58 Top Companies

Photography by Ted Mase By Hannah Wallace, Susan Burns, Lori Johnston June 30, 2011

Well, here we are: year five of sliding revenues and fewer local companies achieving the $20 million sales mark to qualify for our annual top companies list. The Great Recession continues to take its toll. Still, we can see some bright spots.

Back in 2006, our list was 101 companies strong, totaling $19 billion in revenues. Every industry that year averaged gains in revenue—led by construction, which grew by 30 percent. Construction and manufacturing accounted for more than half of that list.

Today? Our 58 top companies total just less than $14 billion for 2010. Construction companies averaged an 8.3 percent drop in revenues, including two builders (Kellogg & Kimsey and McIntyre, Elwell & Strammer) who posted among the biggest decreases on the list.

But this year, construction represents only the third-largest industry on our list, behind manufacturing and business services, and top companies in those industries achieved nearly across-the-board gains. Virtually none of the top companies is tied to tourism, which has long been considered a cornerstone of the local economy. Instead, we’ve learned, businesspeople want to live and work here year-round—and they bring their companies with them.

Does our area’s economic recovery lie in diversification? Our three biggest revenue gains belong to a manufacturer (Tervis Tumbler), a business broker (Neufeld) and a real estate agency (Signature Sotheby’s). In fact, many companies, like manufacturer Sun Hydraulics, beverage distributor Gold Coast Eagle and Charter One Hotels and Resorts, have actually surpassed the revenues they posted in 2006.

Even amid fears that a national healthcare overhaul would damage the industry, healthcare companies on our list averaged revenue increases of more than 5 percent.

Are we out of the woods yet? Certainly many companies continue to struggle. But in celebrating the area’s biggest revenues—and in many cases, the biggest employers, too—our top companies let us see some positives. We think things might just be looking up.

1. Vengroff Williams & Associates Inc. (VWA)

(Last year’s rank: 1)

(Sarasota) Global domain provider of order-to-cash business process outsourcing for optimizing working capital. Provides a full range of solutions and technologies that allow clients to achieve substantial financial and operational benefits, enabling operational efficiency.

Chief executive: Mark Vengroff

2010 sales: $2.8 billion (represents actual revenue after collections of $39 billion)

2009 sales: $2.6 billion (represents actual revenue after collections of $37.2 billion)

Total employees: 1,100 worldwide; 306 locally

Founded: 1963



(Last year’s rank: 2)

(Sarasota) Manufactures energy systems and controls, scientific and industrial imaging products and software, industrial technology products, radio frequency products and others.

Chief executive: Brian D. Jellison

2010 sales: Estimated, $2.4 billion

2009 sales: Estimated, $2.1 billion

Total employees: Estimated, 8,050

Founded: Public, 1992

Stock symbol: NYSE: ROP



(Last year’s rank: 3)

(Manatee) Retailer of family apparel, footwear, gifts and home items.

Chief executive: Stephen M. Knopik

2010 sales: $1.2 billion

2009 sales: $1.2 billion

Total employees: 10,850; local employees, 2,510

Founded: 1915

Bealls operates a mix of department and outlet stores in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Missouri, New Mexico and Arkansas. Also operates retail online at


4 Boar’s Head Provisions Co. Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 4)

(Sarasota) Manufactures premium delicatessen meats and cheeses.

Chief executive: Robert S. Martin

2010 sales: Estimated, $864 million

2009 sales: Estimated, $789 million

Total employees: 2,215; 129 locally

Founded: 1905


5 Manatee Memorial Hospital

(Last year’s rank: 5)

(Manatee) Licensed 319-bed acute-care hospital.

Chief executive: Kevin DiLallo

2010 sales: $831 million

2009 sales: $694 million

Total employees: 1,400

Founded: 1953

Stock symbol: UHS

2010 American Heart/Stroke Association Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and Silver Performance Achievement Award for Treating Heart Failure; 2010 Manatee County Health Department Heroes Award. Accredited by the Joint Commission, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, the Committee of the College of American Pathologists, the Society of Chest Pain Centers, Primary Stroke Center and the American College of Radiology.


6 Intertape Polymer Group

(Last year’s rank: 7)

(Manatee) Develops and manufactures specialized plastic and paper products and complementary packaging systems for industrial and retail use.

Chief executive: Gregory Yull

2010 sales: $720.5 million

2009 sales: $615.5 million

Total employees: 2,600

Founded: 1981

Stock symbol: NYSE and TSE: ITP

ISO 9002 certified, operations throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Portugal with 16 facilities, including 12 manufacturing locations.


7 FCCI Insurance Group

(Last year’s rank: 9)

(Sarasota) Commercial property and casualty insurance throughout the Southeast and Midwest.

