AMERICUS — Since 1991, Concentra Solutions has served as contact centers for businesses across the U.S. and Canada. In 2003, Pharmacentra was begun as a center specifically for pharmaceutical companies.
Begun by CEO Dan Berman, both companies moved their headquarters to Americus 10 years ago. About five years ago, the companies moved to a large building on Industrial Drive, and the decision was made for both headquarters to be moved there about a year and a half ago.
Concentra Solutions began in Berman’s basement after the company he was working for could no longer make payroll. Berman said that if he was going to work for free, he might as well start working for himself. Out of that, his first business was born.
Americus was the company’s third office in Georgia, and after the recession of 2008, all three were consolidated into the office here.
“The recession was brutal, and a lot of businesses still carry scars from it,” Berman said. “We’re fortunate in that we’re still here and now, we’re thriving.”
Berman credits their success in part to his mission statement, or prime directive. Borrowed from Star Trek, a prime directive is also known as a guiding principle. This statement, Berman said, guides the way he interacts with his employees and how they, in turn, interact with both clientele and one another.
“Our prime directive is very clear,” Berman said. “Every interaction is a positive interaction.”
Berman tries to keep this attitude even in the midst of change. Pharmacentra has recently experienced a substantial change, being a new addition in the form of a pharmaceutical company — Cannabis BPO.
A few weeks ago, Berman made the executive addition to partner with the brand and help them sell their products. Pharmacentra treats the company like any other medical supplier, which is exactly how Berman sees them.
Pharmacentra’s role is simply to aid pharmaceutical companies in their customer service. The company never touches any products or sells any physical material.
“The global cannabis business is growing, and I want to be a part of that,” Berman said. “This is a very exciting new business.”
While medical marijuana is legal in Georgia, many residents remain wary of the drug. It is for this reason that Berman was surprised with the feedback he received after announcing the decision.
“I expected a lot of pushback, but I haven’t had any so far,” Berman said. “Every comment I’ve received has been either positive or neutral.”
Part of the company’s decision to work with Cannabis BPO has to do with the health benefits of medical marijuana. Berman believes that if more companies support its use, it can become more acceptable to society as a whole.
“To destigmatize and to normalize it is a big part of our mission,” Berman said. “Everyone I talk to has experience with someone they know benefitting from it.”
Both Concentra Solutions and Pharmacentra exist to aid other businesses in their pursuit of success. The more growth both companies experience, the more jobs they create, and the more the economic impact on Americus grows.
“For every dollar of payroll that a small company like us creates, it has a 10 to one economic impact on the community,” Berman said. “We want that impact to be as positive as it can be.”
“These two fine companies located in Americus invest where they are vested,” said Carolyn Wright, Chamber interim president.
The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce thanks Pharmacentra and Concentra Solutions for their commitment and support of the mission of the Chamber. Platinum trustee members are recognized as strong business leaders in the community because of their dedication, leadership and financial support in the economic development and continued success of Sumter County.
— Rosemary Scott, University of Georgia, journalism major
Kim Christmas, PharmaCentra VP of Human Resources and Chief Communications Officer
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