scale of a larger company.

“How you do it is with exceptional, selfless people, who are always willing to do whatever is in the best interest of the whole, versus just themselves,” he says.

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