ACS Industries Inc.
A series of strategic changes over the last several years have played a key part in positioning ACS Industries Inc. to generate growing sales, operating profits and ownership value for all shareholders in the company. More than four years ago, the attachment solutions provider assessed the effectiveness of its business model against its belief of how the future might evolve and decided it was time to change. The result of those changes is an opportunity for ACS to capitalize upon its competitive advantage in the markets it serves.
Jim Laber, Jay Mellon
For the past 18 years, AtNetPlus Inc. has helped keep businesses in Northeast Ohio connected, secure and working. Led by President Jim Laber and CEO Jay Mellon, the nine-time Cascade honoree continues to grow. Sales are up 27 percent since 2011 and AtNetPlus has gone from 23 employees to 30 over the past five years. One of the keys to the company’s success is its commitment to maintain high service standards in the areas of attitude, communication, accuracy and efficiency.
BDO, USA LLP
SS&G established a long history of creating strong relationships with closely-held and family-owned businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals in Northeast Ohio. The company, which is a Cascade honoree for the 21st time, is now part of BDO, USA LLP and its Northeast Ohio office is the 10th largest BDO office in the U.S. Its sales have grown by 2,004 percent over the past five years. The firm has built a strong workplace culture that provides its team with access to many opportunities to pursue career growth.
Bober Markey Fedorovich
Richard C. Fedorovich
One of the keys to success at Bober Markey Fedorovich has been the hiring of a formal HR director that has provided infrastructure within departments, streamlined processes and guidance and leadership to the staff and accounting firm as a whole. Previously, HR responsibilities were disseminated amongst several people. The change has reduced onboarding time by 50 percent and decreased the staff turnover rate by 8 percent over the past three years. The staff has grown by 54 percent over the past five years.
Catastrophe Management Solutions LLC
Curtis F. Pilot
Catastrophe Management Solutions LLC maintains a staff of trained and ready employees to be deployed to a major catastrophe within 24 to 48 hours. CMS call center employees must complete a rigorous training program that incorporates comprehensive and interactive learning techniques. Training has been provided to more than 2,700 temporary employees over the past five years, resulting in a professional team committed to customer satisfaction. During the same time period, sales have grown by 63 percent.
Cohen & Co. Ltd.
J. Michael Kolk
Over the past five years, Cohen & Co. Ltd. has watched its sales grow by 25 percent. Now with 400-plus employees across six offices in Ohio, Michigan, New York and Wisconsin, one of the accounting firm’s biggest accomplishments has maintaining a strong culture during this time of exponential growth. One of the keys to achieving this balance is the firm’s commitment to volunteerism, as 75 percent of the firm’s employees regularly take time to give back to their communities.
Community Hospice is a nonprofit community-based hospice and palliative care provider dedicated to bringing peace, hope and compassion to the patients and families that it serves. The organization advocates annually to increase awareness for issues and bills that will continue to add resources and benefits to hospice patients and their families. Community Hospice continues to grow its presence, boosting its staff by 73 percent over the past five years to continue its mission of helping people and their loved ones through a very difficult time.
Corporate Technologies Group Inc.
Brett Harney, Jeff Sumner
Corporate Technologies Group Inc. is now an 11-time Cascade honoree and offers a complete portfolio of products and services that allow customers to effectively outsource the management of their voice and data network services. Led by principals Brett Harney and Jeff Sumner, the company has assembled a team of dedicated professionals that approaches every client and every project, no matter the size, with the same sense of urgency and importance. This philosophy is a key reason sales at CTG are up 42 percent over the past five years.
Daniel’s Amish Collection
Christopher J. Karman
Daniel’s Amish Collection has become a reliable manufacturer of wooden bedroom and dining furniture that continues to grow, experiencing a 214 percent sales increase over the past five years. The company buys more than 75 percent of its supplies locally and estimates that for every job it creates in its factory, at least two to three jobs are created in other local businesses to meet the increased demand. Thus, as Daniel’s Amish Collection grows, so do countless other businesses in Ohio.
Etactics Inc. has more than 2,000 clients and markets its services through agent/manufacturer representative relationships countrywide. An 11-time Cascade honoree as well as past Huntington Legacy Award winner, the company processed nearly 34 million transactions on behalf of its clients during the past year alone. Etactics has seen sales rise by more than 13 percent over the past five years and enhanced its systems in 2015 to provide additional clearinghouse services for small- and medium-sized hospitals.