Chief executive: Craig Johnson

2010 sales: $461 million

2009 sales: $472 million

Total employees: 672

Founded: 1959

In 2010, FCCI expanded its product line and began writing commercial surety. In 2011, the company began writing contract surety, expanded into Virginia and will be expanding into Maryland and Louisiana later this year, bringing the total state count to 16. FCCI is currently rated one of the “Best Places to Work” by Business Insurance and is a supporter of United Way and many other charitable organizations.

8 Progressive Employer Services

(Last year’s rank: 10)

(Sarasota) Professional employer organization providing outsourced solutions to other businesses for payroll administration, workers’ comp risk management, benefits and human resources.

Chief executive: Steve Herrig

2010 sales: Estimated, $397.3 million

2009 sales: $355 million

Total employees: 90

Founded: 1999

Named Top 200 Private Companies by Florida Trend, Gulf Coast 500 by Gulf Coast Business Review and 5000 Fastest Growing Companies by Inc. 5000


9 Gettel Automotive

(Last year’s rank: 13)

(Manatee) New and used automobiles, retail and auto repair.

Chief executive: James Gettel

2010 sales: $319 million

2009 sales: $240.4 million

Total employees: 459

Founded: 1991

Supports area charities, including United Cerebral Palsy, the Jimmy V Foundation, Every Child Inc., Easter Seals Southwest Florida, Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, the All Faiths Food Bank and Take Stock in Children.


10 Administrative Concepts Corp.

(Last year’s rank: 11)

(Manatee) Professional employer organization.

Chief executive: Sarah Peel

2010 sales: $312 million

2009 sales: $274 million

Total employees: 18,750

Founded: 1995

11 Universal North America

(Last year’s rank: new)

(Sarasota) Leading provider of home, auto and commercial property coverage, insuring hundreds of thousands of families across the United States.

Chief executive: Ricardo A. Espino

2010 sales: $290.2 million

2009 sales: $227.2 million

Total employees: 160

Founded: 2003

Over the past seven years, Universal North America has expanded operations to include various lines of business across the country, in addition to recently adding 70 employees. Involved in many community organizations, Universal North America closes its offices several days throughout the year to allow employees to participate in volunteer opportunities.

12 Clockwork Home Services

(Last year’s rank: 16)


Chief executive: Scott Boose

2010 sales: $248 million

2009 sales: $194 million

Total employees: 1,350

Founded: 1998

Dedicated to improving the operations, efficiency, customer service and profitability of contractors in the North American home services industry through group membership and nationally branded franchises. In its 2010 Franchise 500 list, Entrepreneur magazine ranked One Hour Air Conditioning No. 117, Benjamin Franklin No. 130 and Mister Sparky No. 243.

13  Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

(Last year’s rank: 15)

(Manatee) Licensed 120-bed acute-care hospital.

Chief executive: Jim Wilson

2010 sales: $233 million

2009 sales: $201 million

Total employees: 435

Founded: 2004

Stock symbol: UHS

2010 Patriot Award for creating a work environment that supports servicemen and women; Manatee County Health Department Heroes Award. Accredited by the Joint Commission, the Society of Chest Pain Centers and the Society of Chest Pain Centers for Treatment of Heart Failure.


14  Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

(Last year’s rank: 14)

(Sarasota) Part of parent company NRT, the No. 1 U.S. brokerage for both closed sales volume and transaction sides. NRT’s Southeast region operates 135 real estate offices in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth and Florida.

Chief executive/president: Clark W. Toole III

2010 sales: $232.8 million (from $7.9 billion in sales volume)

2009 sales: $235.5 million (from $7.9 billion in sales volume)

Total employees: 4,700 sales associates, 620 employees

Founded: 1983

Closed more real estate transactions in 2010 than any other brokerage in Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota counties according to the Mid-Florida Multiple Listing Service. It is the first national real estate brand to customize its website for smartphone screens, display listings on a GPS device, launch an iPhone app showcasing millions of properties around the globe and have its own dedicated video channel on YouTube.

15 PGT Industries

(Last year’s rank: 17)

(Sarasota) Manufactures custom windows and doors.

Chief executive: Rod Hershberger

2010 sales: $176 million

2009 sales: $166 million

Total employees: 1,200

Founded: 1980

Stock symbol: PGTI

PGT and its employees support numerous charity causes including Habitat for Humanity and Haiti relief efforts. PGT was the recipient of the World Vision Humanitarian Award and was also honored with Window & Door’s 2010 Crystal Achievement Award for Most Innovative Door.


