The Southern Company began in Memphis, Tennessee, over 70 years ago. It soon capitalized on the opportunity to grow its business in Arkansas, and an enterprising, young salesman named Bud Mulligan was selected to run the company’s office in North Little Rock. Possessing that entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Mulligan bought the branch operations in 1975 and incorporated his new company as The Southern Company of North Little Rock, Inc.
In January 2005 Mr. Mulligan sold the company to Michael Shelby and Philip Grace, who were business associates and life-long friends. Both had come from various business backgrounds, with separate careers in the areas of management, banking and marketing.
While continuing in the petroleum equipment retail market, the new partners have overseen larger, more-complex project expansion into commercial and industrial areas. The company works closely with Architects, Engineering Firms, and General Contractors helping them to understand our scope and to lend our services to help design what the end-user wants. Our customers have taken us nationwide, and now include municipalities, hospitals, airports, data centers, fleet customers, power plants, and oilfield service companies, along with our steady business from oil marketers.
Environmental services for the industrial and petroleum industries were offered as a “sideline” service as early as 1987, and the Environmental Division was formally established in 1992. The Southern Company is a licensed emergency responder and clean-up consultant for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). In addition, we are a licensed general contractor in the state of Arkansas, as well as Louisiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas.