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10:08am EDT July 22, 2002
Louis Perry Sr. doubled his company's revenues last year, but he'll tell you he had no choice.

Perry, founder and president of Louis Perry & Associates, created his firm in 1985 after 30 years of designing and overseeing construction of rubber and plastics facilities worldwide for Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.

With his core business of designing and managing the construction of new tire, rubber and plastics manufacturing plants, Perry enjoyed 12 years of steady growth and an international client base. By last year, however, Perry says he had to broaden his services.

"Clients keep saying, 'Jeez, you're doing the design and someone else is doing the construction.' What's happening in the industry is people want single-source responsibility," he says. "If you don't do design/build, you don't get the design part."

So Perry added a design/build subsidiary, The Perry Group Ltd., which generated $5 million its first year-nearly half of the parent company's $11 million revenue in 1997.

Today the company employs 103 full time-Perry is especially proud that some 30 percent are older workers who lost their jobs during the demise of Akron's rubber industry. Perry says that expertise and depth has helped the company build an international reputation for engineering and a resume that spans the globe.