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ALAN TURNER — Stuart Whitaker: In the swing of things


A few years back, Stuart Whitaker was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, and has never recovered.

After growing up in Garland, Texas, and graduating from Baylor, “I married a Mississippi girl, and here I am,” he said in a recent conversation.

Stuart built a successful career in technology, working for a variety of tech companies and finally working for Mossy Oak for several years before becoming an entrepreneur.

“I suppose it was what I always wanted, at heart,” he said.

The desire led him to found the Whit Group 7 years ago, and he’s never looked back. Today, his firm provides a range of technology services, including web development, software consulting, mobile apps, staff augmentation, e-commerce, and SEO services. The firm today serves the needs of a broad range of clients including Neel-Schaffer, First Choice, Forman Watkins, Mossy Oak, and others.

Whitaker and family.

As pleased as Stuart is with his success in technology, his entrepreneurial journey has not stopped there.

“There are four things I really love,” he told me. “Golf, hunting, tennis, and fishing. Well, I got thinking that it might be fun to develop a vertical marketplace for at least one of these, sort of like Swappa.com, or Reverb.com”.

That desire to have “fun” led him to develop a site called Golfing-Exchange.com, dedicated to bringing buyers and sellers of golf equipment together.

“I was really pleased with our ‘soft launch’,” he said. “We soon had 2,000 accounts and 600 listings on the site, and things have been going pretty well.”

Obviously, Stuart’s expertise in web marketing was a powerful asset in starting a site of this type, and he’s content with where that’s going. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him branch out into other vertical marketplaces, perhaps one associated with tennis, hunting, or fishing.

“I believe it’s important to do the things you love,” he said.

Asked whether he sees major growth on the horizon for the Whit Group, he said “I’m very pleased with where we are at this point in time. We maintain an active client base of 20-30 businesses, and we’ve worked for more than 100 different clients through the years.”

Stuart has come to love life in Mississippi. He and his wife live in Fondren with their two children, a daughter in high school and a son in college.

Stuart fits the model perfectly of a successful entrepreneur….someone who thrives on challenge, who loves new ideas and opportunities, and finds it all to be more fun than any one person should be allowed to have.

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at alan.turner@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1021.

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