16  Sun Hydraulics

(Last year’s rank: 25)

(Sarasota) Designs and manufactures hydraulic cartridge valves.

Chief executive: Allen Carlson

2010 sales: $150.7 million

2009 sales: $97.4 million

Total employees: Worldwide: 770; 633 locally

Founded: 1970

Stock symbol: NASDAQ: SNHY

Operations in Sarasota and Manatee, Florida, Kansas, France, U.K., Germany, South Korea, China and India. Recognized by as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies. Included in Russell 2000.


17  Dental Care Alliance

(Last year’s rank: 21)

(Sarasota) Provides dental management and consulting services to 85 dental practices in eight states.

Chief executive: Dr. Steven R. Matzkin

2010 sales: $126 million

2009 sales: $122 million

Total employees: 1,000; 80 locally

Founded: 1992

18  Ajax Paving Industries Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 22)

(Sarasota) Hot-mix asphalt paving and manufacturing.

Chief executive/president: Michael A. Horan

2010 sales: $118 million

2009 sales: $120 million

Total employees: 200

Family owned, American.


19 Dooley Mack Constructors

(Last year’s rank: 20)

(Sarasota) Construction managers, general contractors, design/builders, master planning, program management, green building and sustainability consultants.

Chief executive/president: James J. Orlando

2010 sales: $110 million

2009 sales: $134 million

Total employees: 140

Founded: 1977

Privately owned company providing construction services to the hospitality, healthcare, multifamily, education, commercial, retail, building restoration and historical renovation markets.


20 JCI Jones Chemicals Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 24)

(Sarasota) Manufactures and distributes water treatment and industrial chemicals.

Chief executive: Jeffrey W. Jones

2010 sales: $100 million

2009 sales: $100 million

Total employees: 250

Founded: 1930

Eleven manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S.; has received numerous CI awards, including the Chairman’s Safety Excellence Award in two locations for no OSHA recordable injuries over the last three years. JCI concentrated its international growth of drinking and wastewater treatment chemicals throughout the Southern Hemisphere as well as Africa, and to the west including Hawaii, Fiji and Guam. JCI completed two large acquisitions in South Carolina and the U.S. west coast. In 2010, JCI concentrated on larger GPM and strong EBITA over 11 percent. Continued community giving includes a fully funded “HUGS” mission to Guatemala.

21 Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

(Last year’s rank: 8)*

(Sarasota) Hospital and outpatient services and affiliates.

Chief executive: Robert C. Meade

2010 sales: $96 million

2009 sales: $93 million

Total employees: 600

Founded: 1967

An HCA hospital; accredited by JCAHO; ranked No. 1 Modern Healthcare Best Places to Work in 2009; 2010 HealthGrades: Top 5 percent in the nation for orthopedic services and spine surgery; No. 1 in Florida for overall orthopedic services; Joint Commision certification as a primary stroke center; Heart Association’s Gold Performance Award; accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers and Providers.

*Last year’s revenues were reported as total charges; 2010’s figure is net revenues.


22 Hoveround Corporation

(Last year’s rank: 26)

(Sarasota) Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of power wheelchairs and scooters.

Chief executive: Thomas E. Kruse

2010 sales: $93 million

2009 sales: $89 million

Total employees: 483

Founded: 1992

Accredited member of the Joint Commission and ISO 9001:2008 certified.


23 First Watch Restaurants

(Last year’s rank: 28)

(Sarasota) Daytime café specializing in traditional morning favorites and unique feature items.

Chief executive: Kenneth L. Pendery Jr.

2010 sales: $89 million

2009 sales: $83 million

Total employees: 2,700

Founded: 1983

Operates 80 restaurants in 11 states. Given the highest rating by Consumer Reports. First Watch features traditional favorites like pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches, as well as signature items such as Chickichanga and fresh fruit crepes. All menu items are freshly prepared to order. Each restaurant offers complimentary newspapers and Internet access.

24 Gold Coast Eagle Distributing

(Last year’s rank: 27)

(Sarasota) Anheuser-Busch, Corona and 85 other import and craft beers distributor for Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Chief executive: John W. Saputo

2010 sales: $86 million

2009 sales: $85 million

Total employees: 150

Founded: 1996

More than 90 beverage brands, including Bacardi Coolers, Bass Ale, Beck’s, Boddington’s Ale, Estrella Damm Beer, Four LokoGenesee Ale, Hoegaarten, Kirin Ichiban, Labatt, Magic Hat Ales, Red Hook, Rolling Rock, Seagram’s Wine Coolers, Stella Artois, St. Pauli Girl, Strongbow, Woodchuck Hard Ciders, Coyota Vodka, Deadman’s Rum , Rattlesnake Tequila, Zephyrhills Water, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Perrier, Talking Rain Active Water, Nestle Pure Life Water, San Pellegrino, Nesquik Milks, Juicy Juice, Coffeemate Creamers, Dad’s Root Beer and Margaritaville Teas.


