As great friends often do, Paul Adkison ’91 and Scott Diggs ’89 draw energy from one another, laugh at shared memories, occasionally answer in unison, and grow more dynamic the longer they work together.
The East Carolina University College of Business graduates, both successful entrepreneurs, propelled their passion for building businesses and their friendship into building one merged family office company structure, Co-X Holdings. They describe the corporation as a conglomerate-kind of organization that is opportunistic with a blend of a heavy equipment rental business, parking management, multi-family and hotel development.
“We started out as fraternity brothers and have been friends for a very long time,” Diggs said. “We’ve both been very entrepreneurial and complement each other well. Nine years ago, we partnered in our first business venture together, which has gone very well, so we decided to combine all of our business activities together in Co-X Holdings.”
Adkison added that he and Diggs work well together because of a shared core foundation. Both men seek to keep a sphere of influence of people with high integrity, trust and honesty in their personal and work lives.
Meeting with the Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers and Co-X founders is part business venture, part entrepreneurial thrill ride as discussion pivots between driving stakeholder value, merged office structures, target ventures and leveraging opportunities
They fill their days chasing their joy for aviation, flying to business appointments throughout the southeast, and taking calls or attending virtual meetings in between to keep tabs on ongoing projects.
Paying it forward
Most days, support and work for ECU is at the top of their mutual project lists. Adkison and Diggs are active members of the ECU Foundation Board, having begun their second terms last year. Both also serve on the College of Business Advisory Council and the Miller School of Entrepreneurship.
Adkison and Diggs said they are devoted to ECU because of the positive impact the university has had on their lives. They believe stewardship goes with that devotion, and they have a need to pay it forward through gifts and telling others about the university.
“ECU shaped me for the man I am today and us for the men we are and where we are in our communities,” Diggs said.
“I can honestly say I wouldn’t be here without ECU,” Adkison said. “I’m nobody special, but with some education at the right place with the right people who can influence you, you can do anything.”