Top Companies

By staff January 1, 2002

Sarasota businesses will remember 2001-or at least the first eight months of it-as the last big year of a long economic boom. As the stock market climbed above 10,000, Sarasota leaders basked in the glow of national accolades that included being named "Best Small City" in America by Money Magazine.

But by summer, signs of a slowdown surfaced. Although the region continued to garner praise for its growing technology sector and progressive economic development, an unemployment rate that meandered barely above ground level forced businesses to recruit outside the area for workers; and cities with more bodies began attracting businesses that could have relocated here.

Then came Sept. 11. The stock market plummeted; and suddenly, Sarasota's businesses faced the same shaky, wait-and-see climate as the rest of the nation. Even in an economy as historically recession-proof as Sarasota's, an air of cautious optimism replaced the former exuberance.

"This period is temporary," maintains Kathy Baylis, vice president of Sarasota's Council for Economic Development. "We will come back." She points out that many companies here are small and flexible. "It's a lot easier to maneuver a small boat than a large one," she says.

Even the most optimistic observers agree that we're sailing into uncharted waters. But what about last year's course? Of the 130 companies on our list, at least six posted increases of 70 percent; About 50 recorded increases averaging 17 percent.

Twenty-six lost ground. Uniroyal and Hi-Stat took the biggest hits, with revenues down 66 percent from last year; three experienced drops of nearly 50 percent, and the rest declined by about 12 percent. The remainder of our companies held their own, posting the same profits in 2001 as in 2000. Altogether, the companies on our list earned more than $13.6 billion.

Looking at the list by industry, construction and homebuilding showed the biggest gains, up an average of 27 percent. When people took their money out of stocks, they put it back into real estate, says Keith Bass, vice president of Florida operations for Taylor Woodrow. "Two or three years ago, people were very reluctant to take money out of the market," he says. "Now they are looking for safe havens to park their money and real estate is benefiting."

He attributes the thriving construction market to job growth east of I-75, but says retirement home sales are still being driven by the comparative value of the Sarasota market. Bass estimates homes in Sarasota are nearly 10 to 20 percent less expensive than in comparable cities like Naples. "The same house here for $1 million will cost you $2 million on the east coast," he says.

But don't forget, says Michael Dooley, vice president of Dooley & Mack, "Construction is kind of like a pipeline." Dooley, whose firm specializes in commercial construction, says it takes time to feel the full effect of an economic downturn. He predicts a slowdown in the private sector but believes the government will try to stimulate the economy by spending money on commercial projects.

Sarasota's manufacturers remained strong in 2001, scoring average increases of 17 percent. (They also showed the most stability, with the greatest number of companies reporting at least the same revenues as last year.) But recent events affected them as well. "Initially, transportation was an issue," says John Fain, corporate vice president of Intertape Polymer, a manufacturer of specialty plastic and paper products. Fain says that after Sept. 11, Intertape had to instate new procedures to make sure shipments weren't held up by new border restrictions; but right now, he's more worried about Sarasota's notoriously low unemployment rate. "I have three people who are commuting from Tampa every day," he says.

How to attract new business to a community where workers are so scant remains a conundrum for Sarasota's economic planners. "It's a tight market, and it will continue to be a tight market," says Nancy Engel, executive director of the Manatee Economic Development Council.

But as the Sarasota council's own talking points attest, "an enviable combination of lifestyle, workforce development assistance and affordability" persuaded major companies like Comdial and Boar's Head to relocate their corporate headquarters here last year. To attract similar companies, Baylis and Engel have begun "regionalizing" the way they sell the area. For nearly a decade, both councils worked separately with the Tampa Bay Partnership, a seven-county economic development organization; but last year, Baylis and Engel decided to start working with the partnership as a single entity. "The [employee] numbers for companies here who are trying to recruit or expand can't compete against a larger city like Savannah," says Engel. "Together we're more impressive."

The groups have also created a new bi-county Web site called Engel says that industry people may still associate Sarasota and Manatee with recreation, but they understand that Tampa is a business center. By referring to both counties as South Tampa Bay, they plan to capitalize on Tampa's established business clout.

Their efforts have already impressed several national site consultants-professionals who scout locations for companies planning to relocate or expand-who joined Engel and Baylis during last year's Super Bowl festivities in Tampa. The consultants said they had previously thought of both counties as vacation areas, but now see them together as a larger pool for employees.

