Greensboro Location featured in Triad Business Journal

Triad business veteran opens new co-working venture

Triad engineering and executive veteran Peggy Barron-Antolin has shifted gears to become a Office Evolution franchise owner, opening a new 6,000 square foot co-working business center in Greensboro, with two more spaces to follow.

Denver-based Office Evolution offers co-working space, private space and virtual offices, with Greensboro becoming its latest addition to the 125 other franchises across the country, including a space in Raleigh.

The new 6,000 square foot office space is located at 806 Green Valley Road, in Suite 200 of the Green Valley Office Park. The space will provide 24 private offices, co-working spaces and conference rooms already furnished, in addition to business, telephone and other administrative support.

Barron-Antolin lost her job in 2016 because of cutbacks at Ecolab, where she worked at the company's Greensboro facility as a program and production manager. Before Ecolab she held positions at multiple global manufacturers, including Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Before joining the workforce, Barron-Antolin earned her bachelors of science and masters in metallurgical engineering from The Ohio State University and Carnegie Mellon University, respectively.

In 2003, while running an Asheboro Goodyear Tire plant, Barron-Antonin became one of the earliest TBJ Women in Business honorees after adding 30 jobs and $4.5 million in business to the plant the year before.

After getting let go from Ecolab, Barron-Antolin entered the workforce for the first time in ten years by submitting her resume online. She told TBJ she received a host of offers, some of them from franchises, which she separated from the rest of the offers. But, after connecting with a 'franchise broker' who helped her cut the list of potential franchise investments to ones that best suited her professional background, she began to seriously consider opening a franchise as the next step in her career.

Barron-Antolin said one of those companies was Office Evolution, and, after meeting face to face with Office Evolution execs, 'reasons for not doing it kind of fell away.'

"I think our business community is right for this. There are many people working from home or out on the road... We have such a better solution for that," she told TBJ.

"This area is really ripe for small businesses," she said.

Barron-Antolin told TBJ there has been a bit of learning curve in making the transition, but the benefit of investing in a franchise is the available support to guide her through the process.

Though the ribbon will be officially cut on Feb. 8, the new space opened just before Christmas. Barron-Antolin told TBJ the business space is already about 25 percent full.

"There was lots of interest before it even opened," she said.

As a franchise owner, Barron-Antolin's territory is the entire Triad region. Though a second location has not yet been picked, Barron-Antolin said the next co-working space will be up and running before the end of the year.

Raleigh already has one Office Evolution space, with plans for addition spaces in Raleigh and Charlotte.

Barron-Antolin said one aspect of the Office Evolution model that really attracts growth is members have access to every co-working space owned by the company.

"People work between cities all the time," she said. "Members at our space have access to other locations" in North Carolina.

Luke Bollinger
Reporter
Triad Business Journal

Written by: Peggy Barron

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Office Evolution has more than 70 locations open, 140 units sold in markets across the country and is poised for further growth as the demand for affordable and safe, workspace close-to-home continues to rise.

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