25 Neal Communities

(Last year’s rank: 32)

(Manatee) Land developer/home builder.

Chief executive: Patrick K. Neal

2010 sales: $75 million

2009 sales: $62.5 million

Total employees: 79

Founded: 1970

Attained status as the largest builder in the tri-county area, surpassing national builders in the local market. Ranked in the top 100 builders nationally by Builder Magazine.


26 Tervis Tumbler

(Last year’s rank: 38)

(Sarasota) Manufactures crystal-clear, insulated drinkware that is guaranteed for life. Sold in more than 6,000 retail outlets nationwide.

Chief executive: Barry Wolfson

2010 sales: Estimated, $75 million

2009 sales: $48 million

Total employees: 300

Founded: 1946


27 Protocol Global Solutions

(Last year’s rank: 29)

(Sarasota) Provides contact center services, case management and monitoring services to Fortune 1000 Companies.

Chief executive: Don Norsworthy

2010 sales: $70 million

2009 sales: $70 million

Total employees: 2,200

Founded: 1998

Eight locations and 2,200 employees around the world.


28 Sarasota Kennel Club

(Last year’s rank: 31)

(Sarasota) Dog racing, poker room.

Chief executive: Jack Collins Sr. and Jack Collins Jr.

2010 sales: $68.3 million

2009 sales: $67 million

Total employees: 219

Founded: 1944

Gives more than $50,000 to local charities every year; open year-round for racing and poker.


29 L-3 Aviation Recorders

(Last year’s rank: 33)

(Sarasota) World’s leading supplier of transportation solid state recorders, specializing in accident survivable recording devices for the aerospace and maritime industries.

Chief executive: Mike Smith

2010 sales: $60.2 million

2009 sales: $60.2 million

Total employees: 174

Founded: 1958

Stock symbol: NSE: LLL


30   METI

(Last year’s rank: 36)

(Sarasota) The world’s leading maker of advanced human patient simulaters and healthcare education tools. METI’s human patient simulators mimic human medical scenarios, including trauma, heart attack, drug overdose and bioterrorism. More than 7,000 METI simulators are used by defense organizations, medical schools, nursing schools and hospitals worldwide. METI is privately owned by Lou Oberndorf and Baird Capital Partners (BCP) of Chicago.

Chief executive: Michael Bernstein

2010 sales: $58 million

2009 sales: $52 million

Total employees: 215; 162 locally

Founded: 1996

In 2010, METI acquired Hungary-based Lionis Software, LLC, known for its web-based learning management system for healthcare education; LearningSpace, which is used by leading medical schools, including Emory, the University of Virginia, Uniformed Services University and Baylor College of Medicine.


31 Willis A. Smith Construction Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 34)

(Sarasota) Construction management specializing in commercial, industrial, educational, healthcare facilities, green structures and museums.

Chief executive/president: David E. Sessions

2010 sales: $51.5 million

2009 sales: $50.8 million

Total employees: 49

Founded: 1972

2010 Manatee Chamber Small Busines of the Year, 2010 Think Green Business of the Year, Sarasota Chamber Small Business Awards.


32 Southern Agricultural Insecticides [Ÿ]

(Last year’s rank: 37)

(Manatee) Formulates and distributes lawn and garden and agricultural chemicals.

Chief executive: John R. Diem

2010 sales: $50.1 million

2009 sales: $49.2 million

Total employees: 85

Founded: 1947


33 Lex Jet Corporation

(Last year’s rank: 42)

(Sarasota) Extensive line of inkjet imaging products; 10 distribution centers across the U.S., online shopping, personally assigned account specialists, unlimited product support and educational resources; also carries OEM printers, RIP software, inks, materials, peripherals and other inkjet-related supplies.

Chief executives: Art Lambert and Ron Simkins

2010 sales: $47 million

2009 sales: $44 million

Total employees: 87

Founded: 1994

Named one of Florida’s “Best Companies to Work For” by Florida Trend magazine in 2010; Sarasota Technology Company of the year by Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County in 2006; ranked among the top five best places to work in Tampa Bay. LexJet teams actively support community organizations.


34 Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd. [?]

(Last year’s rank: 19)*

(Manatee) Grower, packer and shipper of fresh market fruits and vegetables.

Chief executive: Billy L. Heller Jr.

2010 sales: Estimated, $46 million

2009 sales: $136 million

Total employees: 120

Founded: 1982

*Last year’s revenues were supplied by the company; this year’s figure was estimated using outside sources.


