Character development and plot twists are the hallmarks of a successful book series, just as they are for many established businesses in the midstate.
Dick Walton and Brian Kottcamp founded York-based Walton & Co. in April 1989. Neither remains with the company, but many of the current 220 employees have worked there 15 to 20 years.
"We have really, really good people," said Bill Vervaeke, building services manager.
Walton & Co., a mechanical contractor and metal fabricator, opened with five trucks and fewer than 10 employees. The president, John Hettle, started at Walton & Co. as a senior project manager in the late 1990s, according to Vervaeke.
Vervaeke has seen growth in his own department. He was the only person working in the service department in 1989; now, he has more than 80 co- workers.
Walton & Co.'s projects include the new Chisuk Emuna Congregation synagogue in Harrisburg, the Clarks Shoes logistics center in Hanover and a medical office center in Columbia, Md.
Vervaeke said the biggest issue in recent years has been weathering the economy and the downturn in the construction industry.
Like Walton & Co., Travel Time Travel Agency Inc., which does business as Travel Time/Bailey Travel, has experienced an evolution in its story. The business has offices in Lancaster and York.
President Shaun Balani credited long-term relationships as the key to Travel Time/Bailey Travel's longevity.
"We've got a very light turnover rate among our clients and employees," he said.
Founded in 1977, the travel agency underwent significant changes in 1985 when Balani purchased it and pushed for it to be more focused on business travel. A merger with Bailey Travel in 2010 expanded the company's presence.
Bailey Travel began decades ago when Glenn Bailey, the uncle of Bailey Coach Inc. President John Bailey, began arranging trips by train from York.
"We've been very, very happy with that move, the merger," Balani said.
The administrative team today includes Balani, client relations director Courtney Bailey, and Jan Zerphey and Sherri Snyder, who are vice presidents of operations in Lancaster and York, respectively.
Travel Time/Bailey Travel, which employs 28 people, is looking to make changes to its technological capabilities, including shifting data to a cloud system of storage. Balani said blending technology is one of the most challenging parts of a merger.
"When you get to the technology aspect, crawl before you walk and walk before you run," he said as advice to others.
Travel Time/Bailey Travel is affiliated with Tzell Travel Group, a New York-based corporate and leisure travel management company.