More Top Companies

By staff January 1, 2004


10 of our top companies are listed on Nasdaq, 1 on the NYSE and 2 on the OTC.

7. Intertape Polymer Group, ITP on NYSE and TSE

10. Central European Distribution Corporation, CEDC on Nasdaq

11. Edwards Systems Technology, SPW on Nasdaq

14. Gevity HR, Inc., GVHR on Nasdaq

18. Sysco Food Services-West Coast FL Inc., SYY on Nasdaq

21. Correctional Services Corp., CSCQ on Nasdaq

38. L-3 Communications, Aviation Recorders, LLL on Nasdaq

41. Sun Hydraulics, SNHY on Nasdaq

44. Teltronics, Inc., TELT on OTC

46. Comdial Corporation, CMDZ on OTC

49. Eaton Aerospace, ETN on Nasdaq

91. Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. Florida Div., OTRKB on Nasdaq

92. Teleflex Electrical Systems Division, TFX on NYSE


The bulk of our list is comprised of homebuilding and construction companies and those devoted to manufacturing goods. Here's how the numbers break down.

Agriculture 2.7%

Distributor 2.7%

Food 6 %

Healthcare 8%

Homebuilding/Construction 26%

Hospitality 2.7%

Manufacturing 28%

Marine 1.3%

Non-profit 2%

Publishing 1.3%

Retail 2.7%

Wholesale 1.3%

Other 15.3%


Rank Company Percentage Increase

Sysco Food Services-West Coast FL 149.0

National In-Store 51.2

Shannon Resort & Club Group, Inc. 48.7

Central European Distribution Corp. 41.2

Pruett Builders 29.4

John Cannon Homes 29.0

Ajax Paving Industries 28.6

Aso Corporation 25.0

Frederick Derr & Co. 25.0

PGT Industries 23.8


Rank Company Percentage Decrease

ParView, Inc. 44.4

Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. Florida Div. 37.5

Nelson Publishing, Inc. 33.3

Trilectron Industries, Inc. 31.7

Comdial Corporation 26.1

Cook Spring Company, Inc. 25.0

Bruce Williams Homes 19.8

McIntyre Elwell & Strammer 18.7

McDaniel Trading, Inc. 16.7

In our January issue, the list stopped with the top 100 companies. Here are even more.

101. Pruett Builders, Inc.

Design/build custom home builder specializing in the luxury residential market from $400,000 and up

Chief Executive: Brian J. Pruett

Annual Sales: $22 million

($17 million)

Employees: 19

Founded: 1977

Web Site:

Won a "Best in American Living Award" for Best Home Design; won a "National Energy Value Gold Medal" for energy efficiency; has won 21 Aurora Awards from the Southeast Builders Conference; builder of the American Lung Association Health House of Florida.

102. ETCO Automotive Products (Manatee)

Manufactures spark plug terminals and rubber boots for ignition-wire manufacturers

Chief Executive: Bob Altomonte

Annual Sales: $20 million

($20 million)

Employees: 105

Founded: 1979

Web Site:

Registered to QS-9000, ISO-9002.

$10-$19 Million

103. LexJet Corporation

Provides innovative product solutions for business, government and educational institutions that produce large and small format color images

Chief Executives: Art Lambert and Ron Simkins

Annual Sales: $19.5 million

($16 million)

Employees: 37

Founded: 1994

Web Site:

Ranked 48th in Inc. Magazine's top 500 companies; has experienced a 36 percent five-year average annual growth and eight consecutive years of profitability. Its teams actively support community organizations.

104. American Torch Tip Co. (Manatee)

Welding apparatus

Chief Executive: John Walters

Annual Sales: $19 million

($19 million)

Employees: 180

Founded: 1940

Web Site:

Recently invested in $1-million high output, computerized equipment.

105. Miles Media Group

Tourism information

Chief Executive: Roger W. Miles

Annual Sales: $16.5 million

($17 million)

Employees: 93

Founded: 1954

Web Site:

The largest company of its type in the country that services only Florida, Tennessee and Massachusetts.

