Prospering Company: Patriot Services Corporation

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It’s Latin for “ready for anything.” It’s also one of the mottos of Patriot Services Corporation.

“The risk is all around,” says Stephen Potter, president and co-founder of the Walled Lake-based company specializing in Homeland Security and emergency preparedness services. “It’s just how it presents itself at a particular time and place.”

Patriot Services Corporation offers detailed disaster and emergency plan solutions, providing everything from threat assessment to training and exercises. Or, as Potter puts it, an “all-hazards planning” approach that includes “planning, training, security assessment and simulation.”

The company’s client list is an eclectic one that includes school districts, private businesses and military bases in more than 15 states across the country.

“We take a threat-based approach that is appropriate for a particular client,” says Potter.

Last year, Potter and co-owners Thomas Quisenberry and Scott Hiipakka secured a multi-million dollar Department of Defense contract to provide training and simulation exercises at U.S. military bases.

While the world of threats and disasters would make most people run away as fast and as far as they could, people like Potter, Quisenberry and Hiipakka are of a slightly different ilk. They’re trained to run to disasters and emergencies.

Potter is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard who specializes in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare; Quisenberry is a retired undersheriff of Oakland County with 32 years law enforcement experience; and Hiipakka serves in the Military Police as a major in the Michigan National Guard.

According to Potter, the management team is an ideal combination that demonstrates the company’s credibility as an authority on emergency preparedness.

The company started in 2004 from the bottom up – literally. At that time, Potter had recently returned from serving at the Pentagon and was working as a public safety consultant at Plante Moran PLLC when he met Quisenberry. Soon, the two were launching Patriot Services Corporation from Potter’s basement.

“I like the autonomy and freedom to chart your course,” Potter says of starting his own business, which has since moved to an office in Walled Lake. The company also has offices in Ohio and Indiana.

Oakland County’s Automation Alley in Troy proved a useful tool in the early days. “Automation Alley was critical for the initial phase of Patriot Services Corporation because we used their office space,” says Potter. In addition, the company found a promotional push from L. Brooks Patterson’s Emerging Sectors program.

Last year, Potter completed the popular Venture Forward program, a 10-week series of training sessions offered by the Oakland County Business Center. It helps existing entrepreneurs grow their businesses by developing sound business practices and action plans.

“It was very helpful for putting a framework around some of the business plans,” Potter says of the Venture Forward program.

Those business plans include expanding their company further into two main areas, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense.

If the last five years are any indication, the company should not have a problem meeting those goals. Patriot Services Corporation has received the “Above and Beyond Award” from Michigan’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and was named one of the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” by the nonprofit Edward Lowe Foundation in 2008.

Potter credits his company’s success to a professional staff and strong commitment to customer service.

“I think we have grown because of client service and client satisfaction,” he says. “We have strong client retention.”

For more information on Patriot Services Corporation, visit www.patriot-services.com or call 248-313-3200.