Success Story


CLIENT: The Jon Smith Group (JSG) Commercial Specialty Contractor

OWNER: Jonathan Ford & David Smith

ANNUAL SALES: $5-10 Million

LOCATION: Atlanta, Ga




The Jon Smith Group (JSG) is a specialty contractor based in Atlanta, GA. Their work is varied, including carpentry, interior framing, drywall and ceilings. They perform entire small projects and also handle specific project work for large general contractors in Metro Atlanta. In addition, they offer logistics services, perform selective demolition and interior construction, and provide roll-off dumpster service for themselves and other contractors.

They’ve successfully completed projects for Atlanta Hartsfield – Jackson Airport, Delta Airlines, SunTrust Bank, Philips Arena, and the NFL in conjunction with Super Bowl LIII in 2019.


Like many organizations, The Jon Smith Group was looking to get to the next level of sales and growth. They had plenty of business from existing clientele, which was sustaining them. But it wasn’t increasing sales volume. To expand market share, they needed to generate new business by reaching out to other companies.

We knew how to sell but wanted sales collateral that represented the brand we had built. Ascent Consulting gave us the marketing material expertise and backup that we needed.


Like many organizations, The Jon Smith Group was looking to get to the next level of sales and growth. They had plenty of business from existing clientele, which was sustaining them. But it wasn’t increasing sales volume. To expand market share, they needed to generate new business by reaching out to other companies.


Although the company was increasing their business development efforts, they felt they had very little to present that spoke to the quality of their work and professionalism. Their website was outdated, and their minimal sales collateral did not adequately showcase the company’s talents, their work experience, or their skill set.

In general, large contractors are used to meeting with companies that feature first-class materials. For this reason, the JSG founders felt ill-equipped to meet with the other large general contractors in town, for fear of appearing unprofessional and ‘not up to standards’.

They needed to stand out from their competition, but more importantly show that they were capable of meeting and exceeding the standards that $1B+ general contractors expect from their subcontractors.


Not pleased with the current situation, JSG Founder Jonathan Ford contacted Ascent Consulting. JSG and Ascent agreed that there was a definite “gap” between how JSG felt about themselves (all positive) and what their materials reflected (outdated & unprofessional).  Ascent put together a plan to upgrade the image of JSG and build a comprehensive catalog of materials they could use to represent their image to the public. Over the next several weeks:

  • Ascent met several times with JSG’s leaders, plus a few key team members and project managers
  • Ascent came to understand the company, their values, and the services they offer
  • Ascent learned JSG’s value proposition and their desired outcomes in business development and marketing

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With the “getting to know you” phase complete, Ascent, in full accord with JSG, tackled the company’s marketing materials and upgraded their image. Over the next few months, Ascent:

  • Designed an upgraded logo
  • Created new business card designs
  • Selected a design theme and color palette for all digital and print materials
  • Designed a full color, 4-page brochure about the company
  • Designed and built a completely new WordPress website
  • Wrote JSG-specific content that was Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
  • Designed three variants of print/digital Capabilities Statements
  • Designed trade show booth banners

In addition, Ascent developed a PowerPoint slide deck that the owners could take to general contractors and use to educate them about The Jon Smith Group – what they do, their value proposition, and why the General Contractor should use them on their construction jobs.


Across the board, JSG’s new image and marketing materials have earned rave reviews. At trade shows, company managers said the materials were a “wild success” with everyone commenting on the newness and freshness of the pieces that were created. Better yet, the materials have helped generate new work for JSG.

Kendall Pittman

Human Resources & Accounting Manager

With passions for developing HR strategies and accurate financials, Kendall joins Ascent with 5+ years of hands-on experience in both disciplines. She holds a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida, and is currently pursuing secondary education & certification in the field of Human Resources. 

Kendall has provided financial support to both the private sector as well non-profit organizations. Her accounting philosophy helps leaders connect business goals to objectives through accurate records & industry best practices. Additionally, she has pursued HR opportunities that focus on employee engagement, internal growth & development, and business-level strategic planning. 

Now, Kendall is dedicated to providing an uplifting environment to help drive further growth within Ascent. 

Sarah Red

Junior Coordinator

Sarah has 10+ years of experience in commercial construction spanning across 10 different states. during this time, she has gained experience in project & field management, also specializing in Construction Technology. Having worked on projects with value ranging from $5M – $2B, she has seen the industry from many angles.  



Sarah has worked across country and built in a variety of market sectors to perform both ground up & adaptive re-use projects. Her extensive experience has equipped her with in-depth knowledge of the construction industry, focusing on best methods of scaling technology to make her clients more competitive and successful in the market. 



Sarah is passionate about encouraging our clients to improve their business strategies, and building up the construction industry as a whole. 

Jack Austin

Marketing Coordinator

Jack is a marketing and communications professional who joins Ascent following a three-year stint in the healthcare staffing industry. 


Working as a member of the Ascent marketing team, Jack performs internal marketing automation tasks, analyzes web and marketing metrics, and creates multimedia content to highlight recent success stories with Ascent clients.


Born and raised in the Metro Atlanta area, Jack graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 with a B.A. in Journalism and a certificate in Sports Media. He then went on to earn an M.B.A. from Georgia State University in December 2022, concentrating in the areas of marketing and business analytics.

