Once you’ve been in an accident your to-do list immediately grows. Call the insurance company. Call a towing company. Call a rental car company. Call a repair shop. And then add on everything else that you actually had to do that day. 

The team at Absolute Collision, a ZoomUp business, is committed to getting you back on the road faster, and that means helping you with your to-do list. Their team members have over 50 years of experience in the auto collision industry, and understand the value of a company who can take the burden off of you. So, that’s just what they do. 

No Appointment? No Problem!

You likely didn’t plan on getting into a car accident today; I don’t think anyone does. But it happens. As part of their commitment to getting you back on the road faster, they offer online estimates. With just the click of a button you can submit pictures of your car’s damage and schedule your appointment. We’re making it easier than ever to get back on the road. 

Dealing with Insurance Companies Made Easier

Most insurance companies will provide their customers with a list of accepted Direct Repair Providers. These DRPs must meet certain requirements set up by the insurance company, and luckily for you, Absolute Collision is a Direct Repair Provider for most insurance companies. Go ahead and check that one off of your list! 

One Call Has You Covered

Coordinating with the towing company, the repair shop and the rental car company can be a headache. But you can alleviate that pain with just one call to Absolute Collision. Their services include towing, restoration and rental cars. This is your one-stop-shop for all of your auto-collision and repair needs. Call 828-382-8000 for the Forest City location or 704-482-3616 for the Shelby location. 

Get Back on the Road

Absolute Collision is committed to service that is true, honest and done with integrity. Part of getting you back on the road faster is getting the job done right the first time. As your one-stop-shop for all auto collision repairs, Absolute Collision promises to walk with you through the entire process. From helping you to understand what exactly the problem is, how we can fix it and what we can do to help you get back on the road in the meantime. 

Griffin Brothers Companies is proud to partner with entrepreneurs like Thomas Goforth, owner of Absolute Collision, who are driven by their customers’ needs and want to make a difference in their community. 

Griffin Brothers Companies has been a withstanding business in the Charlotte Metro region and beyond for 60 years. And while some may know Griffin Brothers Companies for their original tire store, for the landfill operations they manage or for the home services business that are a part of the ZoomUp investments, what many may not know is all that goes on behind the scenes. 

As evident through the ZoomUp Investments, Mike Griffin, managing partner of Griffin Brothers Companies, makes it a priority to invest in young leaders and entrepreneurs who have a passion, drive and knowledge base to take their career to the next level. 

One way he achieves this is with Executive Apprentices. As an executive apprentice, each one will work alongside Mike for three years to fine-tune their entrepreneurial skills. “My hope is that an apprentice transitions into a Zoomer, and operates and eventually owns a ZoomUp acquisition,” says Griffin.

Nicolas Gomez is currently an Executive Apprentice at Griffin Brothers Companies and strives to one day enter the Foundation and Crawl Space industry. 

After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School in May of 2020, Nico came to work at GBC and now assists with leading the company acquisitions and the Zoomer’s Market Leader Program.

“Everyday is about making the Zoomers grow, grow, grow,” he said. “Before I leave to ZoomUp the Foundation and Crawl Space industry, we will get Zoomer Thomas Goforth to 15 stores, Zoomers Austin Helms and Jimmy Giler to truly saturate the Charlotte area, and grow the Griffin Brothers Property Services brand across the Charlotte metropolitan area.”

As an executive apprentice, he is not only learning entrepreneurial skills but also life skills that he will carry with him wherever he goes. He says one of the most surprising things that he has learned is that “if you do all of the right stuff and forget then team—you are better off not doing anything at all.”

Nico has been an integral part of the MEP Pros Plan and has helped our Zoomers excel in their individual markets. He’s seen the value of different perspectives, learned the importance of teamwork and found business models to aspire to (hello, Chick-fil-A). 

Not only will his education from UNC’s business school and years of learning under Mike Griffin help him to succeed as an entrepreneur in the foundation and crawl space world, but also his life experiences will help launch him toward success. 

As a self-starter, Nico taught himself how to sail and within five weeks officially passed the test. Ahoy, Captain Nico. Additionally, Nico understands the value of doing hard things and knows the sacrifices one must make. At seven years old, he moved from Colombia, South America and had to start over. Later in life he backpacked alone through Ecuador. During these three months in Ecuador, he was chased by a pack of wild dogs, worked at a fruit farm and also fasted for 72 hours.  

Griffin Brothers Companies is proud to have Nicolas Gomez on our team and we’re eager to see how he will ZoomUp the foundation and crawl space industry in the near future. 

