July 2005

Isom Bartrone Lowman, Jr.

Entrepreneur

Isom Batrone Lowman, Jr., son of Irma Smith Lowman and Col. (Ret.) Dr. Isom Lowman, was born on April 21, 1976 at Fort Benning, Georgia. He is a 1994 graduate of Spring Valley High School’s Honors Program where he excelled in sports and leadership as well as academics. He majored in pre-medicine and business at Morehouse College, graduating Cum Laude.

While matriculating at Morehouse College and serving as Freshman Class president, Lowman created and spearheaded funding for an after-school tutoring and mentoring program for children residing at University homes.

Lowman’s entrepreneurial gift surfaced at the early age of six. He took pictures at a family reunion and sold them to family members. He sold candy to his classmates, thus igniting his thirst for free enterprise. Unknown by his parents, Lowman was employed while attending Morehouse, investing his earnings into stocks. By the time he graduated, he had accumulated $60,000. He used those funds towards purchasing his first Athlete’s Foot franchise.

Lowman opened his initial franchise in June 1999 in Decatur, Georgia. Shortly thereafter, the store won awards for “Highest Sales per Square Foot,” “Highest Percent Increase,” and “Highest Total Volume.” He opened a second franchise six months later. He has also been awarded the “Franchise Owner of the Year” from the Athlete’s Corporation each year from 2000 through 2006. Today, The Isom Lowman Group, Inc. has grown to over 24 stores and is the largest domestic franchisee (total volume) in “The Athlete’s Foot” system.

The Isom Lowman Group has several stores including Fame Sports, Athlete’s Foot, and Supreme Footwear which are located in Underground Atlanta, GA.

He is also the builder/proprietor of three retail strip shopping centers in Atlanta. Lowman had expanded his operations to include five stores in New Orleans, Louisiana; however, they were lost in Hurricane Katrina.  Lowman has served on the advisory council of The Athlete’s Foot. He was invited to Nike’s 2003 Urban Summit in Portland, Oregon, where he spoke on issues concerning retailers in the southeast. Lowman has also designed exclusive shoes, apparel, and fitted hats manufactured by Reebok, New Era, and American needle on behalf of his company.

Lowman has received numerous honors and awards for his community service and philanthropy, including the “Business and Philanthropy Award” from Morehouse College Class of 1998, the “Man of the Year Award” from the Frances Burns United Methodist Church in 2005, and the “Business and Philanthropy Award” from Jessie Jackson and The Rainbow Push Coalition. He has adopted several families and schools in addition to creating and financing investment clubs at local schools and for his employees. Lowman also founded The Dare to Dream Foundation, which mentors at risk African American males in education, investments, and business. Lowman and his store managers are mentors for a penal institution where they give inmates an opportunity for a new start through employment. He received the “Minority Retailer of the Year” award in 2003 and the “Retail Business of the Year” for the third time from the Governor of Georgia.

Lowman credits his family, all employees of The Isom Lowman Group, Inc. and God for giving him the opportunity to succeed.