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This Black Owned Customer Service Company Is One Of The Fastest Growing Businesses In The Country

Chime Solutions is a Black owned customer service company that provides U.S.-based outsourcing services for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries, including financial services, insurance, healthcare, and telecommunications.

Headquartered in Marrow, Georgia, about 10 miles south of downtown Atlanta, the company operates call centers in several cities.

Chime’s roots originate in 2001, when Mark Wilson and his wife, Shelly, started RYLA Teleservices out of the basement of their home. They grew RYLA into a nationally-recognized customer support and contact center with more than 3,000 employees and revenues in excess of $100 million. Wilson eventually sold the business in 2010 for a reported $70 million.

“It was a significant operation, but really, it was our training ground. With RYLA, we learned everything there is to know about call center services,” he said.

black owned customer service
Mark and Shelly Wilson, CEO and COO of Chime Solutions | Credit: Atlanta Daily World

After the sale of RYLA, Wilson teamed with a group of investors, including Magic Johnson, to acquire an Atlanta background and employment screening firm called eVerifile. As CEO of the private equity owned company, Wilson was responsible for driving double digit growth. He was also responsible for establishing eVerifile CS, a subsidiary that was focused on Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services.

He would eventually acquire eVerifile CS in May of 2016 and merge the operation with Chime Solutions.

black owned customer service
Chime Solutions President and CEO Mark Wilson at the Morrow headquarters.| Credit: Joann Vitelli

According to Wilson, Chime puts its customer support centers in “the middle of neighborhoods that have high unemployment with a rich pool of talent and people who need work.”

“We opened Chime in an old J.C. Penney’s in a shopping mall and converted it into a 1,500-seat, state-of-the-art call center in Morrow. We expanded in a mall in southern Dallas which opened in October (2020) with 500 seats. We also repeated the same thing in Charlotte,” Wilson explained.

“Our goal is to replicate this model for various Fortune 500 companies that are willing to outsource their customer service to us. The Fortune 500 companies send us a trainer to train our trainer, which enables us to continue to provide training for any additional new hires.”

Next up are Baltimore and Detroit, he said. Five other cities will be added over time, with the goal of 1,000 jobs created per city for those living in underserved communities.

In December of 2020, Chime closed on a $30 million recapitalization investment that will enable the expansion into new markets and allow them to invest in next-generation customer experience technologies.

“There is a lot to what we are trying to accomplish,” Wilson said. “We’re doing business as a Black-owned company, creating jobs for Blacks. Using the multiplier effect, meaning for every job you create, another is created. And it is money spent in the community.”

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Politician Aims to be the First Black Woman Governor in U.S History

Stacey Abrams, a politician from Georgia, launched what she hopes will be a history-making campaign Saturday when she officially announced her candidacy for governor of the Peach State.

Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams at Chehaw Park in Albany, Ga. on Saturday, June 3, 2017, when she announced her run. (Melissa Golden/Melissa Golden)

The 43-year-old Democratic leader of the Georgia State House, who enters as the front-runner for her party’s nomination, is aiming to become the first Black woman to be elected governor in U.S. history.

Abrams is widely considered to be one of the most skilled and savvy political leaders in the state legislature and hopes to replace term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal (R), who has served since 2011.

Photo credit: staceyabrams.com

But it won’t be easy: No Democrat has won statewide office in Georgia since 2006, and just 11 black women have ever been elected to statewide positions nationwide.

“Pray for me and work with me,” Abrams told about 100 supporters who braved persistent swarms of gnats to help her kick off her campaign at a barbecue at Chehaw Park in Albany, a small city about three hours south of Atlanta. “I want government to work everyday, for everyone.”

Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski

Abrams, a Yale-trained lawyer and business executive who writes romance novels on the side, has an army of supporters across the country eager to prove Democrats can win if the party puts its energy into expanding its base among the increasingly diverse state population rather than fretting over white swing voters.

Photo credit: The Augusta Chronicle

That is what Abrams has tried to do as founder of an organization that says it has registered 200,000 new voters in Georgia — along with her work in the state’s House, often while cooperating with Republicans on key legislation and policies — has made her popular with progressives who say the party should rebuild and strengthen the coalition that elected and reelected President Barack Obama.

Photo credit: MyAJC.com

The rapidly changing complexion of the South, which has seen the percentages of African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans increase, creates the potential for a political makeover. Abrams and other progressive political activists of color believe new voters will want candidates who look more like them.

 

Read the rest at the The Washington Post