35 Kellogg & Kimsey Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 30)

(Sarasota) General contractors/construction management.

Chief executive: Philip A. Kellogg

2010 sales: $45 million

2009 sales: $70 million

Total employees: 45

Founded: 1986

Local projects include The Ritz-Carlton Beach Club on Lido Key, the Ritz golf clubhouse and the spa for The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, Concession clubhouse, Hotel Indigo, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Ringling Square, San Marco Plaza, Sarasota Baptist additions, Paradise Plaza renovation, numerous local multifamily projects. Kellogg & Kimsey travels the Southeast for hospitality clients and nationwide for retail clients. Active supporter of the YMCA and other area charities.


36 Michael Saunders & Company

(Last year’s rank: 47)

(Sarasota) Full-service, licensed real estate brokerage offering residential, commercial, new homes, mortgage and title service.

Chief executive: Michael Saunders

2010 sales: $43 million in gross revenue (from $1.43 billion in sales volume)

2009 sales: $36 million in gross revenue (from $1.19 billion in sales volume)

Total employees: 131 employees; 563 agents

Founded: 1976

Michael Saunders & Company is ranked as the 75th largest brokerage in dollar volume in the latest Real Trends 500 Survey of the 500 largest brokerages in the U.S; included among the 35 most influential realtors in luxury real estate. An affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio International, Mayfair International Realty, EREN-European Real Estate Network and the Realty Alliance.


37 Gould & Lamb, LLC

(Last year’s rank: 45)

(Manatee) Cost containment services for the Insurance Industry, combining healthcare, insurance, and financial information and analysis.

Chief executive: Deborah Pfeifle

2010 revenues: $42.7 million

2009 revenues: $41.8 million

Total employees: 295

Founded: 1999

Gould & Lamb is the largest and most trusted provider of MSA/MSP Compliance Services in the country, serving domestic and international companies, third party administrators and self insured entities. In 2007, ABRY Partners, a private equity firm, acquired a controlling interest in the firm. Gould & Lamb, LLC plans to continue its aggressive growth to increase market share in the specialty niche of Medicare, Medicare Set Asides, Mandatory Insurer Reporting and Cost Containment Services.

38 Charter One Hotels and Resorts Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 39)

(Sarasota) Hospitality management and marketing company.

Chief executive/president: Scott Busby

2010 sales: $42 million

2009 sales: $45 million

Total employees: 825

Founded: 1981

Named one of the Top 100 Management Companies by Hotel Business magazine, listed in The Gulf Coast 500 as one of the top companies in the Tampa Bay area.


39 Signature Sotheby’s International Realty 

(Last year’s rank: new)

(Sarasota) The largest real estate brokerage in Southwest Florida, and the exclusive affiliate of Sotheby’s International Realty in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties.

Chief executive: Judy Green

2010 sales: $41 million in revenue (based on $1.4 billion in sales volume)

2009 sales: $6.67 million in revenue (based on $230 million in sales volume)

Total employees: 380

Founded: 2008

In 2010, Green expanded her Sotheby’s International Realty franchise south to the Naples, Bonita Springs and Marco Island markets through a merger with Premier Properties of Southwest Florida, which now operates under the name Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.


40 Coastal Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

(Last year’s rank: new)

(Manatee) Three offices and two surgery centers comprising 16 board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians focused on treating injuries relating to the entire musculoskeletal system, including specialty care in sports medicine, joint replacement, pain management and rehabilitation, plus non-surgical, physician-guided strengthening, therapy, medications, injections and stretching.

Chief executive: Paul M. Duck

2010 sales: $38.6 million

2009 sales: $43.8 million

Total employees: 217

Founded: 1973

Coastal Orthopedics includes physicians and surgeons who have previously served as former clinical and academic staff members and assistant professors at Mayo Clinic, the University of Missouri, University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of South Florida, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Barry University and Nova Southeastern University; serves as team physicians for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Bradenton Marauders, U.S. Soccer team, IMG Academies, State College of Florida,  and other athletic organizations; has been named among Sarasota Magazine’s “Top Doctors,” and actively participates in clinical research trials.


41 Ned Davis Research Group

(Last year’s rank: 46)

(Sarasota) Provides global investment research commentary, charts, ranking systems and consulting services to institutional investors in more than 30 countries; provides asset management services for institutional clients.

Chief executive: Ned Davis

2010 sales: $38 million

2009 sales: $38 million

Total employees: 82

Founded: 1980

Company officers are frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and CNBC and have authored The Research Driven Investor, Being Right or Making Money and The Triumph of Contrarian Investing, published by McGraw-Hill.


