If the 49 top companies on this year’s list are indicative, the economic recovery in Southwest Florida is not only real, it’s spread across myriad industries.
Nearly 80 percent of the businesses—including construction, hospitality and health care organizations—reported revenue increases in their most recent fiscal years. These sectors are among the region’s strongest economic boosters.
The same five companies from last year’s list—Health Management Associates, Lee Memorial Health System, Chico’s FAS, NCH Healthcare System and Arthrex Inc.—are in the area’s billion-dollar-or-more club when it comes to revenue, with HMA jumping to $5.9 billion from last year’s $5.1 billion.
The top seven companies, in fact, remain in precisely the same order as 2012, with the first change coming at position No. 8, where Collier County-based Stock Development now sits. WCI Communities climbs one spot to No. 9, while Fifth Third Bank completes the top 10 after placing eighth last year.
A handful of other businesses are new to the list, while some from last year are absent because of changes in their individual situations or a decision not to participate.
The list is compiled from information provided by privately held companies and from public information where it’s available. Results are based on gross revenue, with a minimum requirement of $6 million.
The net income—whether companies made a profit or experienced a loss—is not presented. Also, the companies provided their descriptions.
Read on for the 2013 list of Southwest Florida’s top companies.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
1 HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES
Gary D. Newsome
Named to Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies list. The Joint Commission recognized 64 percent of HMA’s hospitals as Top Performers on key quality measures and several of its hospitals were named to US News & World Report’s list of best regional hospitals.
2 LEE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SYSTEM
James R. Nathan
The health system includes four acute-care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehab hospital, physician practices, several outpatient diagnostic facilities, two wellness centers, a home health agency and a skilled nursing facility; and provides services unique to the region, including a trauma center, regional cancer center, regional perinatal intensive care center, neonatal intensive care unit and kidney transplant program.
3 CHICO’S FAS
David F. Dyer
A specialty retailer of private-branded women’s clothing, intimates, complementary accessories and other non-clothing gift items. It began as a small boutique on Sanibel Island and today operates stores in 48 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico under the Chico’s, White House | Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper names.
4 NCH HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
The system includes hospitals in downtown Naples and North Naples with a total of 715 beds collaborating with 650 physicians to provide more than 145,692 census days to patients each year. Outpatient facilities include walk-in centers, wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, wound care facilities and infusion centers in Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs and Estero.
5 ARTHREX INC.
Arthrex is a world leader in orthopedic product development and medical education for orthopedic surgeons. More than 7,000 products for arthroscopic and minimally invasive orthopedic surgical procedures have been developed by Arthrex and are currently marketed worldwide. Recent expansion projects include the 240,000-square-foot Arthrex Logistics Center, which opened in early 2012 in Lee County.
6 LEE COUNTY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE (LCEC)
LCEC is a not-for-profi t electric distribution cooperative serving nearly 200,000 customers throughout a fi ve-county area in Southwest Florida. The service territory includes Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Marco Island, Sanibel and Captiva islands, Pine Island, Everglades City, Immokalee, Ave Maria and parts of Lehigh Acres. Thousands of volunteer hours and funds are contributed to many agencies, programs and project to help energize those communities.
7 ASG SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS
Arthur L. Allen
ASG Software Solutions is a recognized innovator in enterprise IT and business software solutions. For over 25 years, it has been helping 85 percent of the world’s most complex IT organizations improve business agility. It offers comprehensive solutions for cloud computing and data management.
8 STOCK DEVELOPMENT
Brian K. Stock
Stock has received local, state and national awards over the last decade, including builder of the year, developer of the year and several community of the year awards. The company gives back to its home region and has sponsored many local charities. Most recently, Stock (along with the team at Builder’s Care) built a 2,000-square-foot house in 17 days for a family in need.
9 WCI COMMUNITIES
Keith E. Bass
WCI is a lifestyle community developer and luxury homebuilder, catering to move-up, second-home and active adult homebuyers. It offers traditional single- and multifamily home choices with prices from approximately $160,000 to more than $1 million. In addition to homebuilding and development, WCI generates revenues from its real estate brokerage business, the second largest brokerage in Florida.
