Birth and Growth of The 21st Century Expo Group- Ray, Leslie & Iman McFarland

About the Episode:

Ray and Leslie, the owners of the 21st Century Expo Group, have seen their business grow immensely since they first started in 1991. They have remixed their business model three times since 2001 and have been able to stay on top of this constantly evolving world. Several global events happened in the recent past; among them were the 9/11, the 2008 stock market crash, and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The McFarlands adjusted their company to meet these challenges and remain competitive on a global scale. Entrepreneurs should not be defined by the dark times. There’s always a place for you to find opportunities that are coming your way. Be resilient, stay true to your beliefs, and always be about service.

21st Century Expo Group specializes in building custom-made exhibitions and trade shows. Their clients can tell their brand story, gain new customers, and market products efficiently with them. The company is considered a leader in turn-key exhibit solutions. Join the conversation with the founding family; Ray, Leslie & Iman McFarland. In this episode, the McFarland’s reveal their Untold Story as they share some of the challenges they’ve faced, how they’ve coped, and what they’ve done to transform their business during the pandemic.

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Here’s What You’ll Get In This Episode

[00:11] Episode intro and a quick bio of today’s guests

[09:10] Ray and Leslie’s vision thirty years ago

[10:30] How the two met

[11:10] Ray’s entrepreneurial spirit as an undergraduate 

[12:17] Was Leslie thinking about business in her college life? 

[12:37] Was Iman prepared for business?

[16:12] Predestined for sporting

[17:34] Who suggested her name, and what it means

[18:22] Why Ray selected his model of business 

[21:16] The aha moment in business and realizing that they were headed for success

[24:05] Crossing a significant milestone in the course of growing the business

[27:40] Lessons that have been of great help during downturns in the economy

[30:40] How the business systems changed in the wake of Covid-19

[36:10] Iman’s parents’ footsteps in basketball &  business birthed an athletic training facility

[37:56] How can be a part of the wellness facility campus

[44:29] What has been Leslie’s prayer behind the survivability of the business

[47:15] Words of inspiration from the guests

[50:22] Ending the show and call to action

Notable Quotes

  • Iman means the beginning of a new season.
  • Access to the capitalization of a business is what helps its survivability.
  • Networking in business is a great cushion against the downturns in the economy.  
  • Behind every successful man, there’s a woman, and behind every great woman, there’s God. 
  • Sometimes, family-owned businesses are just priceless.
  • If you serve somebody, God will serve you.

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