Viva Electric is proud to be one of the Griffin Brothers Companies’, ZoomUp Businesses, and they are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Griffin Brothers Companies by telling their story.  

In 2016, Mike Griffin founded ZoomUp Investments to fund and grow businesses in the dirty-jobs scene and to mentor young professionals with an entrepreneurial drive. Entrepreneurs like Jimmy. 

Jimmy Giler, co-owner and founder of Viva Electric, had been working with his father-in-law as a local electrician and eventually became interested in more than just working with his hands. In 2017, Jimmy and his wife Maegan decided it was time for them to go out on their own and open what would soon be Charlotte’s top-rated electrical company, Viva Electric. 

In April of 2018, Jimmy hired his first employees and things were going great. One day, Meagan called Jimmy and said a guy googled Viva Electric and had questions about a job he had previously done for another company. This guy was Austin Helms, owner and founder of Ease Plumbing and Air. 

Over lunch, Austin and Jimmy talked about business and the ZoomUp Investments group. They discussed how Griffin Brother Companies created ZoomUp investments to share their knowledge and passion for entrepreneurship with like-minded business owners while providing them with additional resources, technologies and capabilities to grow local family businesses into long lasting legacies. 

From there, the relationship blossomed. After discussing the opportunity with Maegan, Jimmy met Mike for lunch at Taco Mac. Mike told him, “You guys are gonna get where you wanna get, and you will be successful. But I will get you there faster.”

It was then that Jimmy and Maegan decided to partner with Griffin Brothers Companies, and ever since then they have seen tremendous growth. 

Since its inception in 2017, Viva Electric has implemented new field management technology to improve the customer experience and reporting aspects. WIth a commitment to creating a long-lasting legacy and putting the needs of the customer first, it’s no wonder that Viva Electric is Charlotte’s top-rated electrical company. 

Viva Electric’s services now reach out to the Lake Norman area, and with the Neighborhood Market Leader program, they’re expected to continue expanding and lighting up the lives of everyone around them. 

Since day one, Austin Helms, local entrepreneur and founding owner of Ease Plumbing and Air, has made it his mission to reinvent the way people see dirty jobs, train the next generation of tradesmen, and give employees the opportunity to become owners and gain equity in the company. Ease Plumbing and Air officially opened in 2019 and has been offering top-of-the-line home services to Charlotte, Cornelius, Lake Norman and the surrounding areas ever since. 

From the day its doors opened, Ease Plumbing and Air has experienced extreme growth. Within one year this start-up went from two employees to over 25 trained and skilled technicians and 19 service vehicles. And we’re not stopping there. 

On April 1, 2021, Ease Plumbing will open its second location in Greenville, North Carolina. Aaron Williams, Ease Plumbing and Air’s Neighborhood Market Leader, will be overseeing the daily operations of the Greenville location.

“I want to grow young plumbers in Greenville and also grow the best plumbing service company in eastern North Carolina,” Aaron said. “I’m hoping that through Ease Plumbing and the Neighborhood Market Leader Program, we can change the way that people look at tradespeople.”

The team at Ease Plumbing is excited to offer Greenville residents the highest-quality plumbing services and put their minds at Ease. We will be offering a full range of professional plumbing services including: water line repairs and installations, sewer repairs and installations, faucet repairs, shower and tub repair and installations, gas line installs, well pump services, water heater service and installs and more.

If you have any questions about Ease Plumbing and Air’s Neighborhood Market Leader program or want to be one of the first Greenville resident’s to have your mind put at Ease, give Ease Plumbing a call today. 

Griffin Brothers Companies is proud to have Ease Plumbing and Air as part of the ZoomUp team and is excited to see it become the largest employee-owned home service business in the nation. 

The women of Viva Electric truly do brighten the lives of those around them. Every day, and especially today on International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the women behind the scenes of Charlotte’s top-rated electrical company. 

Maegan Giler is one of Viva Electric’s co-founders. She and Jimmy were high school sweethearts and are now proud parents and stellar business partners. It was in 2017 that Maegan and Jimmy decided to go out on their own and start Charlotte’s newest electrical company. 

“We are one big family. We care greatly about our employees, about our clientele, and we want to just light up everyone’s life. We want to do what we can to make everyone’s lives better,” Maegan said. 

With Maegan’s leadership at the helm of Viva Electric, it’s no wonder that our teams provide outstanding customer service and are lighting up the lives of those in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg area. 

But Maegan is not the only woman on the leadership team at Viva, Michelle Cooke is Viva Electric’s Director of Operations. 

