Posts Tagged Eric Barton

Maryville firm grows worldwide logistics business

Posted on June 13, 2014 with No Comments

By Robert Norris | | Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 12:00 am

Read article at

539a6c4711dd2.image 539a67d4db29a.imageVanquish Worldwide. The name evokes power and distance with a sense of precision and vagueness all at once. Sort of like the military. That’s no coincidence.

Consider the founder, president and CEO. Eric Barton spent 11 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He intended to make a career of the corps. Stuff happened.
Stuff happening today includes a ribbon-cutting at Vanquish Worldwide’s new headquarters, 235 S. Old Glory Road, Maryville. The event will last 3 p.m.-6 p.m. with the ribbon sliced at 4 p.m. There will be refreshments, music, door prizes, even exotic horses.

Vanquish Worldwide describes itself as “an asset-based premier transportation provider that delivers a wide variety and the highest level of transportation and logistic solutions for government and commercial clients.”

Here’s what Barton calls his elevator speech: “We’re a supply team management government contracting firm. What we do is deliver excellence to our clients.” The stuff they deliver includes fuel, food, ammunition, armored vehicles — all sorts of materiel the U.S. government moves around Afghanistan.

“Our mantra in our years overseas has been: Support the war fighter forward in developing nations in hostile environments. That means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But we support the war fighter in the mission they have, which means beans, bullets, Band-aids, transportation, helicopter support,” Barton said. “That’s been something we’re very proud of. To do something you really love to do that’s challenging, diverse, means something.”

It started when Barton joined the Marines at age 17. He was a “satellite technician for five years, got a meritorious commission, spent the last six years as an intelligence officer, had a sniper platoon for a couple of years, did a few pumps (deployments). Spent my last two years in Horn of Africa traveling around gathering intelligence for war.

“Which helped me out tremendously as I got out later on and went to seminary and transitioned to government contracting. It wasn’t planned.”

So naturally, Barton ended in seminary school in Atlanta and worked as a youth pastor in Conyers, Ga. His career path is anything but boring.

“Writing his bio can be challenging at times,” said Dawn White, sales and marketing manager for Vanquish Worldwide.

White outlined what’s happening now at the company. Vanquish has just been awarded a National Afghan Trucking contract (NAT 1.5) in Afghanistan — one of seven contractors selected for the more than $200 million deal. Vanquish’s cut will be $37 million. The company also just landed a Corps of Engineers HVAC contract in Loudon.

Commercial contracts

As U.S. involvement in Afghanistan winds down, the company is expanding into commercial trucking. It has contracted with FedEx and has trucks at the delivery firm’s Nashville terminal. It’s on schedule to add 11 FedEx trucks with drivers at the Knoxville terminal by the end of June. The company plans to acquire another trucking company and its 23 trucks in August.

As part of its diversification, Vanquish Worldwide has a couple of subsidiaries, Front Range Training & Consulting LLC. That sister firm recently completed a class training U.S. Air Force airmen to be aides for three- and four-star generals. New law enforcement training classes are filling up now in the Western U.S., and the company is looking into SWAT training for East Tennessee law enforcement, White said.

Peak Technical Institute provides condensed vocational training programs. It currently provides Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) classes, and a BETA equine leadership class is scheduled to begin in early August.

Equine leadership? It doesn’t seem so outside the box considering Barton also has LexLin Gypsy Ranch in Rockwood. Barton said it is the largest Gypsy Vanner horse farm in the U.S. The breed of draft horses (think of small Clydesdales) comes from England, Ireland and Wales.

LexLin Ranch recently sold more than $75,000 worth of horses in one month. The ranch plans to make 30 horse donations over the next two years to therapy centers. The gentle nature of the breed makes Gypsy Vanners well-suited for equine therapy for recovering military as well as autistic and special needs children. A horse auction is planned for July 26, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to Smoky Mountain Service Dogs.

White cited a number of other community involvement and charitable contributions, ranging from United Way of Blount County, to Foothills Land Conservancy, to Keep Blount Beautiful, to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, where Barton established an endowment of $100,000 and matches other donations that come in dollar for dollar.

On the job in Iraq

It’s a lack of dollars that eventually turned Barton into a businessman. He had planned to rejoin the Marines after seminary school, but while in Atlanta he and his wife, Mechelle, found themselves in a 900-square-foot apartment with five kids and in debt. Two of the children had been adopted from Ethiopia, where Barton met the founder of Americans for African Adoptions.

“So I started going to job fairs, and I found a guy that had a contract in Iraq making decent money — more than I’d ever made before, that’s for sure. So I said, I’ll take it.”

He’d never seen a government contract, but Barton ended up being the first contract manager for the company.

“We were very successful. In fact they went from a $40 million company to $285 million in a year-and-a-half,” Barton said.

Barton quit that job, deciding to start a business of his own. He was familiar with East Tennessee because he, an Illinois native, and his wife, from North Carolina, had often driven through Knoxville. They moved to Friendsville, where he founded his first company in 2006, Relyant, “a global provider of solutions to complex projects.”