Great Lakes Fasteners Inc.
Kevin R. Weidinger
Great Lakes Fasteners Inc. is a fastener supply company with offices and two distribution centers in Twinsburg. The company has worked hard to do its part to revitalize Ohio’s economy with job creation, innovation and nimbleness. GLF works diligently to provide its manufacturer and service customers with quality fastener products delivered in a manner that fits their specific business needs. Sales are up 73 percent over the past five years and the staff has grown by 275 percent during the same time period.
Griffith Holdings Inc.
As a family of brands that serves more than 15,000 clients through 400-plus business partners, Griffith Holdings Inc. has a wide array of offerings. GHI combines new media interactive agencies in the web design, digital marketing and custom cloud computing software development space. It also operates a portraiture art studio, a bed and breakfast real estate entity and a workplace violence training organization. Sales are up 434 percent over the past five years as the company has more than doubled its team.
Group Management Services
As Group Management Services marks its 20th anniversary in 2016, the company is growing faster than ever with nearly 200 employees across seven states. The staff has grown by 108 percent over the past five years and sales are up 33 percent over the same time period. During that time, GMS has expanded from having a main office in Richfield, Columbus and Cincinnati to opening offices in Northern Virginia, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, New Jersey and Las Vegas.
InterChez is a full-service national and international logistics, translation and consulting company based in Northeast Ohio. The company offers clients technology-driven solutions that integrate and simplify complex global operations. InterChez adheres to four principles known as dSEC principles – design, source, execute and continuously improve. The company is dedicated to helping the local economy thrive by supporting other companies and organizations in the community. InterChez also does its own part to make this happen by using local businesses and suppliers whenever possible.
J Rayl Transportation
The past five years have been good to J Rayl Transportation, a previous Service Group winner at the Cascade Capital Corp. Business Growth Awards. A graduate of John Carroll University, Rayl began his career in the trucking business at J Rayl in 2002 as the controller and became CEO in 2007. Since 2011, he has led the company to steady growth, boosting sales by nearly 40 percent. Rayl is also active in the community with numerous charitable organizations including Haven of Rest.
Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc.
W. Michael Jarrett
A keen focus on business growth has enabled Jarrett Logistics Systems Inc. to create new marketing initiatives, execute technological improvements, expand its facilities and continue to hire new employees. The 11-time Cascade honoree has grown at an average rate of 14 percent over the past decade and has grown sales by 131 percent since 2011. Staffing has grown by 110 percent over the past five years as Jarrett continues to focus on ways to get its brand in front of more decision makers in the supply chain industry.
Kent Displays Inc.
Dr. Albert M. Green
Kent Displays Inc. exemplifies how a small business manufacturing company in a highly technical, fiercely competitive global industry can evolve and thrive in Ohio. Looking back on the past five years, the flexible electronics company has changed a great deal to design, make, sell and improve novel consumer products with innovative manufacturing operations. The result is a 110 percent growth in sales over the past five years. Boogie Board eWriters are now sold in about 30 countries around the world.
KHM Travel Group
Hard work has paid off at KHM Travel Group, where some of the company’s earliest team members have been promoted to senior leadership roles. Their efforts have helped KHM boost sales by 155 percent over the past five years and grow its staff of travel agents from 3,000 agents in 2011 to 4,000 today. The company is led by President and CEO Rick Zimmerman, who sets the tone for his employees by being the first to arrive in the office in the morning and the last to leave in the evening.
Lead To Conversion LLC
One of the top-rated digital marketing agencies in Northeast Ohio, Lead to Conversion LLC specializes in responsive website design, organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search management, social media marketing and conversion rate optimization. Clients have seen website traffic increases ranging from a modest 15 percent growth to growth in excess of 1,000 percent. The success has helped LTC go from one employee in 2011 to 10 today and grow sales by 414 percent during the same five-year period.
Richard T. Kiko Jr.
Under the leadership of Richard T. Kiko Jr. as CEO, KIKO Co. has moved into a new office building in Canton and expanded its geographic footprint with the addition of an office in Tuscarawas County. The auction company started its own sign shop in 2014 to produce its own auction and real estate signs, resulting in better quality and costs as well as faster installation times. Over the past five years, sales have grown by 67 percent.