And speaking of pools, here's how we pool together our annual list of Sarasota's biggest moneymakers. To be selected, companies must report annual revenues of $10 million or more and either have their headquarters here or be self-contained divisions of larger companies. They are ranked by annual sales, which is why we exclude some, such as auto dealerships or financial institutions, which report sales in a way that does not compare meaningfully to most other companies. In the few instances where companies on our list earned revenues through commissions, we report earnings after those commissions. We asked real estate firms for only the commissioned portion of their sales.

We publish sales figures exactly as companies report them to us; last year's sales are noted in parentheses after the current year's sales. If a company declines to report sales, we estimate, using a variety of sources. We also publish estimates given to us by companies that projected earnings because their fiscal year did not end before our press time. All estimated sales are clearly noted as such.

To make the list as comprehensive as possible, we cross-check with a variety of sources-economic development officials, bankers and industry analysts. We are always prospecting for qualified companies to add to the list, and we hope you will bring any omissions to our attention so we can consider them for next year's story.

1) Tropicana Products, Inc. (Manatee)

World's leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices

Chief executive: Brock Leach

Annual sales: $2.3 billion ($2.1 billion)

Employees: 5,200 worldwide; 3,200 in Manatee/Sarasota

Founded: 1947

Web site:

Tropicana is the No. 3 brand in U.S. grocery stores and is sold in 30 countries worldwide.

2) Vengroff Williams & Associates, Inc.

Credit and collections, subrogation claims, medical accounts payable, management of rental units in Sarasota and New York

Chief executive: Harvey Vengroff

Annual sales: $800 million (represents actual revenues after collections)

($800 million)

Employees: 250 in Sarasota;

1,100-plus nationwide

Founded: 1963

Web site:

Now owns 300 apartments and currently negotiating the purchase of additional properties; no longer owner of Med-Systems.

3. Taylor Woodrow, Inc. (Manatee)

Community developer, luxury home and high-rise condo builder, commercial property

Chief executive: John R. Peshkin

Annual sales: $769 million ($650 million)

Employees: 1,272 in North America

Founded: 1921 in England,

1936 in North America

Web site:

Renowned for creating extraordinary lifestyle communities with world-class amenities, building a wide range of luxury homes and high-rise condominiums and commercial properties. Local projects include The Oaks Preserve, Sawgrass, The Villages of Palm-Aire and The Meadows.

4. Intertape Polymer Group (Manatee)

Developer and manufacturer of specialized plastic and paper products and complementary packaging systems for industrial and retail use

Chief executive: Melbourne F. Yull

Annual sales: $654 million ($570 million)

Employees: 2,700-plus

Founded: 1981

Web site:

ISO 9002 certified, trading under the symbol ITP on the New York stock exchange and Toronto stock exchange. Operations throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Portugal with 26

facilities, including 20 manufacturing locations.

5. Beall's, Inc. (Manatee)

Retailer of family apparel, footwear and gifts

Chief executive: Robert M. Beall II

Annual sales: $600 million ($500 million)

Employees: 5,000

Founded: 1915

More than 330 department, outlet and gift stores in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina

and California.

6. Boar's Head Provisions Co., Inc.

Manufacturer of premium delicatessen meats and cheeses

Chief executive: Robert S. Martin

Annual sales: Estimated, $542 million

Employees: 2,200

Founded: 1905

Web site:

7. New Horizons Computer Learning Centers

World's largest computer training company

Chief executive: Joseph Tortoretti

Annual sales: $530.3 million

Employees: 7,000 company-wide;

23 in Sarasota

Founded: 1982

Web site:

Company has a network of 280 locations in 44 countries; named to Fortune's 100 fastest-growing companies; the Sarasota location is a Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center and licensed by Florida Department of Education for career education.

8. Manatee Memorial Hospital and Health System (Manatee)

Private 502-licensed bed acute care hospital

Chief executive: Brian Flynn

Annual sales: $475 million ($395 million)

Employees: 1,400

Founded: 1953

Web site:

JCAHO Accreditation with Commendation for 1999; voted "Best Hospital" by Bradenton Herald's readers for seventh year in a row; won U.H.S. Service Excellence Award for 1998.

9. FCCI Insurance Group

Commercial property and casualty

insurance, third-party administration and professional employment services

Chief executive: G.W. Jacobs

Annual sales: $384.3 million ($295.7 million)

Employees: 850

Founded: 1959

Web site:

Recently opened new 300,000-square-foot office complex at Lakewood Ranch.

