Two years ago in August, Ted Brown (Big50 1991) sold his design/build company, Traditional Concepts, after 20 years in business. “I was ready to do something else,” Brown says. As of this writing Brown is acting as a consultant for his former company and is engaged to consult with a large national insurance restoration firm. He also has been hired to design a new house outside his non-compete territory. He thinks about one day trying a number of things he has so far been unable to find the time to do, ranging from teaching to building a wooden boat.

Brown sold all TCI's assets — the biggest asset being goodwill, he says. “The market we're in, [just north of Chicago], is very demanding. We've excelled at serving those very affluent, high-end clients.” From the clients' point of view, the transition to new owner Alan Peyton (Brown's friend and the former owner of Oak Park Design) went smoothly.

Although it can be difficult to watch someone else take over, Brown recognizes that the changes being made “are not wrong, just different.” That healthy perspective has allowed him some insight: “I never realized the power and influence of the leadership on an organization. When you're in it, you don't see it as clearly as you do from the outside looking in.”