Hungry for growth and frustrated with the barriers he was encountering in construction, Hightower pivoted: He developed an oil and transport business in 1981.
At first, growth was slow there too. In 1984, he had just one employee, an accountant, and Hightower Petroleum brought in its first $100.
“I remember when our first one hundred dollar bill came in,” says Hightower. “I just remember our excitement.”
Today, his wholesale diesel and gasoline company,Hightowers Petroleum, has 85 employees and sells 140 million gallons of oil per year. It buys oil products from refiners and delivers it to corporate customers such as FedEx and GM all over the country. It did $350 million in 2015 and hopes to hit half a billion in 2017.