Over the years Barton founded, closed, bought and sold several companies. Now, with Vanquish Worldwide at the core and Front Range Training and Peak Technical Institute as wing firms, Baron is adjusting to a business environment less reliant on government contracts.

“All three companies share the same thought process of delivery excellence to the client. It’s important for us, how we do business and how we treat our customers — make sure we’re asked to come back again. It’s a long-term vision not a short-term profit,” Barton said.

It’s almost like playing a pinball machine with three balls bouncing down the table at once.

“It’s the symphony in the chaos, that’s for sure,” Barton said.

Vanquish Worldwide Announces Its Acquisition of Front Range Training and Consulting LLC

Posted on January 11, 2014 with No Comments

Vanquish Worldwide, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) dedicated to providing Government and commercial contractor services since 2007 has acquired Front Range Training and Consulting, LLC, a SDVOSB specialized in training and program support for Government and commercial clients.

MARYVILLE, Tenn.–()–Vanquish Worldwide is pleased to announce their recent acquisition of Front Range Training and Consulting LLC (FRTC). FRTC is a Colorado-based Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that was founded by Kevin Cooper, a retired U.S. Marine with considerable experience in the Force Reconnaissance and Diplomatic Security/Marine Security Guard (MSG) community. FRTC has been in business since October 2003, and has quickly and effectively demonstrated that it is a leader in the training industry. An example of FRTC’s dedication to supporting the security of this country is through the development and delivery of Programs of Instruction (POI) for the Department of State’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) program.

Ongoing training initiatives include Unexploded Ordnance Technician 1 Certification, Tactical Life Saver Training, Law Enforcement Explosive Entry Technician (EET) Training, Advanced Armorer’s Training, and several Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) and Tactical Team Leader Development courses being delivered to numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement officers throughout the country. FRTC’s S.W.A.T. school has been used to stand up entire teams in New Mexico, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and is considered the preferred sustainment training vehicle for agencies in those and other states.

Additionally FRTC was selected as a sole source to Securitas USA, one of the world’s largest security providers, as the recipient of a long term contract providing high end weapons and tactical training to operators providing security to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) critical assets throughout the nation.

Cindy Cooper has assumed the position of Corporate Manager of Training and Educational Services for Vanquish Worldwide. Cindy has been the Vice President of Operations for FRTC for 10 years and has been instrumental in the growth of the company. She has been the Instructional System Design Team Lead which has produced thousands of hours of FRTC programs and coursework.

“I have been very impressed with Vanquish and quickly understood how Front Range would complement and support their customer strategy and direction. In today’s market, the opportunity to bring our teams together creates a tremendous advantage for both organizations,” Kevin Cooper, Vice President of Operations for Vanquish Worldwide, “I am confident that our customers will benefit from services offered by the expanded Vanquish Team.”

Both companies have a long history of growth and profitability, share similar philosophies, and a strong vision for future growth and diversity.

About Vanquish Worldwide

Vanquish offers significant experience working for the US Government and commercial sector from coast to coast in the US, in combat theaters, developing nations and austere environments. Vanquish is headquartered just outside of Greater Knoxville, TN, with offices in Seattle, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina; as well as international offices in Afghanistan, Uganda, and Iraq. Training programs and courses offered by FRTC can be found at

Vanquish/Front Range Training Company on the front page of Knoxville News Sentinel’s business section.

Posted on January 11, 2014 with No Comments


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Walden University’s 2013 Social Change Impact Report

Posted on January 4, 2014 with No Comments

Take a look at the link below for Walden University’s 2013 Social Change Impact Report which identifies social change agents around the world and their key motivations, interests and levels of involvement.

Eric W. Barton’s positive works in Uganda are highlighted in this report; all of us at Vanquish are very proud and encouraged by his humanitarian efforts and the continual good will he bestows upon others.









Also be sure to check out “Humanitarian on a Mission” written about Eric, his background and his mission to get a good education and help others along the way.

Personal Commitment to Humanitarian Work

Posted on August 27, 2013 with No Comments

16291_10151628831151317_201693882_nI have a personal commitment to doing humanitarian work in helping make the world a better place. My story was highlighted on Walden University’s facebook page and blog on World Humanitarian Day (Aug 19, 2013): Click to read my story.

EPA Region 10 Enters Contract with Vanquish Worldwide

Posted on May 21, 2013 with No Comments

Vanquish Worldwide, a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), has been awarded a new, multi-million dollar federal contract to provide equipment management and warehouse services to the EPA Region 10 for emergency and counter-terrorism response vehicles and equipment. Read Full News Release from Security Today.

Growing the Gypsy Vanner Breed – Interview with Brownfield AgNews for America

Posted on April 24, 2013 with No Comments

My recent radio interview with Julie Harker from Brownfield Ag News for America about the Gypsy Horse breed. The interview includes our introduction to the breed and beginnings in the breed as well as our programs to help spread awareness for the breed and put these wonderful horses in good homes with clients and partners now and in the future.