42 Callaghan Tire

(Last year’s rank: 41)

(Manatee) Commercial, industrial, retail and wholesale tire sales; retread tire sales and service.

Chief executive: Dan Callaghan

2010 sales: $35 million

2009 sales: Estimated, $44.5 million

Total employees: 130

Founded: 1978,

Annual sponsor of Callaghan Tire Pro-Am golf tournament for cancer resarch (Golfers Against Cancer), Nov. 3-5, 2011, at The Concession and River Wilderness. Ranked 31st largest commercial tire dealer and 45th largest retreader of truck tires by Tire Business.


43 Chris-Craft

(Last year’s rank: new)

(Sarasota) Founded in 1874; produces elegant, sophisticated and memorable sport boats. The 2011 Chris-Craft collection includes the Silver Bullet, the Launch, Lancer, Corsair and the Catalina, ranging in length from 20 to 36 feet.

President and CEO: Stephen Heese

2010 sales: Estimated, $35 million

Total employees: 150

Founded: 1960

44  McIntyre Elwell & Strammer General Contractors Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 40)

(Sarasota) Commercial building specialists.

Chief executive: John A. McIntyre

2010 sales: $34.8 million

2009 sales: $45.1 million

Total employees: 72

Founded: 1987



(Last year’s rank: 54)

(Manatee) International package forwarding and international ecommerce facilitator.

Chief executive: Eric R. Baird

2010 sales: $34.6 million

2009 sales: $26.7 million

Total employees: 70

Founded: 1997

2010 Entrepreneur of the Decade and 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year, Gulf Coast Business Review; 2009 Exporter of the Year, U.S. Commerce Dept.


46  Integrated Freight Corporation

(Last year’s rank: new)

(Sarasota) Motor freight company providing long-haul, regional and local service.

Chief executive: Paul A. Henley

2010 sales: $32 million

Total employees: 190; 9 locally

Founded: 2008

Stock symbol: OTCBB/OTCQB: IFCR


47 GSE Holdings Inc.(d.b.a. ITW Military GSE and Trilectron, a subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works, Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 44)

(Manatee) World-class designer and manufacturer of aircraft ground support equipment for commercial airlines and facilities worldwide, as well as specialized military aviation support equipment.

Chief executive/general manager: Richard Hansen

2010 sales: $29 million

2009 sales: $43 million

Total employees: 55

Founded: 1970

Stock symbol: ITW,

AS9100: 2008

ISO9001: 2008 certified

48  Holland Construction

(Last year’s rank: 51)

(Sarasota) General contracting, construction management, design/build and LEED services for medical, office, industrial, retail and multifamily projects.

Chief executive: Joe Holland

2010 sales: $29.8 million

2009 sales: $29 million

Total employees: 27

Founded: 1907

Offices in Florida, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The Florida office’s more than 20 2010 new projects included Bennett Park for Manatee County, projects for Lavely & White and the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Locally, Holland Construction supports the Center for Autism Resources and Education, the Pinnacle Academy, Junior Achievement, the Ringling Museum, MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome and the Humane Society.


49 Woodruff & Sons Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 53)

(Manatee) Underground utility construction.

Chief executive: Roy J. Woodruff

2010 sales: $29 million

2009 sales: $29 million

Total employees: 143

Founded: 1925


50 Zirkelbach Construction

Last year’s rank: 50

(Manatee) Design builders, construction managers, general contractors.

Chief executive: Alan Zirkelbach

2010 sales: $28.9 million

2009 sales: $29.8 million

Total employees: 21

Founded: 1996


51 RTI Insurance Services

(Last year’s rank: 48)

(Manatee) Insurance, risk management and employee benefits brokers.

Chief executive/president: John M. Goda

2010 sales: $27 million

2009 sales: $30 million

Total employees: 27

Founded: 1997

RTI Insurance Services is a full-service, independent insurance agency serving Southwest Florida.


52 Miles Media

(Last year’s rank: 49)

(Sarasota) Provides integrated content marketing services for travel destinations and top tier resorts throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Chief executive: Roger Miles

2010 sales: $25 million

2009 sales: $30.2 million

Total employees: 125

Founded: 1954

In February 2011, Miles Media acquired the select assets of Weaver Multimedia Group, expanding the company and adding a new office in Denver, Colo. Miles partners with state divisions of tourism, convention and visitor bureaus and other organizations in the tourism industry to create custom online, mobile, email and print marketing solutions. Miles also offers services for hotels and resorts through its Miles 360. Its clients are in 24 states across the country along with several international destinations.


53 John Cannon Homes Inc.

(Last year’s rank: 53)

(Sarasota) Custom home builder.