10. Blake Medical Center (Manatee)

383-bed acute care hospital offering services from open-heart care to birth care

Chief executive: Lindell Orr

Annual sales: Estimated, $307 million

(Estimated $267.7 million)

Employees: 1,100

Founded: 1973

Web site:

A "Top 100" hospital for the past five years; received JCAHO Accreditation with Commendation; first hospital in Florida and third in the nation to receive OSHA voluntary protection merit award; among the top ICU departments in the country.

11. Edwards Systems Technology (Manatee)

Design and manufacture of commercial fire detection systems, mid-range and small fire system products, including closed circuit television cameras and security systems

Chief executive: Jay Twombly

Annual sales: $285 million ($265 million)

Employees: 2,000-plus

Founded: 1873

Web site:

Introduced a new product called Synergy that integrates fire alarm, access control, closed circuit television and security systems into a cohesive network; first company to accomplish this while meeting all regulatory listing requirements of Underwriters Laboratory.

12. Gevity HR (Manatee)

One of the largest human resource providers in the United States

Chief executive: James F. Manning

Annual sales: $270 million ($238 million)

Employees: 1,200

Founded: 1984

Web site:

Formerly Staff Leasing. Gevity HR ranks 508 on Fortune 1000 and No. 485 on Forbes 500; recently won the 2001 ComputerWorld Smithsonian Honors Award for extraordinary utilization of technology.

13. Correctional Services Corporation and Youth Service International

Private correctional and detention facilities

Chief executive: James F. Slattery

Annual sales: Estimated, $233 million

($250 million)

Employees: Estimated, 1,800

Founded: 1989

Web site:

Trades publicly under the NASDAQ symbol "CSCQ."

14. Doctors Hospital of Sarasota

Hospital and outpatient services

Hospital and outpatient affiliates

Chief executive: Charles F. Scott

Annual sales: $225 million

($216 million)

Employees: 800

Founded: 1967

Web site:

Accredited by JCAHO, certified cancer registry program.

15. Bon Secours Venice Healthcare Corporation

342-bed hospital, 120-bed nursing care center, 102-bed assisted living facility, ambulatory care center with outpatient surgery (Health Park), primary care physician

network, Medicare and non-Medicare home healthcare

Chief executive: Michael G. Guley

Annual sales: $197.5 million

(Estimated, $178 million)

Employees: 1,580

Founded: 1951

Web site:

Named one of the top 100 orthopedic and stroke hospitals by HCIA; Sarasota County Business Recognition Award for outstanding support of education in 2001.

16. Central European Distribution


Distributor of alcoholic beverages

Chief executive: William V. Carey

Annual sales: $178 million ($131 million)

Employees: 700, 2 locally

Founded: 1990

Web site:

Publicly traded as CEDC on NASDAQ; largest importer and distributor of alcoholic beverages in Poland.

17. Pinnacle Towers Inc.

Telecommunication tower rental

Chief executive: Steven R. Day

Annual sales: $175.6 million ($85.4 million)

Employees: 205

Founded: 1995

Web site:

18. Dooley and Mack Constructors, Inc.

Construction managers, general contractors, design/builders

Chief executive: William R. Dooley

Annual sales: $175 million ($130 million)

Employees: 248

Founded: 1977

Web site:

Recently completed the $18.3 Brookside Middle School, Tessera condominium and Marriott Springhill Suites in Sarasota; nearing completion of the Sarasota County Jail extension.

19. W.G. Mills, Inc. (Manatee)

Construction manager, general contractor

Chief executives: Walter G. Mills and

Lemuel Sharp III

Annual sales: $175 million ($112 million)

Employees: 145

Founded: 972

Web site:

Five regional offices throughout Florida, including: corporate headquarters in Sarasota, Clearwater, Fort Myers, Palm Beach Gardens and Jacksonville.

20. American Marine Holdings, Inc. (Manatee)

Parent company of two boat manufacturing companies-Donzi Marine and Pro-Line Boats

Chief executive: Lee Kimmell

Annual sales: $150 million-plus

($150 million-plus)

Employees: 849

Founded: 1986

21. Pacific Tomato Growers, Ltd.


Grower, packer and shipper of fresh market fruits and vegetables

Chief executive: Joseph Esformes

Annual sales: $122.3 million ($134.2 million)

Employees: 125-2,000

(varying seasonally)

Founded: 1982

Web site:

Member Manatee Chamber of Commerce and Manatee Economic Development Council; sponsor of Sunripe Golf Classic benefiting the USF College of Education Migrant Teacher Scholarship program;

recipient of the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture's 2000 Ag Environmental Leadership Award.