10 FIFTH THIRD BANK
Fifth Third Bancorp is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, has $121 billion in assets and operates 18 affiliates with 1,320 full-service banking centers. Fifth Third Bank has been headquartered in Naples since 1991, has more than 65 banking centers and nearly 600 employees serving Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It earned a 2013 Gallup Great Workplace Award, recognizing accomplishments that drive a high level of employee engagement at the bank.
Supply chain management
In 1998, LeeSar & Cooperative Services of Florida was formed by Lee Memorial Health System and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. It serves as a regional service center for centralized purchasing, inventory management, distribution and customer service, surgical pack manufacturing, pharmaceutical bulk repackaging, centralized record retention and management and courier service.
12 MANHATTAN CONSTRUCTION
Manhattan Construction’s building portfolio includes corporate headquarters, institutional, health care, offi ce, hospitality and leisure, sports and entertainment, aviation, retail and judicial facilities throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It was recently recognized with seven awards by the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Gulf Coast chapter.
13 HOPE HEALTHCARE SERVICES
Samira K. Beckwith
Hope HealthCare Services is a registered d/b/a of Hope Hospice and Community Services Inc., a not-for-profi t, 501 (c)(3) community-based agency. Hope Hospice, a program of Hope HealthCare Services, is accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program, the national leader in improving the quality of care in the home-care industry, and is a recipient of numerous national awards for excellence and innovation in patient care.
14 ALICO INC.
Alico is known for its legacy of achievement and innovation in citrus, sugarcane, cattle and resource conservation. Its mission is to create value for customers, clients and shareholders by seeking new holdings, managing company lands to their highest and best returns, and producing high-quality agricultural products while exercising responsible environmental stewardship.
15 BEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP INC.
George G. Beasley
Beasley has served listeners and advertisers in large and small communities across America for more than half a century. It operates 44 radio stations (28 FM and 16 AM) in 11 radio markets, including Fort Myers-Naples; Atlanta; Augusta, Ga.; Boston; Fayetteville, N.C.; Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, N.C.; Las Vegas; Miami-Fort Lauderdale; Philadelphia; West Palm Beach-Boca Raton;and Wilmington, Del.
16 DEANGELIS DIAMOND CONSTRUCTION INC.
DeAngelis Diamond was founded by David Diamond and John DeAngelis in 1996 and built on seven core values: faith in God, honor to build, lasting relationships, excellence and quality, leadership, healthy environment and culture, and integrity. It has completed more than a billion dollars’ worth of construction projects throughout Florida and is a top-ranked company in the southeast United States, receiving numerous Sand Dollar, Summit and Aurora awards.
17 SCOTT FISCHER ENTERPRISES
Scott Fischer Enterprises’ founder, Scott Fischer, was an Enduro racer and raced motorcross and then entered the motorsports business sweeping fl oors at a store in Ohio. After working for a few years at various other dealerships, he earned the opportunity to move to Florida as the general manager of West Coast Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson in 1987. He and a partner purchased the company soon after.
18 DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT GROUP LLC
Thomas J. Harrison
Discovery Management Group is a developer, builder and operator of luxury senior-living communities, focusing on independent living and assisted living. The company developed, built and currently operates six communities in Florida under the Aston Gardens brand name. This fall, Discovery Village at The Forum, a new assisted living community in Fort Myers, will be opening and Discovery Village at Naples will also be breaking ground. Discovery has won multiple awards from National Association of Home Builders, senior housing council; the Southeast Builders Conference Aurora Awards; and the National Mature Media’s marketing awards.
19 PREMIER SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
The firm has more than 450 sales associates and 19 offi ces in Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel, Captiva, Clearwater, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Longboat Key, Venice and South Tampa, with headquarters in Naples. Premier Sotheby’s International Realty is a division of The Lutgert Companies, which has operated in Southwest Florida since 1964.