By July Harker – April 20, 2013

The Gypsy Vanner horse breed continues to grow.  Eric Barton and his wife Mechelle own the LexLin Gypsy Ranch in Knoxville, Tennesee.  They fell in love with the gentle breed and are helping others enjoy them.  Many things make them special, says Eric Barton, including their looks and their temperament.

AUDIO: Eric Barton on the Gypsy Vanner (3:00 mp3)

AUDIO: Full interview with Eric Barton (19:00 mp3)

View on Brownfield AgNews for America’s website

Maryville-Based Vanquish Awarded Multi-Million Dollar Contract for U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security in Iraq

Posted on February 14, 2013 with No Comments

Maryville, Tenn. – Maryville-based Vanquish Worldwide, a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) providing global support services to the U.S. government and the commercial market sector, announced today its award of a new, multi-million dollar federal contract to provide operations and maintenance support at the Basra International Airport to support aviation operations of the DoS Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in Iraq.

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the security and law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State, responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.

Vanquish will provide a host of on-site services as part of the contract, including training of contractor and host nation personnel, movement of personnel and equipment, contractor logistics support, HVAC, plumbing, construction, security, electrical system maintenance, waste management and other services.

In addition to the services provided, the contract involves a significant procurement component in supplying all of the necessary equipment and parts for the project.

“Our team looks forward to expanding Vanquish’s footprint of overseas support for U.S. government operations in Iraq,” said Vanquish President and CEO Eric W. Barton.

Barton and his team have successfully managed and overseen complex, multifaceted programs specializing in intelligence, security services, staffing, training, life support, and operational requirements in the Middle East and Africa.

Vanquish offers significant experience working in combat theaters and developing nations as well as austere environments. Services include construction, life support, manpower, security, logistics/transportation, and operations and maintenance.

Vanquish is headquartered just outside of Greater Knoxville, Tenn., with offices in Afghanistan, Uganda, Iraq and the United States.

Vanquish Worldwide Hosts the Boys and Girls Club

Posted on February 11, 2013 with No Comments


Fifteen excited kids got to watch the Lady Vols defeat Ole Miss on February 10, 2013 at Thompson Bowling Arena in style. Vanquish Worldwide of Maryville, TN, donated its basketball suite to the Boys and Girls Club of Blount County. Hot dogs and popcorn abounded and everyone had a great time!

The Boys & Girls Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, and character development of boys and girls in a safe and caring environment.  The club offers a great opportunity for children to have fun and learn in after school programs and special events. Membership is open to boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 17 years. The club has grown into a five county service area in the Tennessee Valley and currently serves more than 5,800 members in 15 facilities.

The Boys & Girls Club mission “is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”

“Giving back to the community is an important part of Vanquish’s success. This was a small gesture in comparison to the service that this organization brings to children throughout Tennessee”, said Eric W. Barton, President & CEO.

A Deserving Firefighter Wins LexLin’s 2012 Honoring Our Heroes Horse!

Posted on July 5, 2012 with No Comments

We are incredibly honored to announce Jason Warrenfeltz as the winner of LexLin’s Swade (a Gypsy Vanner Horse) in our 2nd Annual LexLin Gives Back – Honoring Our Heroes Contest! Jason has dedicated his life to helping others via his countless volunteer hours and through risking life and limb as a firefighter in his service to others!

Jason served the Fayetteville Fire Department in many ways. He was a member of the fireman’s relief, fund raising committees and Engine Sergeant, and a forest fire liaison. After more than 10 years of faithful service as both a firefighter and husband Jason came to the end of his firefighting days when he became overheated battling a fire that sent him to the hospital. Jason spent 2 days in the hospital as a result of his extreme core temperature. That was the last fire that Jason was ever going to battle. Now he spends his days promoting horsemanship. He is a certified skills instructor for 4-H and has served as the president of the All State Miniature Horse Club. He has rescued several horses and recently saved a pregnant mare from slaughter. He now provides affordable boarding for local equestrian students attending college. Jason is a board member of the Chambersburg Saddle Club and also a committee member for the Silver Star Saddle Club. For the past 3 years he has taken 2-3 horses to the local learning centers farm fun days.

We spoke with Jason today and are excited to announce that he will be bringing his family to personally pick up Swade from LexLin! We’ll post photos of Swade’s introduction to his new family in the coming weeks.

Jason is truly a hero and we are honored to have his family be a part of our annual Honoring Our Heroes!

LexLin Gypsy Ranch is owned & operated by Eric & Mechelle Barton. Eric is a former Marine Corps Mustang Officer, who understands the sacrifice made by our brave men and women serving our country. Thanks so much for showing your support of firefighters who put their lives on the line on a daily basis!

Watch for an exciting announcement on the 3rd Annual LexLin Gives Back contest to come soon!