22. PGT Industries

Florida's leading manufacturer of custom windows, doors and patio rooms

Chief executive: Randy White

Annual sales: $120 million ($93 million)

Employees: 1,155

Founded: 1980

Web site:

23. JCI Jones Chemicals, Inc.

Manufacturer and distributor of industrial chemicals

Chief executive: Jeffrey W. Jones

Annual sales: $115 million ($115 million)

Employees: 400

Founded: 1930

24. Foreign Trade Marketing

Consumer product exporter and importer

Chief executive: Irwin Tobocman

Annual sales: $106 million ($106 million)

Employees: 20

Founded: 1975

Web site:

25. Dental Care Alliance, Inc.

Provides dental management services to 90 dental practices in seven states

Chief executive: Dr. Steven R. Matzkin

Annual sales: Estimated, $103 million

Employees: 76 locally,

1,124 throughout eastern U.S.

Founded: 1992

Web site:

Effective June 1, 2001, the company was re-purchased from its former parent company, Interdent.

26. Comdial Corporation

Develops and markets sophisticated

communications solutions for small- to

mid-sized businesses, government and other organizations

Chief executive: Nick Branica

Annual sales: $100 million

Employees: 400; 150 in Sarasota

Founded: 1982

Web site:

In 2001, Comdial moved its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility from Charlottesville, Va., to Sarasota; was ranked No. 160 among the top 250 publicly held companies in Florida by Florida Trend magazine.

27. RMC South Florida, Inc.

(Manatee) (DBA Singletary Concrete Products, RMC South Florida Materials and Florida Rock and Sand)

Produces and distributes ready-mix

concrete, concrete and architectural block, concrete pavers and related materials

Chief executive: Richard A. Buckelew

Annual sales: $100 million ($100 million)

Employees: 430

Founded 1953

Web site:

28. Sysco Food Services-West Coast Florida Inc. (Manatee)

Full line marketer and distributor of food, non-food and related items to restaurants, hospitals, hotels, cruise ships and all mass feeding institutions

Chief executive: Carl S. Cannova

Annual sales: Estimated, $97.3 million

(Estimated $97 million)

Employees: 613

Founded: 995

Web site:

29. Wellcraft Marine Corp.


Manufacturing of fiberglass boats

Chief executive: Dean Samuelson

Annual sales: Estimated, $88 million

($138 million)

Employees: 1,050

Founded: 1955

Web site:

30. Sun Hydraulics

Designer and manufacturer of hydraulic cartridge valves and manifolds

Chief executive: Allen Carlson

Annual sales: $80 million

($80 million)

Employees: 700

Founded: 1970

Web site:

Facilities in Sarasota and Manatee; other facilities located in U.K., Germany, South Korea and China.

31. Meridian Professional Employer Services (Manatee)

Professional employer organization

Chief executive: Peggy Cline

Annual sales: $75.5 million

Employees: 40 internal, 5,000 leased

Founded: 1993

Web site:

Supports Boys & Girls Clubs; sponsors ongoing blood drives, school activities, Manatee children's services and many

service club activities.

32. Andersen

Provides solutions and services in tax,

technology and business, for internal

and external clients

Chief executive: James H. Shedivy

Annual sales: $75 million

(Estimated, $60 million)

Employees: 800 in Sarasota;

85,000 worldwide

Founded: 1984 in Sarasota;

1913 as Arthur Andersen

in Chicago

Web site:

Active community involvement and support of numerous local civic and charitable


33. Invensys Sensor Systems

Supplier of magnetic, ultrasonic and

resistive speed, position and motion

sensors and controls

Chief executive: Steve Anderson

Annual sales: $75 million

($75 million)

Employees: 700

Founded: 1936

Web site: www.speed-position.

34. Mike Carter Construction


Design/build firm and commercial construction

Chief executive: Mike Carter

Annual sales: $75 million

(Estimated, $75 million)

Employees: 90-plus

Founded: 1977

Web site:

35. Selective HR Solutions

Professional employer organization

Chief executive: Robert J. Clancy

Annual sales: $70 million (10% of gross)

($40 million)

Employees: 151 internal; more than 22,000 company-wide

Founded: 1984

Web site:

NAPEO member; accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC).