Alan Jarrett and Jim Larkin concede that the local hospitality industry, despite its significant contribution to Southwest Florida’s economy, was not immune from the recent downturn.
What their jobs entailed, however, was making sure the customers arriving at the front desk were oblivious to any ongoing frazzle on the other side of the office door.
#26 Cooper Hotel's Alan Jarrett
“It really was a challenging time,” says Larkin, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fort Myers and president of the Lee County Hotel Association. “Time management was more at a premium for managers who had to fill in with a lot of the front-line work.
“They do a lot of that sort of work anyway, but instead of covering a four-hour shift, back then it was closer to seven or eight hours. We all picked up extra workload, but we tried our best not to let it impact the services that we offered.”
The Crowne Plaza is among the gems of the local Cooper Hotels enterprise, which operates four hotels in Lee County and one in Collier. Cooper reported $27.8 million in Lee/Collier revenue for the 2011 fiscal year, then jumped to $31.3 million in 2012. The company employs 464 locally. Jarrett, who’s the regional director of operations for the Memphis-based company and also works in Fort Myers, says the problems were in some respects similar to those encountered by the housing industry.
“It really wreaked a lot of havoc,” he says. “In 2007 and 2008, it was like the residential crisis because hotels were being built at full speed with no regard to what was about to be faced. The Fort Myers market alone saw 20 new inland hotels, and all of a sudden the business became all about survival.
“Our company has been in business for more than 50 years, so we tightened our belts and worked through it. We had to cut back hours at properties, but we continued on. No one was unharmed.”
That said, now that conditions have improved, the company is still managing to approach previous efficiency levels with fewer employees—a good thing for the bottom line.
“We’re still operating in a more frugal manner than we did prior to it all occurring,” Larkin says. “We have brought back staffing levels above what they may have been two years ago, but we have not brought back all the positions. We seem to have found a more happy medium, and if there are specific challenges, we have the flexibility to make adjustments.”
20 NEOGENOMICS LABORATORIES INC.
Douglas M. VanOort
NeoGenomics is a high-complexity certifi ed clinical laboratory that specializes in cancer genetics diagnostic testing, the fastest-growing segment of the laboratory industry. The company’s testing services include cytogenetics, fluorescence in-situ hybridization, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, anatomic pathology and molecular genetic testing.
21 B&I CONTRACTORS
B & I Contractors is an award-winning full-service mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractor specializing in commercial, institutional and industrial construction, restoration and service for more than half a century. Corporate headquarters are located in Fort Myers, with satellite offi ces in Sarasota and Broward counties. It’s been recognized in 2013 with an ABC Excellence in Construction Eagle Award, an ABC Excellence in Construction Merit Award and was ranked 17th among the top 50 contractors by Business Observer.
Kevin Lewis didn’t start out looking for a job in mental health/substance abuse treatment, but once he became immersed in it, he was all in.
“I was working on an internship at a state alcoholic treatment center while pursuing my master’s degree [from Florida State University], and I found that the patients were different than what I’d expected,” he says. “They were bright and they had upside potential, and they came from all walks of life.
#27 SalusCare Inc. chief executive Kevin Lewis
“I was instantly enamored with that, and with being involved in treating them.”
That was 30 years ago.
These days, Lewis maintains his personal mandate as chief executive of SalusCare Inc., the Lee County-based organization that sprang from the official merger earlier this year of Lee Mental Health Center Inc. (founded in 1969) and Southwest Florida Addiction Services (founded in 1980).
The merger talks between the individual boards of directors were initiated in October 2011, and the transaction progressed when the decision was made that patient needs could be better met by a joint entity.
SalusCare now serves nearly 17,000 individuals yearly from seven locations in Lee County and two more in Hendry County. It projects gross revenue of $29.84 million for the current fiscal year, a 6.2 percent jump from $28.11 million last year.
Lewis joined the combined company from the Southwest Florida Addiction Services side, where he’s spent the bulk of his time since arriving in Florida from his native Michigan in 1977.
