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Published: Friday, 8/22/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Inc. shines light on 14 local firms

Magazine names 5,000 fastest growing companies in U.S.

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Like last year, 14 northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan companies have made Inc. magazine’s 2014 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing firms in America.

But this year’s contingent includes five companies who made the list for the first time, and another that rejoined the list this year after missing out in 2013.

Making the list for the eighth consecutive year was Centra-Comm Inc., a Findlay-based IT firm that was founded in 2001, made the Inc. 5,000 in 2007, and has been there ever since.

“We continue to roll out new products and service. And, we’re in a really big state,” CentraComm president Mark Robinson said.

The company, which is No. 2,598 on the Inc. 5,000, secures, manages, and hosts high performance IT networks for firms and organizations in the health care, financial services, energy, education, and manufacturing sectors.

“Networking and IT security, every organization needs it and can’t get enough help with it. And we provide that,” Mr. Robinson said. According to Inc., CentraComm posted growth of 144 percent between 2010 and 2013, a period in which its annual revenues grew from $7.6 million to $18.7 million. It has added nine employees since 2010 and now has 33 total.

Mr. Robinson said CentraComm has found that expanding slowly and deliberately into new territories has been a key to its sustained growth.

Beginning in Findlay and northwest Ohio, it has expanded to Columbus, Cleveland, and Detroit. Most recently, its Cleveland technicians started servicing businesses in Pittsburgh.

But the company will continue with deliberate growth, which should keep it on the Inc. list for several more years.

“Our limits will be as big as we’re comfortable with. You sort of lose a lot of who you are when you get too big,” Mr. Robinson said.

Two companies that made the list for the sixth straight year were NovaVision, Inc. of Bowling Green, which makes holographic security stickers and labels, at No. 3,812, and dietary and nutritional supplements manufacturer Uckele Health & Nutrition Inc., of Blissfield, Mich., at No. 4,532.

The five regional newcomers to Inc.’s list were NZR Retail of Toledo Inc., a fuel distribution company, at No. 2,380; Proforma Diversified Corporate Solutions, of Lima, a maker of promotional products, printing, and signage, at No. 2,839; Material Handling Services, of Perrysburg, a facility services company, at No. 3,677; DiggyPOD Inc., of Tecumseh, Mich., an online company that specializes in book printing for authors who self-publish, at No. 3,786, and Advanta Industries Inc., of Petersburg, Mich., a designer and maker of custom steel products for the auto, industrial, and defense sectors, at No. 4,234.

Returning to the list after missing out last year was Endevis of Toledo, a talent acquisition and business placement firm, at No. 3,423.

On the list for the fifth straight year were two Toledo-based companies, ESD Inc., a health-care IT consulting firm, at No. 2,826, and Burkett Restaurant Equipment Inc., at No. 3,213.

Three other local companies that made repeat appearances on the list were the Douglas Co., of Holland, a commercial construction company that specializes in senior living and affordable housing, at No. 3,246; American Posts LLC of Toledo, a maker of steel u-posts for the lawn and garden industry, at No. 3,272, and trucking and logistics company Bolt Express LLC of Toledo, at No. 4,218.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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