36. Tropitone Furniture Co., Inc.


Designer and manufacturer of fine

casual furniture

Chief executive: Michael Echolds

Annual sales: $70 million

(Estimated, $60 million)

Employees: 550

Founded: 1953

Web site:

Industry honors include the Apollo IBO contract, Roscoe, French Sisel Vert, design excellence and ADEX design awards.

37. Uniroyal Technology Corporation

Manufacturer of compound semi-conductor and opto-electronic products

Chief executive: Howard R. Curd

Annual sales: $68.3 million

($201 million)

Employees: 400

Founded: 1992

Web site:

Completed Tampa R&D facility for opto-electronics and an epitaxial and R&D facility for silicon carbide device development and

production; worked with University of South Florida, University of Central Florida and University of Florida to advance the development of ultraviolet light emitting diodes.

38. Signs Now Corporation


Franchise sales of professional graphic solutions sign companies

Chief executive: Mike Etchieson

Annual sales: $65 million

($67 million)

Employees: 33 locally; 1,000 nationwide

Founded: 1983

Web site:

Ranked ninth in Success Magazine's top 200 franchise picks; named to Entrepreneur Magazine's 200 top domestic and international franchises.

39. L-3 Communications, Aviation Recorders

World's leading manufacturer of solid state cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders for commercial, civil and military applications

Chief executive: Bruce Coffey, president

Annual sales: Estimated, $60 million

(Estimated, $45 million)

Employees: 200

Founded: 1958

Web site:

A self-sustained division of L-3 Communications Corporation, Aviation Recorders has sold more than 50,000 recorders.

40. Hi-Stat Mfg. Co., a division of Stoneridge Inc.


Manufacturer of original equipment sensors for the automotive industry

Chief executive: Ray Laurent, general manager

Annual sales: $59 million

($172 million)

Employees: 575

Founded: 1970

Web site:

QS9000 certified; Ford Q1 supplier.

41. Gold Coast Eagle Distributing

Anheuser-Busch and Modelo portfolio brands of beer distributor for Manatee and Sarasota counties

Chief executive: John W. Saputo

Annual sales: $58 million

($53 million)

Employees: 125

Founded: 1996

Web site: eagle

Enjoys a nearly 66 percent market share with 1,350 retail accounts; supported more than 300 charitable events; in June 2001, purchased the Mexican import portfolio, Modelo (brands include: Corono Extra, Corona Lt, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especiale and Pacifico Clara).

42. Neal Communities, Neal Custom Homes (Manatee)

Land developer and home builder

Chief executive: Patrick K. Neal

Annual sales: $55.9 million

($49.3 million)

Employees: 173

Founded: 1970

Web site:

Major projects include University Park Country Club (named best master planned community in America), Perico Bay Club, Wild Oak Bay, new communities at Lakewood Ranch and University Place.

Winner of 26 Aurora Awards from the Southeast Builder Conference.

43. Eaton Aerospace


Electrical power and load management

systems for aerospace applications

Chief executive: Matt Taylor

Annual sales: $55 million

($50 million)

Employees: 400

Founded: 1893; 1978 in Manatee

Web site:

44. Sarasota Kennel Club

Greyhound track and simulcasting facility

Chief executive: Jack Collins Sr., president; Jack Collins Jr.,

vice president

Annual sales: $54 million

($54 million)

Employees: 215

Founded: 1944

Holds charity events that benefit local


45. Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc.


Developer of Lakewood Ranch, with other businesses in agriculture and aggregate


Chief executive: C. John A. Clarke

Annual sales: Estimated, $52 million

(Estimated, $48 million)

Employees: 200

Founded: 922

Web site:

Best in American Living Award for best

master-planned community in America, Grand Aurora for Best Community with

over 150 units, Reader's Choice and Reader's Preference Awards for Best Community from readers of Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Bradenton Herald.

46. Ajax Paving Industries

Asphalt manufacturing and paving

Chief executive: Michael A. Horan

Annual sales: $50 million

($50 million)

Employees: 150

Founded: 1982

Web site:

47. APAC-Florida, Inc. Sarasota Division (Manatee)

Highway/road contractor and asphalt


Chief executive: David Donofrio

Annual sales: $50 million

($50 million)

Employees: 180

Founded: 1962

F.T.B.A. Quality Project Award; A.C.A. Quality Asphalt Paving Award.

48. Westra Construction Corp.


Underground water and sewer utility contractor, wastewater treatment plants

Chief executive: Kenneth Beukema

Annual sales: $49 million

($27.5 million)

Employees: 190

Founded: 1977

Marvin M. Black Excellence in Partnering Award for the De Soto Correctional Institute Annex project, member Suncoast Utility Contractors Association, American Public Works Association Contractor of the Year Florida West Coast for 1996-97.

