Editor's Notebook

Photography by Rebecca Baxter By Susan Burns June 30, 2011

We’ve been highlighting the region’s top companies in an annual issue for a decade now, and it is always our most-requested issue of the year. Newcomers to the region, bankers, marketing pros, economic development people—they all find value in a list that ranks leading companies by gross revenue. They use the list to recruit other companies here, to job hunt, as a networking tool and for sales leads. But we think the list is valuable for anyone who does business or lives here. It’s a well-researched snapshot of who the powerhouse companies in our 941 area code are, what they do and how they’re faring. And because we also provide comparisons with the previous year, interviews with top CEOs, charts and sidebars about industries and companies, the list is a barometer of the strength of our local economy.

Associate editor Hannah Wallace, who has been in charge of this ambitious task for the last six years, did her usual thorough job of sleuthing and following up, and we’re proud to say that 53 of our 58 top companies reported their 2010 calendar year revenues. (We estimate revenues for the others, using a variety of sources.) We especially appreciate the companies who are willing to report when their revenues are down. This shows their commitment to transparency and to providing accurate information; it’s a mark of corporate integrity.

The good news is that the vast majority of the companies on this list have reported increases in revenues over their 2009 calendar year number. Only 16 have reported a decline and, not surprisingly, six of those are linked to construction. Indeed, construction, which was our No. 1 industry for many years, has fallen to our No. 3 industry on the list. Other industry sectors—especially manufacturing and business services—are becoming a bigger part of the economy here, and in many ways, that’s a good thing.

We also note that only five of our top 58 companies are headed up by women: Michael Saunders of Michael Saunders & Company, Judy Green of Signature Sotheby’s, Sarah Peel of Administrative Concepts Corp., Deborah Pfeifle of Gould & Lamb (interview on page 24) and Alexandra Miller of Mercedes Medical. We’d definitely like to see some improvement in that number.

And finally, we know that there are top companies out there whom we’ve missed, or for whom we had no reliable 2010 estimate. If you see any oversights or new companies we should consider, please let us know.

For now, enjoy these long, sunny days. Biz(941) won’t be publishing in August, since we’ll be working nonstop the rest of the summer on an exciting new plan to revamp our look and content. See you in September!

Filed under
Show Comments