Both he and Lee Mental Health Center’s top man, David Winters, are graduates of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., but they never knew each other in school and weren’t aware of the shared background until it came up in conversation at a local function a few years ago.
“The hope is that through exposure to what we do, you’ll find a fit,” Lewis says, referring to ongoing challenges to maintain a workforce with the skills necessary to succeed in the field. The people who experience it never let it go. Our medical director has been with us 31 years. He took a part-time job and found an affinity and discovered things that he’d never planned on.”
An increased necessity for preventative care came out of the Great Recession, claims Lewis, who says times of economic hardship tend to make people concentrate less on non-emergency concerns. Also, he says integration with other healthcare providers will be increased going forward, after years of more silo-like operations.
“Ten years ago, everyone was set up separately,” he says. “Five years ago, the care was parallel. Today and going forward, we’re much more integrated. I can envision sitting at a table making patient treatment plans with all parties involved. The care will be much more effective, and costs will be lower.”
Professional employment service
A full-service professional employer organization providing high-touch customizable human resources, payroll and employee benefi ts solutions to businesses throughout North America. APVeritas specializes in 100-plus employee organizations and partners with clients to maximize the ability to attract and retain the talent and create long-term operating leverage by managing the cost of employment on an outsourced basis.
23 (tie) OWEN-AMES-KIMBALL COMPANY
David J. Dale
Owen-Ames-Kimball celebrated 30 years in Southwest Florida in 2012 with a primary focus of giving back to the communities it serves—including donating blankets to the Salvation Army, adding books to the shelves at the Guadalupe Center of Immokalee, and collecting and delivering 971 pounds of food to Harry Chapin Food Bank. The company also earned a 2012 Safety Star Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors Association.
23 (tie) RIB CITY
Paul D. Peden
The company that began as a family-owned local barbecue restaurant eventually grew into a chain and is now a nationwide franchise. Since 2004, Rib City has opened franchises in Colorado, Utah, Ohio, Washington, Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia and Illinois. There are 13 corporate restaurants in Florida and 15 franchise restaurants across the country. In 2011, Restaurant Business magazine ranked Rib City as the 11th fastest-growing restaurant chain.
25 HSA ENGINEERS & SCIENTISTS
Richard G. Lewis
HSA is headquartered in Tampa, but its water resources and architectural engineering services are headquartered in Fort Myers. It also provides environmental and forensic engineering services. It has access to more than 200 engineering professionals throughout the state and is supported by a staff of more than 3,000 worldwide, with access to engineers, scientists, and technicians for virtually any engineering service.
26 COOPER HOTELS
The Memphis-based company, which has a Southwest Florida division, was formed in 1962 with the purchase of a Holiday Inn franchise for Gatlinburg, Tenn. It reached Southwest Florida in 1987 and operates the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops, Homewood Suites Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops, Hilton Naples, Homewood Suites Fort Myers Airport/FGCU and the Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers Airport/FGCU.
27 SALUSCARE INC.
Mental health treatment
Kevin B. Lewis
SalusCare was formed in 2013 as a result of the merger of Lee Mental Health Center Inc. (founded in 1969) and Southwest Florida Addiction Services (founded in 1980). The organization serves nearly 17,000 individuals every year from seven locations in Lee County and two in Hendry County. It provides mental health and substance abuse treatment for all ages in outpatient, inpatient and community-based settings.
28 HEALTHCARE NETWORK OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
Richard B. Akin
Collier Health Services Inc. (d/b/a Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida) was founded as a nonprofi t organization in 1977 by a group of community leaders to address the health issues of migrant and seasonal farm workers, rural poor and other citizens in Collier County. Its first facilities were two small trailers in Immokalee. It has grown to 13 locations throughout Collier County, including the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile.
29 GUEST SERVICES INC.
The company’s hospitality division, responsible for operations throughout the United States, is based in Naples. Guest Services supplies hospitality management services across a wide variety of client sites including government and business dining facilities, museums, hotels, resorts, conference centers, luxury condominiums, senior living centers, health care systems, state and national park recreation, school and university dining facilities, specialty retail stores and full-service restaurants.