106. Gibraltar Homes, Inc.

Custom home builder

Chief Executives: Jerry Blumberg and Albert A. Sanchez Jr.

Annual Sales: $16 million

($16 million)

Employees: 19

Founded: 1995

Web Site:

"Best Overall" winner at 2003 Parade of Homes for Toscana and San Michele models; recently introduced new two-story bonus room design at Mizner Reserve; exclusive builder for new Lakewood Ranch subdivision Riviera; frequent contributor to area charities.

107. Mercedes Medical Inc. (Manatee)

National distributor of medical products to physician offices, clinical laboratories and hospitals worldwide

Chief Executives: Mark Burton and Noelle A. Haft

Annual Sales: Estimated, $16 million

($16.4 million)

Employees: 40

Founded: 1993

Web Site:

Named by Inc. Magazine one of the nation's fastest growing private companies for 2001 and 2002; ranked by Florida Business Journal as one of the state's 100 fastest growing companies in 2001.

108. Intershow

Produces trade shows, symposiums and investment cruises

Chief Executives: Charles and Kim Githler

Annual Sales: $15.3 million

($12.5 million)

Employees: 48

Founded: 1978

Web Site:

Largest producer of investment trade shows held in Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco and New York; recently acquired Laguna Hills, California-based Traders' Expo; produces seminars at sea for Forbes, Morningstar, Hillsdale College Phillips Publishing; named the philanthropic organization of the year in 2000.

109. Partners In Practice

Physician practice management, billing and accounts receivables, transcription, information systems and compliance

Chief Executives: Thomas E. Blakenship and Karen V. Vale

Annual Sales: Estimated, $15 million-plus

(Estimated, $15 million-plus)

Employees: 70

Founded: 2000

Web Site:

Member of HBMA.

110. Schroeder Manatee Ranch, Inc. (Manatee)

Real estate development, agriculture and aggregate mining

Chief Executive: C. John A. Clarke

Annual Sales: Estimated, $15 million-plus

(Estimated, $60 million)

Employees: 375

Founded: 1922

Web Site:

Best in American Living Award for the 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 both the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Bradenton Herald; excellence grand award for Lakewood Ranch clubhouse from the National Commercial Builders Council.

111. Cook Spring Company, Inc.

Manufactures precision springs and wire forms for the medical, electrical and high-tech industrial market

Chief Executive: Randall A. Cook

Annual Sales: $15 million

($20 million)

Employees: 75

Founded: 1954

Web Site:

112. McDaniel Trading Inc.

Buys edible by-products from food and fiber processors and markets them to dairy farms and feed mills in the eastern U.S.

Chief Executive: Rick McDaniel

Annual Sales: $15 million

($18 million)

Employees: Eight

Founded: 1996

E-mail: [email protected]

McDaniel Trading has been one of the most successful livestock feed trading companies in the eastern U.S. for the past seven years.

113. Trident Building Systems, Inc. (Manatee)

Designs, manufactures and erects pre-engineered metal buildings, metal roof systems, light gauge steel trusses and structural steel fabrications

Chief Executive: Carl Petrat

Annual Sales: $15 million

($15.6 million)

Employees: 165

Founded: 1978; incorporated 1982

Web Site:

Currently operating from a state-of-the-art corporate office with 15,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space; created one of the top seven pre-engineered metal buildings of the year for 2002, according to Metal Architecture Magazine.

114. Diocese of Venice

Catholic church

Controller: Mary Moore

Annual Sales: Estimated, $15 million

Employees: Estimated, 900

Founded: 1985

115. Hotel Associates of Sarasota, Ltd. (Owner) Hyatt Corporation (operator)

Hyatt Sarasota Hotel

Chief Executives: Stephen Mehas, General Manager for Hyatt Corp.; Charles Githler, president Hotel Associates

Annual Sales: $14 million

($15.1 million)

Employees: 250

Founded: Locally owned since 1994

Web Site:

Recent $1.5-million renovations include a giant lagoon pool, deck, grand pool bar, a three-story waterfall and Florida function room; with these improvements, Hyatt owners' investment total $12 million in property-wide renovations.

