Mark Cleveland Honored at 2014 NEAT Awards

Hobby Express CEO Named 2014 NEXT Award Winner

Mark Cleveland Is Entrepreneur of the Year



Mark Cleveland holds the NEXT Entrepreneur of the Year trophy. Presenters are John Stein–Bank of America, Michael Burcham–Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Ralph Schulz – Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

I don’t fear running out of life… I fear running out of passion.

Nashville, Tenn. (PRWEB) December 05, 2014

Mark Cleveland, CEO of Hobby Express, has earned the 2014 NEXT Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. The award ceremony took place on Nov. 20 at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. The event honored Nashville’s fast-growing, innovative companies and leading entrepreneurs.

“The applicants for this year’s NEXT Awards can be viewed as a cross-section of Nashville’s creative class,” said Ralph Schulz, president and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “The energy and innovation these people and companies bring to our local economy is an important part of Nashville’s growth.”

“I’m truly impressed by the knowledge these NEXT Award winners have brought to their companies and the generosity with which they help other entrepreneurs to make the same journey,” said Michael Burcham, president and CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center. “Their ability to identify needs in the marketplace and build companies around solutions is truly impressive.”

The NEXT Awards cited Mark’s leadership of Swiftwick, a company he co-founded and served as CEO until mid October this year. At the same time, Mark has been guiding the future of Hobby Express, formerly Hobby Lobby International (the company sold the name in 2013). Hobby Express is a retailer of radio-control airplanes, helicopters, multi-rotor drones, boats and cars. Mark also made a name for himself with leadership success at SeaBridge Freight, a cross-gulf barge transportation company, and Truckload Management Inc., a transportation company.

“It’s gratifying to be recognized as one of the leaders in Nashville’s amazingly entrepreneurial environment,” says Mark. “But none of my business success could have happened without talented and hard-working associates. It’s been my great fortune to work with really good people.”

“Mark’s entrepreneurial vision gives Hobby Express an important advantage in our market,” says Kurt Cleveland, president of Hobby Express. “Our associates know personally why he was chosen to receive this award—he deserves it.”

“I don’t fear running out of life,” says Mark. “I fear running out of passion… What makes an entrepreneur successful, in my opinion, is a work ethic for pursuing your passion. I look for that same work ethic and passion in the people I associate with, like the people at Hobby Express. We inspire one another to be our best, and that drives success.”

A full list of 2014 NEXT Award winners can be found at For videos of the finalists and winners, visit

The 2014 NEXT Awards were hosted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and presented by Bank of America. Additional sponsors include Pivotal Partners: Delek US Holdings, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, First Tennessee and Ryan LLC; Friends of the Chamber: Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP and MissionPoint Health Partners; Associate Sponsors: Bandit Lites, KraftCPAs and Lipscomb University Center for Entrepreneurship; Supporting Sponsors: c3/consulting, Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Southwest Airlines; Technology Partner: Atiba; and Media Partner: TN Media. For more information, visit

About Hobby Express. For 50 years, Hobby Express has delivered the best model hobby products, including radio control airplanes, helicopters, and multi-rotor drones to customers all over the world. Hobby Express is the inventor and manufacturer of the Telemaster, a line of radio controlled airplanes that fly beautifully and are built with the perfect precision of laser cutting. Hobby Express also designs and manufactures top selling brands such as eRC motors, controllers, servos and kit airplanes, and the Pilot 1 line of vintage model airplanes. The company operates a distribution center in Brentwood, Tenn., and sells its products via catalog and online store. Besides top quality products at competitive prices, Hobby Express excels in technical support for hobby enthusiasts. To know more, visit

Photo: Steven C. Knapp of knapptimecreative

Posted in Wing World (R/C Model Airplanes) | Leave a comment

50 year old company is now 1 year as Hobby Express

Happy Birthday Hobby Express!

The longtime Brentwood-based Hobby Lobby International celebrates 50 years in operation this year, but only its year-long anniversary under its new name, Hobby Express. The brand change was a terrific challenge but a remarkable success.

Hobby Lobby International was founded in 1964. ”The company has been a fixture here in Middle Tennessee for a long time,” said Mark Cleveland, CEO of Hobby Express.

“It started out as a really, really small hobby shop in the lobby of a five-and-dime store. That’s why it was called Hobby Lobby. And it grew through the whole evolutionary experience of radio controlled technology.”

Cleveland said he and his brother, Kurt, who also serves as president of the company, always had an affinity for model planes; the two grew up flying remotes and building models in their Oregon hometown. So, in 2009 when the opportunity arose to buy Hobby Lobby, Mark Cleveland, a Middle Tennessee entrepreneur, jumped at the chance to own a store of his own.

