The Pacific Coast Business Times’ annual ranking of the 50 fastest-growing firms in the region published Aug. 24. The section ranks companies in the Tri-Counties by three-year revenue growth, from 2009 to 2011 and includes both public and private firms.This year’s list indicated that many businesses have made a comeback in a big way — all of those that made the cut boasted double-digit revenue growth. Perhaps most surprisingly, the construction industry came roaring back, with five contractors landing on the list this year.
The 50 Fastest-Growing Companies will be honored at an evening awards event on Thursday, Sept. 13 at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach. [Click here to purchase tickets].
To read the section, including the full list of fastest-growing companies and profiles of the Editor’s Picks, please call (805) 560-6950. Subscribers received the special report in the Aug. 24 issue.
The editor’s picks companies profiled in the 2012 edition are:
• No. 2: Saalex Solutions. The Camarillo-based defense contractor saw revenue surge 242.6 percent to $24 million last year and added about 170 new employees to its payroll. After the dot-com crash, Saalex founder Travis Mack, a Navy veteran, reworked his IT business and started doing logistical and IT support for military bases. “Our entry in the defense world started with one person doing one task, and then we leveraged that,” Mack said.
• No. 4: Invenios. This high-tech precision manufacturer, based in Santa Barbara, saw revenue jump 176.4 percent to $10.9 million last year. The company makes what are known as micromachines and makes the devices, typically fashioned out of silicon, on glass. “Our sweet spot as a company is at the highest level of precision and technology,” CEO Ray Karam said.
• No. 15: Mainstream Energy Corp. The San Luis Obispo-based company is an 800-person-strong powerhouse and the parent company of REC Solar and several other brands. Revenue increased 72.8 percent to $254 million last year as its residential solar installation business surged. The company thinks things aren’t about to slow down, either. “The solar market has grown a factor of 10 times since 2007,” Mainstream Energy CEO Lee Johnson said. “But fly over L.A. or Phoenix, and you can see how little is out there.”
• No. 44: The Berry Man. Most South Coast residents are familiar with the bright blue Berry Man trucks driving around town, but few know that the business was stated by French transplant Guy De Mangeon, who started selling produce to restaurants out of the back of his pickup truck. Today, the company is a thriving business that last year had sales of $29.6 million, a 15.8 percent increase in three years. “We just keep growing,” Vice President Les Clark said. “It’s because we don’t change things. We have an aggressive sales team, and they just keep knocking on doors.”
• The construction firms: Five contractors landed on the Fastest-Growing Companies list this year, a marked return to the ranks for the building industry. Staples Construction, at No. 21, led the crew, following by Frank Schipper Construction Co. at No. 23. General Pavement Management came in at No. 28, followed by Allen Associates at No. 37 and Armstrong Associates at No. 41. All five firms said that they hunkered down in the four years after the real estate meltdown, kept costs in check and worked to maintain existing client relationships. Projects are moving forward again, and all five firms reported double-digit revenue growth since 2009. “It’s exciting for me to be back in growth mode,” General Pavement Management CEO Gordon Miller said.