Michelle echoes Maegan’s goals of wanting to make Viva a place where employees and customers are made to feel like family. Her willingness to work hard, to pursue greater achievements and to shine a light wherever she goes is the spark that puts Viva ahead. 

But where would we be without the voice of Viva? Jayna Kirkpatrick is Viva Electric’s First Impressions Ambassador and Lead Dispatch. “I try to give them exceptional service by shedding ‘light’ on solving their electrical problems,” she said. “It’s not always pleasant having something break in your home so I’m glad I can be a friendly voice to answer the phone and help our clients.”

Morgan Smith is also one of Viva’s First Impression Ambassadors and helps to light up the lives of those who call looking for an electrical solution. As first impressions ambassadors, Jayna and Morgan help to figure out how Viva Electric can help and then they get the right people out to the job. 

Maegan, Michelle, Morgan and Jayna are paving the way and shining the light for future women to take leadership roles, enter into the world of electricians and succeed in whatever they put their minds too. 

Today, on International Women’s Day, we are proud to celebrate the women of Viva. Thank you, ladies, for all that you do for Viva Electric, for lighting up the lives of everyone you meet and for being you. 

March is celebrated as Women’s History Month and on International Women’s Day we’d like to celebrate the women at Ease Plumbing and Air who make a difference in our company. 

According to the 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2.5% of plumbers were women nationwide. Although women account for more than 50% of all workers within several industries, they are widely underrepresented in the trades. 

But this doesn’t have to be the case. 

High school students were recently polled in a National Kitchen & Bath Association survey and the data found that the interest in a skilled trade career was almost as high for females as it was for males. 

Trades are an excellent opportunity for women to build a successful career without accumulating substantial debt from a four-year college. While the exact number can vary based on the market, the average salary for a plumber in the U.S. in 2019 reached $56,486. 

Not only this, but the average age of tradesmen is now a person in his/her 50s. The demand for skilled tradesmen is increasing but the supply is decreasing.  USA Today reports that by 2028, 3 million trade jobs will be open. 

Many women are seeing the need for skilled technicians and also how you can make a good living while doing it. Women like Nikki are taking advantage of this opportunity. 


Nikki is one of Ease Plumbing and Air’s skilled apprentices. On the job, she is constantly praised for her workmanship, knowledge and professionalism. Her uplifting spirit is contagious and makes everyone want to do their job better. 

It comes as no surprise that there are other women on our team who put in work behind the scenes. Women like Jayna , Tasha, Alyssa, Morgan and Stephanie.

These ladies are the voice of Ease, they’re the ones who help our technicians get to you. Without them, the Eases wouldn’t have a voice. As first impressions ambassadors, they help to figure out how Ease can help you and then they get the right people out to the job. When you call with a plumbing or HVAC issue, Jayna, Tasha and Stephanie will be the first people to put your mind at Ease. 

Ease Plumbing and Air wouldn’t be able to provide top-of-the line plumbing and HVAC service to the Charlotte/Mecklenburg area if it were not for the women on our team. Today and every day, we are thankful to have these women on our team. 

Nikki, Jayna, Morgan, Alyssa, Tasha and Stephanie, thank you for putting our minds at Ease. 

A winter storm in Texas left millions without power, without water and without certainty of what was next. Some were without water for days while others watched as water flooded their homes and businesses. Many were questioning the reliability of the state’s electrical power grid, and many more questioned when they’d be warm again. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “Every source of power Texas has has been compromised” including coal, and renewable energy and nuclear power. According to the Austin-American Statesman, many insurance industries are expecting the recovery costs to come close to that of Hurricane Harvey “which resulted in $19 billion insured losses.”

As the region’s leading disaster response team specializing in commercial and residential fire & smoke, water, mold, trauma, and biohazard cleanup and mitigation, we dispatched an emergency response fleet that included three 53-foot trailers with air movers, dehumidifiers and other restoration equipment along with two 53-foot flatbed trailers stocked with power generation equipment and several catastrophe response teams to Central Texas.

Knowing there would be significant water, flooding and ice damage, our teams were armed with labor, plumbers, and electricians ready for emergency service work for any commercial, industrial, retail and/or property management needs. 

While Sasser Restoration was From the moments we had boots on the ground in Texas, our teams have worked around the clock on countless losses ranging from a 25,000 sq. ft. government facility, a 1,360 unit apartment complex, a 434 unit apartment complex and a 324 unit apartment complex- all with substantial damage. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. 