116. Take Care of Sarasota, Inc.

The region's largest locally owned private duty home health care provider

Chief Executive: Susanne S. Wise, RN, MBA

Annual Sales: $14 million

($13 million)

Employees: 600

Founded: 1995

Web Site:

2003 finalist for Sarasota Herald-Tribune Readers Choice award for best home health care provider.

117. Kanes of Sarasota

Home furnishings and interior design

Chief Executive: Edward Kalin

Annual Sales: $13.5 million

($13.5 million)

Employees: 75

Founded: 1949

Web Site:

Provides total shopping environment with complex of shops including restaurants, beauty, exercise studio and gallery; named "Best Furniture Store" by Sarasota Herald-Tribune Readers' Choice Awards nine years in a row.

118. Medical Education Technologies, Inc.

Manufactures surgical instruments and apparatus

President: Lou Oberndorf

Annual Sales: Estimated, $13.2 million

Employees: Estimated, 100

Founded: 1996

119. Moreland Company USA

Imports and wholesales plywood, lumber and furniture

Chief Executive: Christopher V. Grzep Sr.

Annual Sales: $13 million

($11 million)

Employees: Nine

Founded: 1985

Web Site:

120. PPi Technologies, Inc.

Manufactures and supplies standup pouch machinery and Fine CuisineT microwave smart device trays

Chief Executive: R. Charles Murray

Annual Sales: $13 million

($12 million)

Employees: 17

Founded: 1996

Web Site:

Ranked No. 1 in the Tampa Bay "Fast 50"; ranked No. 139 in Forbes "500 Technology Companies"; ranked in "Top 75 Woman-Owned" businesses in Florida.

121. Exprix Technologies, L.P. (Manatee)

Develops and markets performance and specialty chemicals for imaging, electronics, automotive and pharmacology

Chief Executive: Philip W. Nace Jr.

Annual Sales: $12.9 million

($12.7 million)

Employees: 16

Founded: 1993

Web Site:

122. Petz Custom Homes, Inc. (Manatee)

Home builder/developer

Chief Executive: Todd Petzoldt

Annual Sales: $12.5 million

($12.5 million)

Employees: 15

Founded: 1990

E-mail: [email protected]

Winner of the Best in American Living Award, the nation's foremost residential design award for design quality; two-time Aurora Award winner for building and design excellence in the southeastern United States; currently developing and building "Tuscana."

123. KHS-Bartelt, Inc.

Manufactures pouching machines, fillers, bag makers, fill and seal machines, cartoners, product transfers and side seam gluers

Chief Executive: Reno N. Cruz

Annual Sales: Estimated, $12.5 million

($20 million)

Employees: 80

Founded: 1942

Web Site:

Markets include food, snacks, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care and medical devices.

124. Coach House, Inc.

Manufactures luxury fiberglass class "O" 23-foot, 27-foot and 29-foot motorhomes

Chief Executive: David Gerzeny

Annual Sales: $12 million-plus

(Estimated, $10 million-plus)

Employees: 58

Founded: 1986

Web Site:

125. Fred M. Starling, Inc.

Commercial construction and development

Chief Executive: Fred M. Starling

Annual Sales: $12 million

Employees: 20

Founded: 1981

Web Site:

126. Kemick Construction Company (Manatee)

Construction company specializing in custom, energy-efficient, single-family homes

Chief Executive: Lawrence Kemick

Annual Sales: $12 million

Employees: 7

Founded: 1988

Web Site:

Winner of 1998, 2000 and 2002 Grand Aurora for most energy-efficient home and winner of 1999, 2001 and 2003 Aurora for energy efficiency; awarded the "Superior Award for Energy and Environment Efficient New Home Construction" by Univeristy of Florida for past six years; winner of FPL's "Energy Efficient Builder Award" for past seven years.