Kevin R. Weidinger
Growth at Laudan Properties has been made possible largely by the real estate company’s ability to rapidly recruit, train and motivate its diverse contractor network. Laudan presently has more than 150 contractors in 17 states. In addition, the company leverages cloud computing and mobile technology to link contractors to the home office and then the client. Sales have grown by 823 percent since 2011 and the company has gone from six to 26 employees during the same time period.
Leppo Group Inc.
William “Glenn” Leppo
Leppo Group Inc.’s most significant achievement during the past five years has been growing significantly while simultaneously undergoing the difficult transition away from a family-managed “benevolent dictatorship.” Today, the company has sales growth of 100 percent over the past five years and a leadership team of two family members and four non-family members that set the construction equipment company’s strategic direction. A business operations team of 10 non-family members leads the teams that implement the strategies and run the stores.
Main Street Gourmet LLC
Steve Marks and Harvey Nelson
The culture at Main Street Gourmet LLC promotes an entrepreneurial spirit as well as the belief that employees must have a sense of satisfaction in their job. The concept has produced results with a very low rate of turnover and a significant amount of promotion from within the company. Sales have grown 44 percent over the past five years and the staff has grown by nearly 28 percent during the same period. Main Street Gourmet helps customers be more successful and is a leader in its industry and in the community.
Marling Engle takes an entrepreneurial approach to everyday business problems, a key reason why Metisentry has been able to grow its sales by 177 percent over the past five years. Led by Engle, the company’s founder and CEO, Metisentry has become a leading force in web and software development, helping businesses improve inefficiencies and solve problems that exist in the marketplace. The company moved into a new space in downtown Akron in 2015, staking permanent roots in a community that it hopes to strengthen in multiple ways.
National Interstate Co.
Despite a challenging economic environment and headwinds in the property/casualty insurance marketplace, National Interstate Co. saw sales and staffing grow by 38 percent and 42 percent respectively over the past five years. Growth has also been achieved in the benefits packages the company offers to its employees. By taking an all-encompassing approach to wellness that goes beyond traditional health and fitness, employees can be more focused on career growth and financial wellness.
Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products
Darlene Swiatkowski, Joseph Swiatkowski and Michael Swiatkowski
In 2013, Ohio Hickory Harvest Brand Products expanded its 30,000 square-foot facility by 17,000 square feet to add much-needed office space for new employees, as well as production and warehouse space. The company also invested in capital equipment, adding two new form and seal packaging machines and another nut roaster. The addition of these three machines increased production capability by 50 percent and sales are up 54 percent over the past five years.
Open Practice Solutions LTD.
Open Practice Solutions Ltd. has accomplished a great deal over the past five years, providing continuous improvement to the financial management tools that independent physicians need to survive and thrive in an increasingly difficult market. The company has grown sales by 319 percent since 2011 and has gone from eight to 17 employees. By focusing on providing the best client experience possible, leadership is confident OPS is poised for even more robust growth in the years ahead.
Representing the best outdoor products, building lasting relationships and providing innovative and powerful marketing expertise are some of Outtech Inc.’s greatest strengths. Outtech works with retailers in the outdoor industry, paying attention to daily sales trends and helping to set manufacturing partners apart from the competition. Sales have grown by 87 percent since 2011 and Outtech’s staff has grown from 40 to 66 employees during that time.
Peoples Services Inc.
Douglas J. Sibila
Peoples Services Inc. has grown through acquisition several times over the past five years and often found that these newly acquired companies had customers that were existing PSI customers. It enabled the third-party logistics company to enhance its services with better communication and more in-house services. Sales during this time have grown by 38 percent and many customers have requested that PSI open and run additional facilities exclusively for their materials and goods.
QualCare LLC, dba HomeInstead Senior Care
QualCare LLC, dba HomeInstead Senior Care is proud of the business it has become and the growth it has achieved, with both sales and staffing increasing by more than 10 percent over the last five years. But President Therese Zdesar takes even greater pride in the company’s ability to make a difference in the lives of its seniors. With the support of the community, the company has provided wrapped gifts and companionship visits for nearly 5,000 needy seniors for the past 13 years.
Risk International Holdings Inc.