49. Administrative Concepts Corp.

Employee administration

Chief executive: George E. Bushong

Annual sales: $48.8 million

Employees: 3,180

Founded: 1995

50. Carter Grandle


Manufacturer of casual furniture, umbrellas and cushions

Chief executive: Webb Carter

Annual sales: Estimated, $47 million

($34 million)

Employees: 300

Founded: 1988

Web site:

51. Teltronics, Inc.


Manufactures telephone switching systems and software for small- to large-size businesses, government and 911 public safety communications centers

Chief executive: Ewen R. Cameron

Annual sales: $43.2 million

($32.6 million)

Employees: 322

Founded: 1969

Web site:

Winner of numerous technology-related awards; opened office in Mexico and acquired offices in New York, Georgia, Utah, Minnesota and California; supports numerous charitable organizations.

52. C & D Fruit and Vegetable Co.


Growers, shippers and packers of fresh

fruit and vegetables

Chief executive: Thomas O'Brien

Annual sales: $42 million

($32 million)

Employees: 75

Founded: 1971

Web site:

Again received the Red Book and Blue

Book awards.

53. Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota

Rehabilitation hospital providing comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, sports medicine and medical rehabilitation services

Chief executive: Margaret A. Holloway

Annual sales: $41 million

($34 million)

Employees: 295

Founded: 1986

Web site:

The only free-standing rehabilitation hospital on Florida's west coast with five out-patient and sports medicine centers.

54. Forest Products Supply

Manufactures architectural mill work,

trusses, pre-hung door products supplier, lumber-related building materials, windows and hollow metal doors

Chief executive: Larry Smart, COO

Annual sales: Estimated, $40 million

($40 million)

Employees: 275

Founded: 1974

Web site:

55. Swanson Inmate Commissary Services Inc.

Commissary services for correctional


Chief executive: Charles L. Swanson Jr.

Annual sales: Estimated, $40 million

(Estimated, $33.2 million)

Employees: 300

Founded: 1991

56. John Cannon Homes Inc.

Design and construction of custom homes

Chief executive: John Cannon

Annual sales: $39 million

(Estimated, $34 million)

Employees: 51

Founded: 1987

Web site:

Currently building in Amberwynd, Lakewood Ranch, Turtle Rock, Silver Oak, Siesta Estates, Panther Ridge, Venice Golf and Country Club, North Creek, Sarasota Ranch Club, Country Club of Sarasota, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Casey Key and Anna

Maria Island.

57. M. Pete McNabb, Inc.


Arthur Rutenberg Homes homebuilder

Chief executive: Pete McNabb

Annual sales: $38 million

Employees: 62

Founded: 1986

Web site:

Arthur Rutenberg Homes "Builder of the Year" for 1991, 1994, 1995, 1998; Habitat for Humanity 1997; multi-Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise owner.

58. Pierce Mfg. Inc.


Manufacturer of commercial fire apparatus and defense transportation products

Chief executive: Tom Paulus

Annual sales: $38 million

($26 million)

Employees: 190

Founded: 1990

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Truck Corp., recently completed 500th unit at the Bradenton facility, growth plans at 40% for fiscal year.

59. Southern Agricultural Insecticides


Formulator and distributor of lawn and garden and agricultural chemicals

Chief executive: Dr. John R. Diem

Annual sales: $38 million

($37 million)

Employees: 84

Founded: 1947

Web site:

60. Michael Saunders & Company

Full-service, licensed real estate brokerage

Chief executive: Michael Saunders

Annual sales: $37.1 million

Employees: 113 employees;

300-plus associates

Founded: 1976

Web site:

Ranked first in the Sarasota real estate market and 83rd nationally by Real Trends 500; company ranks 156th nationwide for number of transactions and 67th nationwide for sales volume; an affiliate of Sotheby's International Realty, Leading Estates of the World, RELO Relocation Network and Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate.

61. McIntyre Elwell & Strammer

General Contractors, Inc.

Commercial building specialists

Chief executive: John A. McIntyre

Annual sales: $36.9 million

($32.7 million)

Employees: 73

Founded: 1987

Builds churches, elderly housing, offices, manufacturing and retail throughout Florida.

62. Charter One Hotels and Resorts, Inc. Hotel management

Chief executive: John W. Balliett

Annual sales: $36 million

($35 million)

Employees: 800


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