30 CONDITIONED AIR CORPORATION OF NAPLES INC.
W. Theodore Etzel III
Conditioned Air is a full-service residential and light commercial HVACR company, including scheduled maintenance, emergency service, replacement systems, indoor air quality enhancements, new construction and design/build engineering services. It’s headquartered in Collier County, with divisional offices and staff in Lee and Sarasota counties and clients from Bradenton to Marco Island.
31 SCOTLYNN USA DIVISION INC.
The freight brokerage and trucking fi rm specializes in perishable commodities and is headquartered in Lee County, with a sister company in Ontario. It added 300 percent more square footage to its Fort Myers offi ce in 2012, raised money/participated in the 2012 Lee County Heart Walk and was named a Top 100 Logistics Provider by Food Logistics magazine.
32 PREFERRED TRAVEL OF NAPLES INC.
Preferred Travel is Southwest Florida’s largest full-service luxury travel agency. Its 30 consultants have a collective 200-plus years in travel, have been to every continent, sailed on all major cruise lines and are personally known to travel leaders in the luxury cruise, tour and hotel industry. President and CEO Wilma Boyd’s career in travel has stretched for more than 40 years and she wrote a book, Travel Agent.
33 ADVANCED ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS LLC
The company is marketed as Advanced ESI in Florida and Accent ESI in Pennsylvania and Ohio. It’s been named by Inc. magazine as one of America’s fastest-growing privately held businesses for fi ve consecutive years and has been recognized as one of America’s largest system integration fi rms by SDM magazine, CE Pro magazine and SCN magazine, top publications in the residential and commercial system integration field.
Kathleen van Bergen
Formerly the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Artis—Naples is a nonprofi t cultural organization that creates and presents performing and visual arts in a single complex. It is home to the Naples Philharmonic, the Baker Museum and a variety of education and community events. In addition to the 1,425-seat Hayes Hall and 283-seat Daniels Pavilion, the campus has a 30,000-square-foot museum with multiple galleries on three floors and the Toni Stabile Education building, which hosts many lifelong learning lectures and classes.
35 FORESTRY RESOURCES INC.
Landscape product manufacturer
Forestry Resources was formed in 1983 with a single mission: to do something to slow the spread of the melaleuca tree, an invasive species introduced in the 1920s by federal foresters looking for a way to dry up the Everglades. The company ruled out commercial uses of the tree such as lumber, paper, and charcoal, ultimately turning to landscape mulch. It introduced Florimulch, and a grass-roots campaign to promote the product began in earnest. Many individuals, groups and agencies have supported it as an alternative to cypress mulch.
36 DAVID LAWRENCE CENTER
The David Lawrence Center is a not-for-profi t, behavioral health agency that provides comprehensive innovative mental health and substance abuse services to more than 30,000 children, adults and families in Southwest Florida. It recently launched a Wrap Around Collier program to improve access to children’s mental health through an NCEF grant and completed construction on a 28-bed Crisis Stabilization Unit expansion.
37 AVOW HOSPICE INC.
Avow’s objective is to provide comfort, care, understanding and dignity for seriously ill patients and to persons caring for a frail or sick loved one or mourning someone’s passing. It also supports those suffering through the illness or loss of a companion animal. The company believes that health, sickness, healing and dying are not simply physical conditions, but also spiritual states. It acknowledges, respects and celebrates the spiritual dimension of life in patients, families, staff and the community.
38 AMERICAN FARMS LLC
Wholesale plant grower
Naples-based American Farms is a wholesale grower and seller of hundreds of varieties of annual and perennial fl owers and plants. In 2011, the company received the Supplier of Excellence for Live Goods from Wal-Mart. American Farms expanded its automated greenhouse space in 2010.
39 HADINGER FLOORING
Hadinger Flooring and Area Rug Gallery in Naples is the largest fl ooring store in the state, with more than 30,000 square feet of showroom space and a 21,000-square-foot warehouse. It has more than 5,000 area rugs in stock and is listed as one of the top 50 largest dealers in the United States.