Read the whole story from the Brentwood Home Page.

Posted in Wing World (R/C Model Airplanes) | Leave a comment

Amazing Compliment for Hobby Express “Entrepreneur Of The Year”

Mark Cleveland is the CEO of Hobby Express. Thursday evening, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce selected  Mark Cleveland as the recipient of the 2014 NEXT award for Entrepreneur Of The Year!

NEXT Award Given To Mark Cleveland

NEXT Award Given To Mark Cleveland

His energy and drive have made amazing things possible for all the companies he leads. At the NEXT evening event, Mark took advantage of the moment on stage to publicly share his gratitude to the teams of people that are truly pivotal in making successful organizations thrive. He thanked all former and current employees. He celebrated the opportunity to work with new team members going forward.

“All the nominees for Entrepreneur Of The Year are titans of business and innovation. Being considered along side them for the award was a huge honor but being selected [Entrepreneur Of The Year] was humbling and thrilling!” Mark shared.

The future is bright for Hobby Express with this caliber of leadership, energy, and entrepreneurial drive on our side. Congratulations again to CEO Mark Cleveland!

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Taking Breast Cancer Awareness To New Heights

Have you built a Pink Mini Telemaster lately? Breast Cancer Awareness Month got my daughter Amelia excited enough to finish her Mini Telemaster to honor her aunt and grandma, both fighters, both survivors of breast cancer! Breast cancer affects the lives of almost all of us, some very directly and for others, someone near and dear to us. Amelia Telemaster2 Amelia had always planned on covering her Telemaster in PINK, but after she got the airframe complete, the project stalled. This special month lined up to make finishing it an even brighter idea. She focused hard and in one weekend she had completed the covering and final assembly. I keenly enjoyed helping and spending the one-on-one time with her on this project. When it was time for the first flight, we called family and friends to join us at the field. The sun was out, the sky was blue and Amelia’s pink, ribbon adorned Telemaster was a total success. We celebrated the successful build and flight of this very special airplane. At the same time, we celebrated the determined fight of all who battle breast cancer. Amelia and SheilaAmelia first flight grassLitUp

Posted in Wing World (R/C Model Airplanes) | Leave a comment

It’s a Quad! It’s a Plane! It’s a WINDMILL??

Power generation from a tethered airplane with multiple motors that operate as generators too! Strong enough to handle incredible forces and speeds, yet light enough to fly, hovering on its props, like a multi-rotor craft. I had to go to the google site to understand how this actually made sense. Turned out, it really does.

This story and technology is not brand new, but the idea is very compelling. Good thing flight controllers don’t get motion sick! Here is the link to the YouTube video of the launch, operation, and recovery of this amazing system.

Would you want to build one of these? Enjoy the video!

Posted in Wing World (R/C Model Airplanes) | Leave a comment

Summer is here, why are you not flying?

Here are some planes to get you started. Don’t forget to share the fun!!! The fun part is the journey….

Super Cub DSM RTF

1A Great Way to Learn Flying Now Comes with the Best 2.4GHz Technology
The HobbyZone Super Cub DSM® is the best way to learn how to fly. The Super Cub helps pilots learn the basics of throttle, steering and pitch control using the exclusive HobbyZone Anti-Crash Technology (ACT™). Check it out!

Champ RTF Ultra-Micro

2The Champ takes the stress out of teaching yourself to fly
Teach yourself to fly RC airplanes in style with this exciting recreation of Aeronca’s beloved tail wheel airplane. Its small size and lightweight, durable construction let you fly with confidence in spaces as small as your own backyard without having to worry too much about crash damage. See it in action!

Ember 2 Ready-To-Fly Micro RC Plane

3Tiny, slow and lots of fun – Ember 2 weighs less than 1 ounce!
Ready to fly with everything included: 2.4 GHz radio technology, motor/gearbox/prop, 3.7V 70 mAh LiPo battery with charger, fully proportional servo motors, and AA batteries. Throttle, rudder and elevator provide true 3-channel flight and maneuverability. Only $99.99!

Micro Stik RTF

4eRC’s Micro Stik flies mild or wild, indoors or out
Looking for a plane that is fun to fly, capable of both wild maneuvers and gentle cruising at an affordable price? eRC’s new Micro Stik is perfect for the pilot who is looking for the most versatile fun micro available today. See it in action!

Glasair Sportsman RTF

5Everything you need to get flying is included in the box.
Even if you’ve never been at the controls of an RC model before, smooth control and assistance provided by its sophisticated electronics makes RC flight simple and fun. Champion pilot Mike McConville designed the Sportsman to be beginner-friendly, which means its extra tough so that you can keep flying longer. Watch it fly before you buy!