Michael D. Davis, David P. O’Brien and Todd Miller
Risk International Holdings Inc. is an independent, outsourced risk management and benefits services provider for Fortune 500 and mid-market enterprises with complex risk management and benefits challenges. The company’s no-commission, fee-for-service model ensures objective advice. In 1985, Zapata Corp. moved its risk management department out of the corporation, giving birth to Risk International Services. The company became independent in August 1986. Sales are up 215 percent since 2011 and personnel has grown by 179 percent in the same time period.
Ritzman Pharmacies Inc.
Ritzman Pharmacies Inc. has grown from one location in downtown Wadsworth to 25 pharmacy locations across Northeast Ohio. The company offers natural, organic, gluten-free, vegetarian and locally made items that are not typically found in conventional pharmacies. Since it was established in 1950, Ritzman has been family-owned and operated and has built a team of pharmacists and associates that are committed to providing superior customer service. Sales are up 123 percent since 2011 and staffing has grown by nearly 29 percent.
Perspective can make a big difference when looking at the impact data centers have on a local economy. SecureData 365 has grown from 10 to 20 employees since 2011, but its role as a job multiplier can be easily overlooked. More than 2,200 IT technicians came to work at the company’s Canton data center in 2014, which equals more than 130 times its employee base. These professionals rely on data centers for employment and the opportunity to contribute to the local economy.
Sequoia Financial Group
Sequoia Financial Group employs a three-tiered strategic plan to provide exemplary service to its customers and meet its goal of 100 percent revenue growth over the next five years after growing by 91 percent since 2011. The nine-time Cascade honoree recently acquired two wealth management firms and has dedicated one of its employees to focus solely on acquisition development. Sequoia has also hired six new advisers as well as six interns to aid in the operations of daily planner needs.
Shoemaker Rigging & Transport
Shoemaker Rigging & Transport is confident it has the vision and the leadership to become a leader in the markets it serves, specifically heavy machinery/equipment rigging in North America. The company grew from six employees in 2014 to 25 employees in 2015, with 85 percent of its new hires being previously unemployed riggers and millwrights. Shoemaker was recognized as a vision builder in 2015 and 2016 by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and is also a strong supporter of local charities.
Clients of Squints Inc. rely on the company to fully manage, build, test and scale their lead follow-up campaigns via phone calls, short message service (SMS) and email. The company’s software is built to increase lead conversions while lowering complaints and give clients the means to hold tens of thousands of conversations with customers at once without sacrificing quality. The team at Squints follows the same ‘work hard, play hard’ mantra, fostering a culture in which employees challenge each other to improve each day.
Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research Inc.
The management team at Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research Inc. has made it a practice to be conscious stewards of their finances, both as business owners and as engaged corporate citizens. This effort has positioned Synergy to be a strong supporter of philanthropy in the Akron and Cleveland areas. It also fosters a strong culture made up of employees who can help large organizations and institutions earn the same level of trust, loyalty and passion from their own customers and employees.
Welty Building Co.
Welty Building Co.’s growth in office locations since 2012 has been a direct result of its focus on strategy and innovation. One of the company’s biggest success stories was its work on the new Akron Children’s Hospital expansion. Welty became the first in the state of Ohio to incorporate Integrated Lean Project Delivery (ILPD) into the project. It saved $64 million from the project’s original budget while adding scope to the work. The good work Welty has done has enabled a larger team, with the staff growing from 58 to 138 employees since 2011.
Wheaton & Sprague Engineering Inc.
John L. Wheaton
After the stock market crash in 2008, Wheaton & Sprague Engineering Inc. made a strategic decision to become a different and more focused company. WS eliminated two divisions to focus entirely on becoming experts in the building envelope industry. Sales have grown by 116 percent since 2011 and this fall, WS will move into a new building in Stow that will fit its growing team of employees.
WhiteSpace Creative is an integrated team of brand builders and difference makers in Akron that collaborates with a diverse client base ranging from global corporations and major universities to local startups and nonprofit organizations. President Keeven White is committed to seeing that this work contributes to the local economy. He has launched a multi-phase development project on Akron’s Furnace Street that will house the entire WhiteSpace team, as well as restore a part of Akron’s history to its former glory.
John Bernatovicz founded Willory in 2010 and credits an inspiration from his wife, Emily, for the naming of the firm. Willory is a combination of the names of their children, Will and Mallory. It’s an acknowledgement that each and every client needs to be treated with distinct care. The company has become one of the leading HR and payroll staffing firms in the nation as sales have grown by 274 percent and employee count by 386 percent since 2011.