40 FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF THE GULF COAST
Gary L. Tice
The bank was named best bank in both 2011 and 2012 as part of the Naples Daily News Readers Choice Awards. It also received a Choice Star Award as Best Mortgage Lender from the Daily News in 2012. The company acquired The Royal Palm Bank of Florida in July 2012 and implemented a progressive, electronic bank of the future at its Creekside branch. It has also raised more than $150,000 since 2009 for local charities through an annual golf tournament.
KEEP ON TRUCKIN’
Tucked away in Fort Myers is a company whose very existence makes it possible for the fruits and vegetables grown thousands of miles away to reach the local supermarkets’ produce departments.
Scotlynn USA is a division of Scotlynn Commodities, a transportation and logistics services company headquartered in Canada. Its business is acting as a middle entity between the people who produce the food and the people who move it to the places where it can be purchased.
#31 Ryan Carter, executive vice president of Scottlynn USA
And while such an operation—and the unusual difficulties it can yield—might not be everyone’s slice of melon, Executive Vice President Ryan Carter says there’s nothing else he’d rather be doing.
“I kind of thrive on it,” he says. “It drives me crazy and it weeds out people. I don’t enjoy dealing with the problems, but I like the challenge of taking them on.”
Among the unique concerns he’s wrestled with: getting a call in the wee hours telling him that the truck driver responsible for hauling a load of produce across the country, on a tight deadline, had abandoned his rig to “go beat up some guy who he heard was with his wife while he was away.”
“You spend every day dealing with problems, and some are massive problems,” Carter says. “You’re trying to get apples from Yakima to a Publix and trucks are breaking down in the mountain passes because of the snow. I’m a very laidback guy, and nothing really surprises me in this world. The craziest stuff happens, and it helps to stay very calm. You can’t help anything by getting too worked up.”
Carter, 29, was born in Indiana and grew up in Kentucky before earning a degree in economics from the University of Kentucky in 2006. He was working for a company in Charlotte, N.C., in 2010 when he had the opportunity to join Scotlynn and open up a Florida office.
He balked initially at making the move, but considers himself a local after three years in the area.
“I don’t know how we did it, quite frankly. It doesn’t make sense,” he says. “It was a process of establishing credibility. We managed to make it through the first year with seven or eight employees by the end of 2010, and we’ve grown quite a bit since then.”
The company now employs 32 locally, primarily in sales.
“Finding quality people to work is another challenge,” Carter says. “Plenty of people want to work, but it’s not for everybody. You really have to understand what hard work is, and I’m not a micromanager, I expect people to do their jobs and man up. If you’re not hungry to make money, you probably won’t succeed here.”
For what seemed like many years, it was difficult to find an optimist in the homebuilding business.
But Stephen Kauffman has remained positive, and he gets more validation for the mindset with each day that passes since the darkest days of 2006 to 2009.
#41 Divco Construction Corp. CEO Stephen Kauffman
“It was a difficult stretch for everyone, but especially construction,” says Kauffman, the CEO at Naples-based Divco Construction Corp. for more than three decades. “I never had a day where I considered getting out and doing something else, but there were definitely times where it was worse than I ever thought it would get.
“I always expected the turnaround would come because, while we’d never gone through anything of this severity, there had been several stages where things were bad. Toward the end of the 1980s, when the towers came down in 2001; there had been several relatively large downturns. But even in the bad years, we were still selling houses, just not as many as we used to.”
Kauffman says that while Divco’s overall health isn’t quite what it was back in 2005, “this year could put us back to that point.” The company claimed $15.7 million in revenue in 2011, bumped the number up to $16.5 million in 2012 and is on track to far outpace sales figure in 2013.
“Last year was our best since the recession in sales. Not the best in revenue, but in sales,” Kauffman says. “And I’m thinking we’ll exceed that number by 50 percent because we’re so close to beating last year already and it’s just by June. 2010 started out the recovery. 2011 was a little better. And 2012 was our best year (of recovery) yet.”