Chief executive: John K. Cannon

2010 sales: $25 million

2009 sales: $28 million

Total employees: 33

Founded: 1987

Reader’s Choice Award from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for 18 consecutive years. Ranked 15 in the nation’s “Best Companies to Work For” in the residential construction industry by Professional Builder magazine. Now building in The Concession, The Founders Club, The Forest at Hi-Hat Ranch, The Lake Club, La Cantera in The Country Club at Lakewood Ranch, Riviera Dunes, StoneLake Ranch, MiraBay, Rive Isle, Country Club East and Riverstrand. Named a 2006 Excellence Award winner by Residential Design & Build magazine.


54 Global Organic Specialty Source

(Last year’s rank: 58)

(Sarasota) Farmer-owned organic produce distribution company serving the Southeast.

Chief executive: Mitch Blumenthal

2010 sales: $25 million

2009 sales: $21 million

Total employees: 88

Founded: 1999


55 Sutter Roofing Co. of Florida

(Last year’s rank: 55)

(Sarasota) Commercial and high-end residential roofing, sheet metal and solar contractor. Roof repairs and maintenance.

Chief executive/president: Stephen Sutter

2010 sales: $24.1 million

2009 sales: $31.2 million

Total employees: 201

Founded: 1902


56  Neufeld Business Brokers

(Last year’s rank: new)

(Sarasota) Business brokers and mid-market mergers and acquisitions.

Chief executive: Doug Neufeld

2010 sales: $22.5 million

2009 sales: $4.2 million

Total employees: 2

Founded: 1996

Allan Barberio, CPA and co-founder of Kerkering Barberio, joined the firm in the fall of 2010. Affiliated with Gottesman Co. NY, a national merger and acquisition company. Also brokers small businesses in the Sarasota area.


57 Mercedes Medical

(Last year’s rank: 57)

(Manatee) Distribution of laboratory and physicians’ office supplies.

Chief executive: Alexandra Miller

2010 sales: $22.1 million

2009 sales: $21.5 million

Total employees: 47

Founded: 1993


58 PPi Technologies Group

(Last year’s rank: 56)

(Sarasota) Manufacturer of stand-up pouch machinery and end-of-line systems; also manufactures beverages, including liquor, wine and water, as well as their packaging.

Chief executive: R. Charles Murray

2010 sales: $21 million

2009 sales: $22 million

Total employees: 27

Founded: 1996

Beverage products in patented pouches include Shotpaq, Chilling Rocks, VinoPaq and Carbopouch.


Big gains

Signature Sotheby’s International Realty

up 518%

Neufeld Business Brokers

up 435.7%

Tervis Tumbler

up 56%


Big losses

Kellogg & Kimsey

down 35.7%

GSE Holdings

down 32.6%

McIntyre, Elwell & Strammer; Sutter Roofing

down 22.8%


Top companies by industry









Business services




Real estate








(58 companies)

Total 2009 revenues

$14 billion

Total 2010 revenues

$13.8 billion



#43 Chris-Craft

Paul Henley, CEO

Integrated Freight Corporation (No. 46)

Paul Henley launched Integrated Freight Corporation, which specializes in transporting dry and refrigerated goods, three years ago after 22 years in the securities business. His goal is to make the publicly traded company, headquartered in Sarasota, one of the largest of its kind in the country. To do that, Henley has been acquiring motor freight companies around the country, including buying Integrated Freight’s fourth trucking company this past April, and plans to add two to three more this year.

“The trucking business is very fragmented,” says Henley, the company’s director and CEO. “You have 200,000 DOT-authorized companies in a $350 billion [fleet-for-hire] industry. Most are small players. Then there are the top 10, which handle only 14 percent of all the freight moved by trucks.”

That leaves a lot of room for another smart player, “so we’re knocking on the door,” he says.

Integrated Freight is targeting companies in the $10- to $50-million-a-year revenue range and then wants to add tractor-trailers, drivers and volume, he says. The climate is right for purchasing. Many trucking companies are owned by baby boomers who have no succession plans; the companies that have survived the recession have been well run; and because so many did not survive, there’s unmet demand for motor freight services.

The acquisitions align with the company’s goals to cover major routes in the U.S.  “We want to have a nationwide skeleton in place to work on organic growth, and we have pins on a map in our office,” Henley says. If all goes well—“we’re dependent on financing, on Wall Street,” he says—Integrated Freight should reach almost $75 million in revenues and 20 employees this year, with 50 to 60 by the end of 2012.

The company does no business in Florida; Henley started his company here because his wife calls Sarasota-Manatee home. Integrated Freight could operate anywhere because it provides high-tech, IT and office support for its companies across the country—for example, tracking transport through GPS, controlling temperatures in refrigerated trucks remotely, and handling accounting.

