Brandon Wright’s motto could be, “If you cook for them, they will come.” Two years ago he decided to hold a monthly barbecue for referrals and other sources. “The economy was so negative. I was tired of people complaining,” he says.

Now called the “The Ultra Clean Smoke Out,” each event includes more than 250 people. Wright invites people involved in every type of business, from auto mechanics to attorneys.

“It has put us on the map in the community,” Wright says. He is also working with the local mayor and an economic team to develop an event that combines marketing education and how to run a business in a down economy, with a barbecue lunch. Other unique marketing events associated with his company include cooking shrimp at golf outings and shooting clay pigeons with clients and referral sources — often to raise money for charity.

“So many people sit behind a desk waiting for business to come,” Wright says. “If I can help others, I get it back tenfold. I market myself differently, so people remember us.”

Wright also has developed a first-responders program in which Ultra Clean cleans police officers’ cars and trucks — after which, of course, he feeds the officers.

- Stacey Freed