Archive for January, 2011

STAR Welcomes Timone

Posted on January 26, 2011 with No Comments

Jan 21, 2011, by STAR

Eric and Mechelle Barton, owners of LexLin Gypsy Ranch in Rockwood, TN presented Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, STAR with Timone, a Gypsy Vanner Gelding on October 9, 2010. Timone was introduced to the program during the summer and is currently training to become a therapeutic riding horse. Timone is adapting well to his new environment as STAR anticipates he will be a great asset to the program. As stated by Eric Barton, “Gypsy Horses are in their element when working with people who need an understanding and calm but capable horse that thinks through situations before responding rather than reacting too quickly to unexpected events.” “Timone is our first exposure to this breed and we are very impressed by his quiet, friendly demeanor. We are excited to have him as part of our team,” claims Lynn Petr, Executive Director of STAR. Petr adds, “He will especially be good for adult and heavier riders who require lots of assistance as he is not too tall, yet very strong. This combination allows our side walkers to reach the rider with ease.Timone will be perfect for our Horses for Heroes program which is designed to assist disabled Veterans.”

Eric W. Barton’s Profile for 40 under 40 Award

Posted on January 21, 2011 with No Comments

40 under 40 Award Banquet


Eric Barton, 35

President of Vanquish Worldwide

By Laura Ayo

Knoxville News Sentinel

 Eric Barton likes to talk and move fast.

“I love to be doing 40 things at once,” he says.

One of the reasons he stepped aside in November as president and CEO of Relyant is so he has more time to dedicate to other ventures, including a $6 million horse farm he operates in Lenoir City with his family, as well as an overseas training and manpower organization.

“I’ve got Relyant healthy and now I need to get these other companies built up,” he says.

As chairman of Relyant, a company that provides construction, spray foam insulation, life support, vehicle maintenance and a variety of other services to government and commercial clients in the Middle East and elsewhere, Barton will facilitate the board of directors’ long-range strategic planning.

“This is a way for me to not have to report every day to an office and be free to go wherever I’m needed most,” he says. “Our goal now is to diversify and work with other large businesses.”

He credits the leadership skills he developed while in the U.S. Marine Corps with helping him make Relyant a success.

In 2002, Barton traveled to Africa as a senior analyst for the Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa National Intelligence Cell.

“I was able to go into that part of the world and learn about it because it was my job, but I also learned about the people and the opportunities there for business and about a different way of life,” he says.

The experience, he says, changed his perspective and solidified his faith.

He learned of Americans for African Adoptions Inc. and later adopted two sons from Ethiopia through the organization, which he supports today as a board member.

He has returned several times, scouting out business opportunities and helping to remove more than 100 children and women from dangerous working conditions in a rock quarry last fall.

Barton, who holds four advanced degrees and several professional certifications, felt called to be a chaplain after his military tour. He moved his family to Atlanta to pursue a master’s of divinity from Columbia Seminary.

But with mounting bills to pay, he signed with a recruiting agency and went to Iraq in 2005. By 2007, he had teamed with colleagues to form Relyant and the company landed a $17 million vehicle maintenance contract. Contracts for relocatable buildings, spray foam insulation and demining services soon followed.

“Now it’s my turn to step away and start looking at it from a corporate health perspective,” Barton says of his new role. “The real test is long-term sustainability.”