127. Valcourt Building Services (Manatee)

Remedial painting and waterproofing contractor

Chief Executive: Dan Short

Annual Sales: $12 million

($12 million)

Employees: 125

Founded: 1986

Web Site:

128. King Plastic Corporation

Manufactures heavy-guage and large-sized polypropylenes, polyethylenes and engineered polyolefins

President: Thomas M. King

Annual Sales: Estimated, $11.5 million

(Estimated, $10 million-plus)

Employees: Estimated, 100

Founded: 1968

Web Site:

129. Sun Coast Beef & Provision Inc. (Manatee)

Wholesale poultry, beef and pork, and cold storage

President: Dave Cole

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10.4 million

($12 million)

Employees: Estimated, 25

Founded: 1952

130. Commercial Refrigerator Door Co.

Manufactures insulated glass for doors and shelving

President: Jeff Winsler

Annual Sales: $10 million-plus

(Estimated $25 million)

Employees: Estimated, 120

Founded: 1975

Web Site:

131. Nelson Publishing, Inc.

Publishes monthly, business-to-business trade magazines

Chief Executive: Vern Nelson

Annual Sales: $10 million-plus

($15 million)

Employees: 68

Founded: 1962

Web Site:

Nelson has seven national, business-to-business magazines in the electronics engineering, manufacturing, communications technology, design engineering and healthcare industries.

132. Suncoast Bakeries, Inc. dba St. Armands Baking Co.

Wholesale bakery specializing in serving the food service industry throughout Florida with low-packing and private-label procucts

Chief Executive: Bernard Vroom

Annual Sales: $10 million-plus

Employees: 100

Founded: 1981

Web Site:

Recently completed a $3.5-million expansion.

133. AAA Architectural Elements and Coatings (Manatee)

Manufactures urethane coated and styrothane architectural products

President: Richard Cary

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

Employees: Estimated, 45

Founded: 1988

134. Cox Lumber Co.

Manufactures and retails wooden floors, roof trusses, wooden and metal doors and building materials

General Manager: David Brown

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

(Estimated, $10 million-plus)

Employees: Estimated, 85

Founded: 1970

Web Site:

Operates 29 locations throughout Florida.

135. Glenroe Technologies (Manatee)

Manufactures quality orthodontic products

Chief Executive: John Bozman

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

(Estimated, $10 million-plus)

Employees: 110

Founded: 1984

Web Site:

ISO 9002 certified; nominated in 2000 and 2001 for Industry of the Year for Manatee County.

136. Honeycomb Company of America (Manatee)

Manufactures aircraft replacement parts

Chief Executive: Dan G. Judge Jr.

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

(Estimated, $10 million-plus)

Employees: Estimated, 100

Founded: 1948

E-mail [email protected]

137. IMG Academies (Manatee)

Multi-sport training academy

Chief Executives: Ted Meekma and Greg Breunich

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

(Estimated, $10 million-plus)

Employees: 200

Founded: 1978 as the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy; purchased by IMG in 1987

Web Site:

The largest multi-sport training academy in the world; includes the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, The Soccer, Baseball, and Basketball Academies, the International Performance Institute, and the Boca Raton-based Evert Tennis Academy; the complex consists of 10,000 students from 70 countries.

138. JIT Glass & Mirror (Manatee)

Manufactures glass and mirrors

President: Jason Suzor

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

Employees: Estimated, 55

Founded: 1998

139. Key Packaging Co., Inc.

Custom plastic vacuum and thermo-forming manufacturer

Chief Executive: Earl Smith

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

(Estimated, $10 million-plus)

Employees: Estimated, 85

Founded: 1970

Web Site:

ISO 9001 compliant; SPI Tina Award winner.