Rhonda Hudson

Construction Accountant

Rhonda has three decades of diverse Controller experience that spans various aspects of construction, including manufacturing, mechanical, electrical, flooring, and residential building contracting. Rhonda has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and has consistently demonstrated expertise in optimizing operational efficiencies, tracking financial performance, conducting annual audits, and building a process around the monthly close process.

In addition to her accounting work, Rhonda has a broad proficiency in a wide range of accounting software platforms and has a knack for adapting to new technologies swiftly. She has facilitated smooth transitions during software migrations and provided system training to numerous companies.

Bridgit Lawhead

Marketing Project Manager

Bridgit is a Marketing Project Manager, bringing a proven track record of managing accounts and marketing for diverse industries. Prior to joining Ascent Consulting, she was a Marketing Strategist for a small marketing agency that focused on transforming financial advisors’ businesses. Working with Marketing, Sales, and Upper Management to ensure strategic performance and management of tasks to appropriate team members, Bridgit helps manage the planning, development, design, execution, monitoring, and completion of all of our client marketing projects. 
Bridgit holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations from Valdosta State University. 

Kellie Barber

Office Manager

With a career spanning over 25 years in both the public and private sectors, Kellie stands as a seasoned professional and a valuable asset to our Ascent team. A dedicated, results-driven individual, Kellie brings a wealth of experience to the organization.

She is no stranger to the world of construction and has a comprehensive understanding from both the project management and engineering perspective.  Kellie has a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering excellence.

Nazia Hasnain

Project Coordinator

Nazia joined Ascent in the role of a project coordinator. Before joining Ascent, she served as a Web Project Coordinator.

With a rich background of 5 years of experience in the digital realm, she has been at the forefront of coordinating and managing web projects from concept to launch. With a blend of technical expertise and project management skills, she is dedicated to contributing to the success of diverse projects to ensure that projects not only meet but exceed expectations.

Gary Johnson


Gary grew up working summers from 7th grade through graduating college for a large plumbing and process piping contractor in Mobile, AL. After graduating from Auburn University with a BS in Computer Engineering, Gary spent the next 16 years working in the industrial automation industry with The Foxboro Company and the ERP software solutions space with JD Edwards.  

The 7 years with JD Edwards were primarily focused on the construction business, providing ERP software solutions to both large general contractors and large homebuilders. In 2003 Gary acquired a small residential plumbing contracting business in Pace, FL.  Over the next 17 years, Gary grew this business to three physical locations and more than 130 employees, performing commercial and residential plumbing projects in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. 

In 2020, Gary sold the business and continued to work for the company on a consulting basis for 2 more years. The unusual background, including providing construction industry ERP software solutions as well as nearly 20 years acquiring, growing, operating and ultimately selling a large subcontracting business, gives Gary a unique perspective on the operations of a construction company. Gary holds master plumbing and gas fitter licenses in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Stephen Crawford

Junior Consultant

Stephen possesses nearly a decade of extensive financial, operational, and leadership expertise spanning diverse professional sectors, primarily centered on construction, development, and construction management. Before joining Ascent Consulting, he spent five years as a CPA at Ernst & Young. He then made significant contributions to an electrical construction company in an internal consulting capacity. Subsequently, he pursued multiple freelance roles, including a pivotal position as a Fractional Chief Transformation Officer (CTO).

Throughout his career, Stephen adeptly guided companies through various rapid growth phases, overseeing crucial financial matters, driving strategic growth initiatives, and managing back-office functions. He holds a BBA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from The University of Georgia.

Zachary Hickman

Project Coordinator

Zachary brings 10+ years of project management experience as an owners representative for clients and from the developer side of the business.

He began his career as an assistant project manager with a masonry subcontractor in Florida, before moving to Atlanta.

Daphene Koch


Daphene’s construction experience began working in her family’s mechanical construction company.

Next, she worked for a large EPC firm on projects in Texas and Malaysia. With over 15 years of construction industry experience on commercial and industrial projects. Her roles have included project manager, safety manager, construction services leader, and pipefitters helper.

While a professor at Purdue University in the School of Construction Management, she worked as a consultant to help construction companies improve processes, project management, workforce development to name a few. She has a BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University and resides in Indiana.

Hakeem Slaughter

Marketing Coordinator

Hakeem is a brand designer with over 10 years of experience. He has been a freelancer for about 9 years working with many different clients and industries under the following subjects: brand design, graphic design, web design, and social media marketing.


During that time freelancing, he also worked at many companies as a graphic and web designer. As well as taught disciplines of Art and Design to students varying from middle school age to college. As mentioned, he has a “jack of all trades” range but is quite proficient at WordPress and uses that knowledge to design cutting edge websites!


Hakeem specializes in branding, design, and creativity and is bringing his talents, skills, and passion to take Ascent Consulting to a new level!

Aimee Collier

Project Coordinator

Aimee joins Ascent as a Project Coordinator supporting our Senior and Procore Consultants. With construction industry experience both in-field and back-of-house (ranging from project site coordination to contract management to software administration), she brings a holistic perspective of the day-to-day challenges faced by our clients. Her varied professional roles include software implementation and training, technical content creation and design, and coordinating across teams to bring projects to successful completion. She is excited to direct her passion for people and processes toward our customers.