The 2010 Inc. 5000: Top 10 American Indian Entrepreneurs
Louie Wise III, President
Climate Control Mechanical Services
Revenue: $3.8 million
Three-Year Growth: 334.29%
Just before his great-grandmother died at the age of 100, Wise began asking her about his American Indian roots. "As your grandparents are starting to get older, you start asking questions while they can remember what's what," he says. His great-grandfather had been a sharecropper, who was one-half Creek Indian, making Wise one-eighth Creek. He was amazed at what he discovered about his great-grandfather. "He cleared land of 80 acres with an ox and a plough," says Wise, who runs the mechanical services contracting company, Climate Control Mechanical Services. "The work level was just tremendously different."