140. Superior Heating & Cooling, Inc.

Sheet metal fabricating, air conditioning and duct work equipment

Vice President: Edward Dieker

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

Employees: Estimated, 100

Founded: 1958

141. Water Equipment Services, Inc.

Manufactures water treatment equipment and odor control scrubbers

President: Anthony DeLoach

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

Employees: Estimated, 70

Founded: 2000

142. Wire-Pro, Inc.

Manufactures wire harnesses, cable assemblies and panels, fiber optics and landscape lighting

Regional Sales Manager: Mark Kichar

Annual Sales: Estimated, $10 million-plus

Employees: Estimated, 150

Founded: 1971

143. Casual Creations

Manufactures aluminum casual furniture

Chief Executive: Arthur James Jr.

Annual Sales: $10 million

Employees: 100

Founded: 1979

Web Site:

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2004.

144. Goodwill Industries-Manasota,Inc.

Social services agency

Chief Executive: the Rev. Donald L. Roberts

Annual Sales: $10 million

Employees: 340

Founded: 1971

Web Site:

145. ParView, Inc.

Provider in-cart GPS management systems for golf courses across the U.S. and world

Chief Executive: Scott Myers

Annual Sales: $10 million

($18 million)

Employees: 40

Founded: 1994

Web Site:

Parview recently partnered with Yamaha Golf Cars.

And here's a behind-the-scenes look at some of our top executives and why their companies are so successful.


In Consumer Reports' 2003 ranking of best meals and deals, First Watch received the highest reader score in any category and the best rating for overall value, knocking off the previous top seed in the "family restaurant" category. Take that, Cracker Barrel (last year's winner).

The company started out in Sarasota barely 20 years ago, and CEO Kenneth Pendery admits, "In the beginning, it was extremely difficult introducing a new concept: breakfast, brunch and lunch." But the dining public finally caught on, and today the company operates 49 First Watch restaurants throughout the Southeast and plans to open five new ones every year.

How does he keep up the pace? "We are consistent," answers Pendery. "We offer great food at a good price. We offer a great quality of life for our employees and we have no intention of changing that." Or of branching out to the evenings. Says Pendery, "We would much rather open a new First Watch serving breakfast, brunch and lunch than one that serves dinner." -Pat Haire


Erik Vonk is a happy CEO. At a time when many companies are still struggling to return to profitability levels of three years ago, Vonk's Bradenton-based Gevity HR-one of the area's largest public companies with close to 1,000 employees (500 in Bradenton)-watched its stock price rise by 460 percent in 12 months. Revenues increased 20 percent from $310 million to $375 million.

Gevity's strength is even more impressive when you remember that only 2 1/2 years ago, it was Staff Leasing, a company struggling to survive. Today, Gevity has a client roster of 6,000 companies and operates in 11 states. Last year was its first full year as an HR outsourcer, completing its transition from insurance and employee benefit-related services to providing the full range of human resources services, everything from benefits to payroll to hiring to writing employee handbooks.

Human resources outsourcing is growing national trend, and Gevity's potential for growth in existing and new markets is vast, Vonk says. Right now, the company is looking for a new home of about 100,000 square feet. "Our lease expires in 2005," he says, "but we will stay in the general area. We've looked at commuting patterns and we don't want to upset too many lives."-Susan Burns



The Hyatt Sarasota, like Sarasota's hospitality industry in general, has been tossed about by "the perfect storm," says Hotel Associates of Sarasota president Charles Githler: a national recession that began in early 2001, the aftershocks of 9/11, and, locally, the introduction of the Ritz-Carlton and greatly expanded Radisson Lido Beach Resort. Hyatt Sarasota revenues for the past 12 months were $14 million, versus $15.1 million the year before. But, with advance bookings climbing, "there's no question we've passed the lull and we're in somewhat of a recovery," Githler says. To position itself for the coming revival, the Hyatt has invested $12.3 million over the past three years in the renovation of all 297 rooms, a new ballroom, pool, parking deck, and landscaping. That's almost as much as the company paid for the hotel nine years ago. Importantly, Githler points out, these tough times for the hospitality industry have had "a political impact. Everyone from retirees to politicians has stopped taking [the positive economic impact of] tourism for granted."-Ilene Denton

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