Media Room

Date: 9/06/2019

The Dialogue with J. Nathan Higdon

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 143rd installment visiting with J. Nathan Higdon, Ph.D., CFO and Chairman of L'Espace, Inc., which is a ground transportation provider specializing in corporate airport transfers.
 
Tell me more about L'Espace. The company started to provide a better solution to transportation and has branched into multiple other sectors, e.g. consulting. Our consulting division provides HR, Marketing, and Management strategy with focuses on digital media, diversity/inclusion, and strategic management.
 
How did you get started? I started the business with my family in 2004 after briefly teaching high school Spanish as an interim teacher. The desire to craft something from an idea has always appealed to my creative side.
 
What is your background? In terms of formal education, I have a B.A. in Spanish with minors in French and Business from Maryville College, an MBA from Penn State, and a Ph.D. in Business focused in Management from Oklahoma State. I am a life-long student who isn't afraid to ask questions, be wrong, or admit not knowing something, which are invaluable as an entrepreneur.
 
Who is your mentor? My family has been unflappable in their support along the way. I have had numerous individuals support, mentor, and guide me along the way.
 
Describe your customers. Transportation: Anyone going to the airport
Consulting: Small firms and organizations that are experiencing challenges in growth, company culture and turnover, and developing strategies for long-term marketing and management growth. Firms facing difficulty in hiring and retaining diverse workforce talent are a focus area. We've worked with strategy development and digital media for local firms, state and federal political candidates, multi-national firms, and government agencies.
 
What environments impact your business. As diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace become more a part of corporate social responsibility, we train companies to grow and focus strategy for sustainability in the 21st century to meet social expectations, economic challenges, environmental safeguards, and legal/political regulations.
 
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. 1. That I wouldn't need a fax machine forever. 2. That cell phones would have navigation! 3. That I would have evolved the business so much.