Posted in Wing World (R/C Model Airplanes) | Leave a comment

AXi & eRC



Model Motors has the most complete selection of OUTRUNNER brushless motors available today. AXI motors are made of the highest quality materials and workmanship. They also have the best warranty on the market today. Every Czech manufactured AXI motor is a highly efficient, high torque, maintenance free rotating can (OUTRUNNER) brushless motor with strong neodym magnets.
View our AXI Motors here. | View the warranty here.


Quality brushless outrunners at

a budget price

Economically priced HIGH power brushless outrunner motors. There is a motor for almost any airplane from a parkflyer up to a.60 size glow model. All motors are produced in a state-of-the-art factory with strict quality control assuring you a long motor life and excellent performance. Each motor comes with a 1-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
View all eRC Motors here.

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Micro Stik RTF

1eRC’s Micro Stik flies mild or wild, indoors or out.
From beginner to expert, no backyard or gym is fun enough without a ERC MicroStik. Now comes with an extra battery to double the flight time!
See it in action!

Night Vapor RTF Micro RC Plane

2Flying SLOW is so much FUN, indoors, outdoors, and at night.
Looking for that evening flight? Slow and graceful, piece of mind at low speed. Best of all, you can have the Night Vapor RTF flying in as little time as it takes you to charge its battery.
Check it out!

Ultra-Micro T-28 BNF

3Like the larger T-28, the Ultra Micro T-28 has plenty of power.
Just add your Spektrum radio and your ready to go! Best of all, this one is small enough to fly in your backyard.
Only $99.99!

Estes Proto X Nano Quadcopter RTF

4Ever fly RC in the bathroom?? The protoX make it possible!
A 3.7V 100mAh LiPo battery, USB charge cord and spare rotor blades are also included in the ready-to-fly package.
It’s soooo cute!

Posted in R/C Models | Leave a comment

New York Times – How Hobby Lobby International Resolved Its Trademark Dispute

The New York Times has published their follow up to last week’s story about “How Could Hobby Lobby International Avoid Confusion With Hobby Lobby Stores?” Below is an excerpt from the story and links to the previous article.

New York Times – “How Hobby Lobby International Resolved Its Trademark Dispute” by SARAH MAX

Mark ClevelandLast week, we published a case study on Hobby Lobby International, a Brentwood, Tenn., company that makes and sells remote-controlled products, such as model airplanes and boats, and their accessories. For years, the company has been mistaken for Hobby Lobby Stores, a national art and craft supply chain with more than 600 stores.

In 2012, that brand confusion escalated from a distraction to a potential liability when Hobby Lobby Stores filed a lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act provision requiring employers to provide coverage for all forms of contraception as part of employee health insurance. That case went before the Supreme Court in March, and a ruling is expected by June.

Mark Cleveland, Hobby Lobby International’s owner, concluded that continuing with the status quo would have a serious impact on the growth of his company… Read more at the New York Times.

Read the first article from New York Times

Posted in Addhesives, All I want For Christmas, At The Retail Store, Batteries, Beginner R/C helicopter, Heli Haven (R/C Helicopters), R/C Model Airplane Events, R/C Models, Rock Crawlers, Scale Crawlers, Simulators, Speed Alley (R/C Road Racers), Telemaster, Uncategorized, Wake Zone (R/C Boats), Wild Wheels (R/C Cars), Wing World (R/C Model Airplanes) | 1 Comment

Great Trainers on a Budget!



The Red Dragonfly is the best choice for the beginning flier.
Having sufficient power, good stability, and flexible control, the Red Dragonfly is capable of takeoffs from the ground or can be hand launched. Get yours today!



Ready to fly!
If you are looking for an easy to fly and affordable introduction to the exciting world of Radio Controlled flight, then the 800 Easy Trainer is the aircraft for you. Only $99.99!


Super Cub DSM RTF

A Great Way to Learn Flying Now Comes with the Best 2.4GHz Technology

The Super Cub helps pilots learn the basics of throttle, steering and pitch control using the exclusive HobbyZone Anti-Crash Technology (ACT™). Check it out!


Champ RTF Ultra-Micro

The Champ takes the stress out of teaching yourself to fly!
Teach yourself to fly RC airplanes in style with this exciting recreation of Aeronca’s beloved tail wheel airplane. Its small size and lightweight, durable construction let you fly with confidence in spaces as small as your own backyard without having to worry too much about crash damage. See it in action!

Posted in Beginner R/C helicopter, R/C Models | Leave a comment