When Brian Chapman, an undercover drug task force officer for the Southern IL Drug Task Force, and his wife, Kandi, took a trip to San Antonio in 1997, they didn’t think they would come away with a new business idea. But that’s just what happened. “Brian was attending an industry seminar for undercover drug agents. He heard a speaker discussing how landlords can avoid renting to drug dealers and screening their tenants,” says Kandi. “We ended up discussing it the entire 14-hour drive home. We decided, “We can do that – provide background checks to landlords.”
As soon as they were home, the Chapmans went to the bank for a $1,000 personal loan for a computer, multipurpose fax machine and desk. “We set up the office in a spare bedroom, and I got to work,” says Kandi. “It was very meager beginnings, a lot of praying and very long hours. It took months to get enough clients that we were even breaking even.”
But that faith, hard work and diligence paid off.
Since its founding in 1998, MBI Worldwide Inc. has grown to 20 employees and expanded its offices into Atlanta, GA and St. Petersburg, FL. MBI now provides all-inclusive services ranging from drug screening and fingerprinting to global background checks. “In the beginning we thought we would be doing background checks for landlords primarily, but we soon saw a market with employers,” says Kandi.
With the addition of improved software and evolving technology, the industry has changed drastically and information can be more easily compiled, according to Kandi. “We even integrate our services with large companies now, something we could not do in the beginning” she says. “We have made huge investments in software to do so.”
Knowing the importance of customer loyalty and referrals, the Chapmans dedicate themselves to their customers by making sure they are in legal compliance with ever-changing governmental regulations and with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as with federal and state laws impacting their companies’ hiring policies. “I am a board member of our national association, and several of our staff are active in multiple committees in our association,” says Brian Chapman. “We are very active and current on any government and legislative changes across the country.”
In May 2015, the Chapmans opened a business office in the Tampa Bay area to expand MBI’s reach into the Southeast. For the future, the Chapmans look forward to continued growth of MBI Worldwide through partnering with startups, acquiring larger clientele and acquisitions like that of their Atlanta location in 2007.