It’s been easy to recruit people here because of the region’s quality of life, Henley says, and Florida’s favorable tax structure has been a boon. —Susan Burns




Pat Neal, CEO

Neal Communities (No. 25)

One day in June, Pat Neal was scheduling a lunch with former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, visiting a buyer’s home to check out a crack in the lanai and also deciding how to lay out sod based on an at-home visit with a different buyer.

Neal, the indefatigable CEO of Neal Communities, calls it the “Pat Neal service.”

“We have a company rule that says, ‘Don’t make me go hide behind the cornflakes when I see one of my customers,’” he says. “We have extreme attention to detail and customer service.”

That attitude has contributed to the 42-year-old company’s growth in a down time for the land development and homebuilding industry. Neal Communities reports $75 million in 2010 revenue, a jump from $62.5 million in 2009. The company sold homes in 16 new communities in 2010, compared to 11 in 2009.

To survive the recession, Neal shifted focus from the company’s traditional business—building upscale homes for retirees (still part of his market)—to selling less expensive homes for working people. His new “café series” brand, geared toward young professionals and families, ranges from $109,900-$242,000. About 65 percent of the company’s business is custom building, while 35 percent comes from homes built on spec.

Neal Communities also benefits by owning the land it builds on. “All my land is owned with cash. About $29 million of houses are under construction with cash,” he says. “We just can do more because we don’t have to answer to the banks.”

This year, the company re-entered the mortgage business after closing its mortgage division in 2006. Neal has also opened a credit repair division to restore buyers’ credit to help them close on a home.

Buyers will have more choices in the next year, with Neal Communities planning to open five new home communities by fall 2012.

“We’re in a growth mode, and my challenge and my goal are to make sure we can take our existing resources and spread them over about a 30 percent increase in production over the next year,” Neal says. —Lori Johnston


Deborah Pfeifle

Gould & Lamb (No. 37)

Gould & Lamb president and chief operating officer Deborah Pfeifle works in the specialized world of Medicare compliance, and she’s not surprised when people ask, “What is that?” The bureaucratic, clinical and legal complexities in this health insurance niche (encompassing Medicare Set Aside, Medicare Secondary Payer and Mandatory Insurer Reporting) take time and effort to understand. Gould & Lamb’s job is to make sure its clients all around the country and overseas understand the laws in the U.S. and comply with them. For example, a new federal law this year makes it mandatory for primary payers to report all claims to Medicare or else face a hefty fine of $1,000 per claim per day.

Founded in Bradenton in 1999 as an insurance consulting firm, Gould & Lamb took off after the passing of a 2001 federal law aimed at making sure that medical care for an injured worker is paid by workers’ compensation rather than Medicare. Gould & Lamb understood that everyone involved in workers’ comp was going to need help complying with the new law and containing costs.

“It’s an educational sale,” Pfeifle says. “We are a provider of Medicare secondary payer compliance services. What we do is protect Medicare. We provide services to insurers that help them comply with the law at the time of settlement. There are a lot of competitors, but we are the largest and oldest.”

With almost 300 employees, Gould & Lamb reported $42.7 million in revenues in 2010, up slightly from 2009. The company’s selection earlier this year by Lloyd’s of London, the famous global company that specializes in unusual and complex risks, is evidence, Pfeifle says, of the company’s stature and dominance in the compliance niche.

Pfeifle took over as president last summer. Since then, she has embarked on a rebranding of the company to focus on customer service and to project an “energetic, committed, people-focused company.

Gould & Lamb will be adding new products and services and sees opportunities with local educational institutions to prepare students for work as claims adjusters and specialists in workers’ comp, billing and coding and in clinical positions.

Pfeifle expects the company to grow through 2012. “The sky’s the limit,” she says.Susan Burns


Average revenue increase or decrease by industry

Real estate

up 178.8%

Business services

up 46%


up 19%


up 16.3%


up 5.7%


up 5%


up 3.9%


down 17.2%


down 8.3%


down 2.3%



All of the businesses on this list earned at least $20 million in gross revenues in 2010. Each company is either headquartered in Sarasota or Manatee counties, or is a self-contained division of a larger company. Businesses are ranked by 2010 revenues.

We publish sales figures exactly as companies report them to us, including both 2010 and 2009 revenues for reference. If a company declines to report sales, we estimate, using a variety of sources. All estimated figures are marked as such.

To compile the list, we call on local, regional and national sources, including economic development councils and industry analysts. We hope you will bring any omissions to our attention so we can consider them for next year’s list.

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