Many of Divco’s prospective customers have returned to the market with the same sort of pent-up demand, Kauffman says, that’s also spiking requests for items like cars, boats and appliances.
“There’s a lot of demand, but the buyers have waited until they felt comfortable,” he says. “They haven’t been buying a lot of other things either, and now they’re at the point where they’re doing that. That’s going to fuel things in those industries for years to come, and the same applies with housing.”
Going forward, Kauffman maintains a “very, very bullish” outlook for the next two or three years, at which point he does forecast problems with land and construction prices that could push the cost of living in Lee and Collier counties to a point where prospective residents will be driven up the coast.
“For at least a couple years I see growth at a good percentage,” he says. “Unless something drastic happens, of course, but there is no real crisis looming.”
41 DIVCO CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
Divco has been building luxury homes in Southwest Florida since the 1970s and has a portfolio of nearly 1,200 homes in nearly 60 communities. It built some of the first homes in communities such as Pelican Bay, Bonita Bay and Pelican Marsh and continues to work closely with some of the most respected developers in Florida. It has been recognized for design and construction excellence and is a past recipient of Sand Dollar and Pinnacle awards.
42 STEVENS CONSTRUCTION
Stevens was named Contractor of the Year in 2007, 2011 and 2012 and Builder of the Year in 2006 by the Lee Building Industry Association. It has offi ces in Orlando, Tampa and Fort Myers and has completed projects throughout the state. Prior to founding the company, Mark Stevens managed or served as the project executive on more than 150 building projects valued at more than $300 million.
The landscape management company has been beautifying Southwest Florida for more than four decades. It provides landscape maintenance, irrigation, arbor and landscape enhancements. The company has been twice recognized as one of the top 100 landscape companies in the U.S.
44 GULFSHORE INSURANCE
$11.6 million T
The privately held independent insurance agency is headquartered in Naples with offi ces in Marco Island, Fort Myers and Weston. The agency provides professional risk management and insurance coverage to businesses and individuals, with associates advising more than 10,000 clients throughout the state. It was awarded the 2011 Outstanding Corporate Philanthropy from the Community Foundation of Collier County, and was named one of the 2010 Excellence in Industry award recipients by the Collier County Economic Development Council.
45 LUTGERT INSURANCE
H.A. “Bud” Hornbeck
An independent insurance agency with more than 50 carriers to serve clients, Lutgert Insurance has been a division of the Lutgert Companies since 2000. For more than 55 years, the company has supported hundreds of organizations such as American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation. Company recognitions include Chubb Cornerstone Agency and FCCI Presidents Club.
46 ENCORE BANK
Encore Bank’s community footprint expanded with the addition of an offi ce in Bonita Springs. The bank also has two locations in Naples, and one each in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte and Sun City Center. It offers customized business products and services along with a highly skilled and experienced lending team, with the intention of building strong partnerships between clients, businesses and the community.
47 BOB DEAN SUPPLY INC.
Robert S. Dean Jr.
BDS is a distributor of industrial power transmission, industrial supply, steel and pumps. The company also has extensive manufacturing and machine shop facilities as well as a pump repair and electric motor rewind shop. In 2012, it expanded into boat lift component CNC manufacturing. The business is continuing its family tradition into a third generation with Ashley Dean Myles joining the management team as chief business development officer.
48 TED TODD INSURANCE INC.
Ted A. Todd
Ted Todd Insurance is one of the largest independent agencies in the country affiliated with the Allstate Corporation. It has seven locations throughout Lee, Brevard, Palm Beach and Sarasota counties and provides home, auto, business, commercial, retirement and life insurance products to more than 30,000 customers in communities including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Naples, Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.
49 J.L. WALLACE INC.
Jerald L. Wallace
The general contracting/construction management firm serves all of southwest and central Florida and has developed a reputation for integrity and high moral standards that is reflected at every level of business practices. Its goal is to serve clients with integrity, dedication and passion for building. The company was named a 2010 Contractor of the Year by the Lee Building Industry Association.