Visit the Inc. 500 site, which includes a fully searchable database of winners from 1982 to the present

1996 Inc. 500 #434

Grind King

When Donald Cassel of Grind King went thumbing through the yellow pages trying to find a manufacturer for a new skateboard part he wanted to develop, he wasn't necessarily looking for a business education. But that's what he got when he contacted Robert Barbour of Windline Amanet. It turned out Barbour was a three-time Inc. 500 alumnus (#365 in 1987, #489 in 1988, and #428 in 1989), and in addition to knowing something about manufacturing, he also knew plenty about fast growth. Barbour helped Cassel improve the design of his invention and work out manufacturing techniques. He also gave Cassel business advice on everything from finance to ethics. "Bob taught me that honoring debts pays off in the long run," says Cassel. At one point Cassel owed Barbour close to $250,000 for manufactured product. "I thought he should give me a break," says Cassel, "but he explained how he had had to take a out a loan to provide me with that product. He said I should not only pay him back but pay him back with interest. And after I thought about it, I did."