Incubating Success

March 31, 2015

Please note:  The correct name for Russell Killen’s business is “Progressive” Insulation:………………………..

Russell Killen felt like he’d jumped off a cliff. At least, his wife did.

He was more the risk taker, she the pragmatic one.

But quitting his job of 28 years at 2:30 one November 2008 afternoon, only to drive straight to a bank with four friends who also were about to put up property, houses and whatever other collateral they could find for a loan to enter a business world they weren’t fully prepared to navigate — this was an especially high cliff.

“It’s pretty scary, risking everything you have,” Killen said.

Six years later, the Killens and their partners have seen the reward of their gambit. Their business, Performance Insulation, has been a resounding success.

But it started, like many current and past business ventures in the region, in a secluded office at the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center in the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park. They had big dreams, little resources, and thanks to the business incubator, a lot of help.

While such incubators are relatively recent creations in many cities, the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center has been around a while – since 1992 – and has birthed more than 150 businesses.

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