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Published: Friday, 8/24/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

11 area firms on Inc.'s 5,000 fastest growing

Findlay computer security firm on list 6th straight year

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Nine companies from northwest Ohio and two from southeast Michigan have been named to Inc. magazine's 2012 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the nation.

Of the 11 area firms making the list, nine are repeat members of the Inc. 5,000, while two made it for the first time. No area companies were named to the more prestigious "Inc. 500" list of the fastest-growing companies, which debuted in 1982.

SEE HOW THEY GROW

Area companies on the Inc. 5,000 list. They are listed by rank, company name, location, industry, 2011 revenue, and revenue growth between 2008 and 2011:

No. 971, Lightning Quick Gas N Go, Adrian, Mich., retail, $18.6 million, 332%

No. 1,087, Endevis, Maumee, human resources, $5.7 million, 292 percent

No. 1,535, Burkett Restaurant Equipment, Toledo, business products and services, $17.8 million, 193 percent

No. 1,595, Bolt Express, Toledo, logistics and transportation, $42.6 million, 184 percent

No. 1,596, WeFulFillit.com, Toledo, logistics and transportation, $2.3 million, 184 percent

No. 1675, ESD, Toledo, health, $26.3 million, 172 percent

No. 2,785, CentraComm Communications, Findlay, information technology services, $11.7 million, 83 percent

No. 3,053, NovaVision, Bowling Green, manufacturing, $7.6 million, 70 percent

No. 3,097, Uckele Health & Nutrition, Blissfield, Mich., health, $15 million, 69 percent

No. 4,875, SSOE, Toledo, engineering, $120.4 million, 9 percent

No. 4,877, Root Inc., Sylvania, business products and services, $25.5 million, 9 percent

However, CentraComm, a Findlay firm that provides security for business computer networks, was named to the Inc. 5,000 for the sixth straight time, making it the only area business to make the list every year since it was introduced in 2007.

The company, which was founded in 2001, was ranked No. 2,785 on the list, growing 83 percent from 2008 to 2011. It had $11.7 million in revenues last year and has added four employees over the last three years, giving it a total of 23. In 2007, it debuted on the Inc. 5,000 at No. 1,059 with 2006 revenues of $3.2 million and 10 employees.

Making the Inc. 5,000 for the fourth straight time were holographic image-maker NovaVision Inc., of Bowling Green; health products maker Uckele Health & Nutrition, of Blissfield, Mich., and engineering and architectural firm SSOE Inc., of Toledo.

Making the Inc. 5,000 list for the first time were WeFulFillit.com, of Toledo, a packing and shipping service firm, and Root Inc., of Sylvania, a consulting firm that helps businesses with strategies, training, and management techniques.

Mike Messmer, vice president and general manager of NovaVision, said the Bowling Green company's four-year streak on the Inc. 5,000 is no coincidence.

"I guess the primary secret is we keep introducing new products and keep improving on the products we have. If you can improve your products even when the market is flat, the customers will appreciate those improved products," he said.

And making constant improvement is a work necessity at NovaVision -- the holographic stickers and images it produces are used as seals of authenticity and a proven method to foil counterfeiters. Criminals are always improving their counterfeiting techniques, so NovaVision is constantly responding to keep ahead of forgers, Mr. Messmer said.

NovaVision also helped secure its spot on this year's list by an acquisition that added 100 new customers and expanded the company's products and sales force. As a result, it hired 15 workers, accounting for part of its 70 percent growth over the last three years.

Despite four years on the list, NovaVision doesn't plan any special celebration, Mr. Messmer said. "I'm holding out for five years in a row. I figure the first four were not that meaningful and my understanding is that there are only 500 or so companies that have made the list five years in a row," he said.

"We'll have a little bigger celebration when we do that. And I'm very confident we'll do that," Mr. Messmer said. "I'm predicting next year we'll do our best growth ever, and this year we had record sales."

The other area firms reappearing on the Inc. 5,000 were delivery firm Lightning Quick Gas N Go, of Adrian, Mich.; Endevis, of Toledo; Burkett Restaurant Equipment Co., of Toledo; Bolt Express, of Toledo, and ESD Inc. of Toledo.

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

 



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