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Small Business Spotlight: On The Mark

Brett Davidsen
Updated: February 12, 2020 10:04 PM
Created: February 12, 2020 09:54 PM

CHILI, N.Y. (WHEC) — Here at the Pinegrove School building in Irondequoit, crews are crisscrossing the property with what looks like a newfangled snowblower. In reality, it's a ground-penetrating radar unit, and it's just one of the high-tech tools being used by On The Mark (OTM.) 

Their business is to locate underground utilities.

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"I felt there was a need for the private side because utility companies only mark up so far and then they stop, so nobody was marking on the private side, which is on the property line," OTM President and CEO Wayne Coleman said.

Coleman started the company in 2011 with four partners after spending more than three decades at RG&E.

Brett Davidsen: Who are your customers generally?

Wayne Coleman: "Some utility contractors, construction workers, privately owned properties - apartments, and a lot of engineering firms."

Those customers are looking for water, sewer and gas pipes, electric and cable lines, even storage tanks and other buried objects. Anything underground.

"Nine times out of ten they don't have any maps," Coleman said. "The guy that knew where everything was retired."

Coleman and his team know they have to get it right because their clients rely on the accuracy of their work to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

"I would never want to be in a situation where I'm on a backhoe digging and have no clue where anything is," he added.

A number of high profile clients have hired OTM to locate buried utilities. Even some of the utility companies use them.

Business has been good. They now have 40 employees working here and will soon move to a new office space that's double the size.

Davidsen: What has led to the growth of this company?

Coleman: "Well, I think how we do our business. We don't advertise. It's pretty much word of mouth."

Recently, On The Mark was recognized by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce as one of the top 100 fastest growing local companies.

"We finished 87th, which I am extremely happy about that and proud because we actually started out from nothing," Coleman said.

They are also the only African American owned company to make the list, and Coleman says he would love the chance to mentor other minority entrepreneurs. 

For now, Coleman says he sees the company continuing to grow and says the best part is being able to provide jobs.

"I love the work,” Coleman said. “I love doing this work and like I said, I love giving opportunities. So I see this business just flying."

If you know of a small business we should feature, email us at spotlight@whec.com.


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