Matt Lampert recently joined the Sasser Restoration team as a project executive and spent his first week on the job assisting with the efforts in Texas. As part of our commitment to responsiveness, service, quality and communication, we are ready to take action at a moment’s notice—his immediate response to the need exemplifies the Sasser spirit. 

“It was amazing how quickly the Sasser teams on the ground and the support team at home gathered disparate information, created a unified plan and began to execute,” said Miguel Figueroa, Sasser Restoration’s COO. “Productivity in the early hours after a catastrophe is crucial— our teams executed extremely well when called upon.” 

In emergency situations like this, Sasser Restoration’s ability to offer structural dehumidification and drying, water damage mitigation, temporary generators for power and water extracting is invaluable. Controlling the indoor environment quickly is essential to reducing the chances of mold and microbial growth. 

Texas has experienced natural disasters in its past, think Hurricane Harvey, but the state had never faced anything like this winter storm. As these temperatures and conditions were unprecedented for Texas, their infrastructure was not built to withstand it, and many did not have a disaster recovery plan in place. 

For over 30 years, Sasser Restoration has helped commercial partners create and execute emergency response plans for situations just like this. When disasters hit, Sasser Restoration is there to bring your building back to life and keep your business moving forward.

Our teams are humbled by the opportunity to lend a helping hand in Texas where the need is still great, and we are proud of the high-quality work that continues to be done in order to restore these homes and businesses in a time of bitter uncertainty. 

Griffin Brothers Companies celebrated its 60th anniversary on February 27, 2021. In 1961, Larry Griffin, Sr. opened the first Griffin Brothers Tire Sales store and since then the company has expanded to land development, ecologically responsible waste management and Charlotte’s one-top-shop for all home and commercial property needs with ZoomUp Investments. 

Griffin Brothers Companies has a long history of being a family-owned and operated business. Mike Griffin began working in an administrative role with the company and became the Secretary/Treasurer upon his graduation from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987. Shortly after in 1989, Larry Griffin, Jr. joined the team as Vice President of  Griffin Bros. Tire Sales, Inc. 

Tire and Automotives Drove GBC Upwards

In 1981, Larry, Sr. acquired full ownership of GBTS and when Larry, Jr. joined the team in 1989, the company began to expand. The second tire and communications store was completed in 1991 with the third in 1996, the fourth and fifth stores following in 2000, the sixth in 2002 and the seventh and eighth locations in 2008. GBTS was later sold in 2016. 

Landfill Operations Saw Growth

Over the years, the Griffin family entered into the landfill operations beginning in 1988 when Larry, Sr. entered with 37.5% ownership in North Mecklenburg Landfill, Inc. and 50% ownership in Griffin-Parker Enterprises, Inc. Larry, Sr. purchased the remaining portion of NML & G-P in 1993 and began working full-time in the landfill business. 

Since 1993, GBC has acquired and started a handful of other landfills including a C&D landfill in Wake County, a Marion County C&D landfill in Mullins, SC and others. As the company continued to see growth, Griffin Bros Acquisitions, LLC was formed in 1996 allowing for the Griffins to build long term property investments and cultivate various joint ventures.

New Development Operations Took Off

In 1997, Larry, Jr. oversaw Griffin Bros Acquisitions’s development projects in the Lake Norman area, including Waterside Crossing- a mixed-use development including a 19 acre retail site anchored by Harris Teeter, a 15 acre office/medical park, 110 townhomes built by Torrey Homes & Parker-Lancaster Homes, and 404 single family homes built by Niblock Development and Parker-Lancaster Homes. 

This GBA venture continued to prosper as a 22,000 square foot, two-story, multi-tenant office building was developed in Cornelius under GBA in 1998. Two years later GBA developed a 12,000 square foot building to suit a space for two tenants in Mooresville, NC. In 2002, The Shoppes at Waterside Crossing, LLC was created with GBA assets pertaining to the Shoppes at Waterside. Ten years later, GBA opened a $26 million mixed-use facility adjacent to the Arts Factory. Mosaic Village offers luxury student housing apartments, 7,000 square foot of retail space, 400-space parking deck, and a 250 person Skyline Terrace with extraordinary views of Charlotte’s Center City. 

ZoomUp Investments Started Zooming

Griffin Brothers holds a 10% to 15% stake in the Zooomer companies, which have added about 100 employees to the overall enterprise.It’s more than just capital, however. Griffin also offers advice, support and encouragement as Zoomers navigate day-to-day challenges.

