Florida ‘Companies to Watch’ Event Celebrates Businesses that Create Growth and Foster Innovation

Awards Event Recognizes Companies That Positively Impact Florida’s Future

MELBOURNE, Fla. (December 17, 2010) – Melbourne-based SCB Marketing, an integrated marketing company and publisher of Spacecoast Business and SpaceCoast Living magazines, is among fifty companies from 18 Florida counties to have earned a place in Florida’s inaugural class of “Companies to Watch.” The accolade, presented by GrowFL, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida and ACG Florida, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation and funding support from The Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, recognizes the state’s privately held businesses that employ up to 99 employees and have between $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or capital.

“Firms like these named ‘Companies to Watch’ continue to be the catalyst that is fueling Florida’s emergence from a turbulent national economy,” said Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council. “Congratulations to this exemplary group of Florida businesses that continue to invest in their communities and create new jobs in all corners of our state.”

The “Florida Companies to Watch,” which were named after evaluating more than 310 nominations for the awards, represent industries ranging from alternative energy development to food production and industrial gear makers to information technology firms. The combined impact of the fifty chosen companies is $423 million in total annual revenue; 1,972 full-time equivalent employees and 510 new net jobs created compared to 2009.  From 2006 through 2010, these companies generated $1.4 billion in revenue and added 1,153 employees (both in Florida and out of state), reflecting a 162 percent increase in revenue and 141 percent increase in jobs for the five-year period. That translates into a 32 percent annual revenue growth and 28 percent annual growth in employees.

With major sponsorship support from the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, the Florida Business Incubation Association, Fowler White Boggs, P.A. and the University of Central Florida, the “Florida Companies to Watch” awards program is an initiative developed by the Cassopolis, Mich.-based Edward Lowe Foundation.  The foundation hosts similar programs in Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Additional sponsors include Gulf Power Company, Nperspective, Osceola County Economic Development Department and the University of South Florida.

The fifty “Florida Companies to Watch” will be honored at the awards celebration on February 17 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando.   Tickets for the ceremony and dinner are still available and may be purchased online at www.florida.companiestowatch.org or by calling Lynn Aitken at 407-823-6384.

“Florida Companies to Watch takes a whole-business approach, identifying companies across the state that represent Florida’s future, not just major metropolitan areas,” says Dr. O’Neal. “It shows the economic potential of the entire state as demonstrated by the successes of second-stage companies.  Being selected for the Florida Companies to Watch awards program provides growing businesses the credibility and recognition that distinguish them among their competitors. This statewide event lauds the success of business leaders who have taken their operations to the “second-stage” of growth and hold the potential to continue to create new jobs in their communities and industries, thereby making a difference in regional communities”

In addition to the recognition of being named a Florida Companies to Watch award winner, companies have the opportunity to participate in a leaders retreat attended by former Companies to Watch award recipients from other states at the Edward Lowe Foundation’s Big Rock Valley retreat facility in southwestern Michigan.

List of 2011 Winners:



COMPANY

A.G. Findings & Mfg. Co. Inc.

Aerostar Environmental Serivces, Inc.

Airon Corporation

Alinean, Inc.

Analytics Partners

Ark Naturals Products for Pets

atLarge, Inc.

Avalex Technologies Corporation

B3 Solutions, LLC

Bari Furniture

Bit-Wizards

Blue Streak Couriers

Carter-Health

Compass Solar Energy

DGG Taser and Tactical Supply Inc

E3 Spark Plugs

eBridge Solutions

Engineered Lining Systems

Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS)

Enporion

FreightCenter

GiftRAP Corporation

H2 Performance Consulting Corporation

Haynes Corporation

Hixardt Technologies Inc

COUNTY

Broward

Duval

Brevard

Orange

Duval

Collier

Sarasota

Escambia

Duval

Seminole

Okaloosa

Duval

Orange

Escambia

Duval

St. Johns

Hillsborough

Duval

Orange
Hillsborough

Hillsborough

Martin

Escambia

Collier

Escambia

COMPANY

Impact Lighting Inc.

IMS ExpertServices

Industrial Lighting Products, Inc.

Innovative Data Solutions, Inc.

JVI Appraisal Division, LLC

Keystone Water Company

Lakeside Medical Centers

Media Vista Corporation

Millennium Luxury Coaches

NRI

OmniPoint

OptiGrate Corp

Pharmaworks

Phoenix Ink Corporation

PlusOne Solutions, Inc.

Power Grid Engineering, LLC

Pro Poly of America, Inc.

ReStockIt.com

SCB Marketing

Securboration Inc.

THAT! Company

The DiSTI Corporation

The Kimball Companies

The Launch Pad

VaxDesign Corporation

COUNTY

Orange

Escambia

Seminole

Orange

Seminole

Highlands

Pinellas

Collier

Seminole

Palm Beach

Hillsborough

Orange

Pasco

Sarasota

Orange

Seminole

Marion

Broward

Brevard

Brevard

Lake

Orange

Orange

Pasco

Orange


ABOUT THE EVENT ORGANIZERS

About GrowFL and the Florida Economic Gardening Institute
GrowFL is the official Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program for the State of Florida and a program of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute.  Created in 2009 to stimulate investment in Florida’s economy by providing technical assistance for expanding businesses in the state, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute is headquartered at the University of Central Florida under contract with The Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.  Additional information is available at www.GrowFL.com.

About ACG Florida
ACG Florida is a statewide collaboration of the four Florida chapters of the Association for Corporate Growth – Orlando, North Florida, South Florida and Tampa Bay.  ACG is the global community for middle market M&A dealmakers and business leaders focused on driving growth. ACG members have access to data, content and networking to access capital, make deals and drive corporate growth. Founded in 1954, ACG has grown to more than 13,000 members organized in 55 chapters throughout North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit http://www.acg.org/florida

About the Edward Lowe Foundation
The Edward Lowe Foundation inspired the creation of the Companies to Watch program to celebrate second-stage entrepreneurs and their companies. Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a Michigan-based nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through recognition, education and research with a focus on second-stage companies—those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. The foundation also encourages economic gardening, an entrepreneur-centered strategy providing balance to the traditional approach of business recruitment. For information about the Edward Lowe Foundation, visit www.EdwardLowe.org.