Special Projects For 57

FAST40 2011

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T Fast growers won't stop for slow economy he qualifi cations seemed simple enough: If you had a growing workforce and more than $15 million in sustained revenue, you were eligible for accounting fi rm Cherry, Bekaert & Holland LLP's fi rst list of the fastest-growing middle-market companies in North Carolina. But considering the growth had to occur between 2008 and 2010, Scott Duda knew the hundreds of surveys the fi rm sent out might have been asking too much. "That's a high bar for that period," says the managing partner of CBH's mid-Carolina division. The fi rm used a formula that took into account employee and revenue fi gures to fi nd the winners. Not enough new hires was why many of the 60 or so that thought they made the cut ultimately didn't. So the fi nal product — intended to be a well-round- ed 40 — only features 32. But it's nothing short of diverse. From a military medical-equipment developer to a green roofer, the list typifi es mainstay industries in the state. The companies listed and profi led — chosen because of their location, ranking or uniqueness — are private, so many didn't disclose fi nancials. But much of their growth can be attributed to one factor: technology. For example, DunnWell LLC, a commercial-kitchen cleaner and No. 7 on the list, recruited an information- technology specialist from a large Tar Heel software developer who, along with his team, helped reinvent the presentation the Durham-based company gives customers. "That's when it really took off," Duda says. Even experts have a hard time defi ning the middle market. To Duda, it's companies that do business regionally, in multiple states or internationally but are not large enough to compete with ones that bring in revenue of more than $500 million. He's confi dent that as the economy improves and more companies grow, so will the list. ,W·V 0\ 7XUQ WR &DUH IRU +HU :KDW DUH P\ FKRLFHV" +RZ GR , PDNH WKRVH GHFLVLRQV" $UH \RX ORRNLQJ IRU DQVZHUV" 'HDOLQJ ZLWK DQ DJLQJ SDUHQW LV QHYHU HDV\ ,W·V HYHQ WRXJKHU ZKHQ \RX DUH FDULQJ IRU VRPHRQH ZLWK D OLIH OLPLWLQJ FRQGLWLRQ

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