“In life you have some road humps and potholes. My goal is to help them get over those humps smoother and work around the potholes,” Mike Griffin says. “Nothing is straight linear — there will always be ups and downs. My goal as a mentor is to help smooth them out and make it less bumpy.” 

ZoomUp investments is an incubator set up for dirty jobs – a next step in Mike’s career to lead and develop tradesmen. By partnering with young entrepreneurs who desired majority ownership, he has been able to work with plumbers, HVAC technicians, landscapers, electricians and others to provide home services to the Charlotte area while also mentoring young business leaders and training the next generation of tradesmen. 

What’s Next

For 60 years Griffin brothers Companies has been a staple in the Charlotte community. What started with Griffin Bros Tire Sales has developed into a company with many different facets that impacts and serves Charlotte residents  in different ways. From providing a place to get around, to creating a place to stay and now to enhancing how you live, GBC has been focused on providing the best services for our clients for 60 years and will continue to do so for generations to come. 

Since 1961 the Griffin Brothers Companies has been a family-owned and operated organization that provides the best-in-class services to its customers and communities. For more information on the Griffin Brothers Companies, visit http://griffinbros.com/.

In December of 2020, the Nation Ford Land Trust held a ceremony to dedicate 158 acres on Vernsdale Road. The site is now known as the Murray White Preserve. With deep Fort Mill ties, White is founder of the nonprofit land trust and a former York County Council member, including multiple stints as chairman.

The dedication brought together several area civic leaders who’ve put decades of work toward land preservation, like Anne Springs Close, who may be best known in Fort Mill now for her namesake greenway.

“Murray was the catalyst that brought the original board members together to form the Nation Ford Land Trust,” said Bernie Ackerman, land trust chairman.

The new Rock Hill site now named for White could make future land trust preservation easier. Plans are to generate revenue through timber harvesting, a hunt club lease and a 10- to 20-acre compost facility for the City of Rock Hill yard waste program. The land trust will lease the land for composting to Greenway Waste Solutions.

“This way future Nation Ford Land Trust boards will have a consistent income stream and occasionally a large bonus of funds from the timber harvesting operation,” said Steve Hamilton, land trust executive director.

The land trust received the property in late 2018 from Greenway Waste Solutions. The plan was for a conservation easement. The compost site could be operating within 18 months. The Murray White Preserve sits at the almost southwestern tip of city limits in Rock Hill. It spans both sides of Vernsdale, just north of its intersection with Rambo Road.

The Murray White Preserve, which borders Fishing Creek, is one of several recent efforts to preserve land in York County. The land trust was involved in a conservation easement for 1,700 acres as part of the massive Riverbend Park owned by York County. That overall 1,900-acre county site has about six miles of Catawba River frontage.

The land trust preserved 2,700 acres in an easement in the York area with the Stuck family property. Combined with other donations from the family, the total stretches to more than 3,800 acres.

Other major natural area upgrades abound in York County, including waterfront park additions in Rock Hill and Lake Wylie from Duke Energy, Catawba Park in Tega Cay, Ebenezer Park improvements in Rock Hill and a host of new municipal park projects. 

2020 has not been the year anyone expected. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced our worlds, neighborhoods, and communities into self-isolating we are left looking for safe ways to stay connected and make a difference is our new normal. Now, more than ever, friends, families, and neighbors in communities everywhere are looking out for one another and finding ways to support each other. 

This holiday season Griffin Brother’s Property Service Teams, were honored to help a neighbor true to our roots off West Trade Street and a past Griffin Brother Tires customer Jackie Jones, the widow of the late J Charles Jones.  Our teams from Ease Plumbing and Air and Viva Electric had the opportunity to be able to serve Jackie, who has spent her life alongside her husband and serving and bettering the Charlotte Community.  Ease Plumbing and Air installed a brand new water heater and Viva Electric was able to do rewiring free of charge.  

We are reminded, especially around the holidays, to look out for our neighbors and we want to encourage you to look for ways to do the same in your community.  Look to seize opportunities to serve, even if it is in small ways. Can you offer to fill someone’s gas tank? Can you pay it forward in the grocery line? Or even call up a friend or neighbor that might be spending this holiday season away from their loved ones? 

We are humbled to be able to serve in this small way that we can and thankful for our Charlotte neighbors and Charlotte community that have come together over the past several months to get through 2020 adversities together. 

Note: Griffin Brother’s Property Services combines Charlotte’s top rated ElectriciansHVAC, Plumbing technicians to simplify residential and commercial property maintenance.  For more information click HERE.