WHAT A YEAR! WAR, LAYOFFS, lending freezes, budget cuts, scandals, sex trials and an end to that glorious fairy tale that Florida will live happily ever after no matter what the national economy is up to. Along with our faith that we're recession-proof, we bade farewell -- at least for now -- to a number of companies that had earned a spot on our list in previous years.
Last year we included 95 companies on our list of private firms in Sarasota/Manatee that grossed $10 million a year. This year we have 58. Not all of that drop was the economy; we decided to cut automobile dealerships because it seemed difficult to fairly compare their annual revenues to those of most of the other companies we survey. (For the same reason, we have never included real estate brokerages or banks.) But many companies did report shrinking sales; a few were in bankruptcy proceedings; and some who leapt at the chance to talk to us in previous years met all our inquiries with stony silence.
Not all the news is bad. Our list reflects a healthy mix of manufacturers, suppliers, resort businesses, healthcare providers and high-tech entrepreneurs. There are also quite a few major players, thanks in part to some important corporate relocations over the past few years. Some companies actually saw sales increase; others say that by cutting expenses and staff they managed to protect their profit margins.
Companies also reported some creative solutions to shrinking markets. Construction companies are bidding on jobs in Orlando, Atlanta and points north. Some firms are opening branch offices in communities where opportunities look good. Manufacturers are thinking globally; many told us they are now marketing in Europe, South America, the Pacific Rim and Mexico. A number of firms, convinced that the market for their existing products is stagnant or declining, are researching and developing new products.
As always, our researchers talked to many more companies than appear on the final list. We included only businesses headquartered here or self-contained divisions of larger companies. We excluded branch offices of companies headquartered elsewhere.
Companies were asked to report their gross annual revenues for the most recent year, then were ranked according to those sales. There certainly are other measures of a company's size -- and much better measures of its quality -- but gross revenues seem the single best indicator for our listing. We generally accept reported figures as accurate; occasionally when figures differ wildly from the assessments of industry insiders and financiers, we may choose to omit a company altogether. When companies preferred not to report their sales, we estimated, using a variety of sources. All estimated figures are marked as such. Previous year's revenues are noted in parentheses.
We believe ours to be the most comprehensive research of this type published in Southwest Florida; each year we work closely with economic development experts, bankers and various financial listings to identify companies that might qualify for our list. We see the increasing willingness of CEOs to talk openly to us about their finances as a confirmation of the importance and accuracy of this ranking. However, we realize that we have probably overlooked some qualified companies and welcome your suggestions of names to consider for next year's list.
$100 MILLION PLUS
1. TROPICANA PRODUCTS INC. (Manatee) Processor, packager and marketer of juice and juice beverages Chief executive: William G. Pietersen Annual sales: $1 billion-plus ($1 billion-plus) Employees: 3,600 (4,200 worldwide) In business: 44 years Leading supplier of 100 percent pure orange juice; subsidiary of The Seagram Co. Ltd.
2. THE JESUP GROUP INC. Holding company for various manufacturers, mainly of plastic Chief executive: Howard R. Curd Annual sales: $300 million Employees: 2,000 In business: 11 years Moved executive headquarters to Sarasota this year; five operating divisions -- three in Mishawaka, Indiana; one in New York City; one here.
3. FEISCO Insurance services Chief executive: Raymond M. Neff Annual sales: $276 million (premiums) ($260 million) Employees: 500 In business: 32 years Administers FCCI fund, one of nation's largest self-insurers
4. WELLCRAFT MARINE (Manatee) World's leading manufacturer of pleasure boats; over 55 models Chief executive: J. Robert Long Annual sales: $250 million ($250 million) Employees: 1,000 In business: 37 years Plants in Sarasota, Manatee, Avon Park
5. BEALL'S DEPARTMENT STORES INC. (Manatee) Retailer of family apparel Chief executive: Robert M. Beall III Annual sales: $227 million ($192 million) Employees: 3,000 In business: 77 years 96 stores and outlets throughout Florida; added 15 new outlets this year
6. HCA L.W. BLAKE HOSPITAL (Manatee) Hospital Chief executive: William F. Nowak Annual sales: $134 million ($112 million) Employees: 1,200 In business: 18 years Owned by Hospital Corporation of America
7. RISCORP Service company that administers workers' compensation commercial insurance funds Chief executive: William D. Griffin Annual sales: $129.4 million (premiums) ($123 million) Employees: 170 In business: Three years Primary client, Florida Chamber Fund
8. ARVIDA/JMB REALTY, SARASOTA OPERATIONS Real estate and land development Chief executive: Steve Parker Annual sales: $115 million ($110 million) Employees: 95 In business: 33 years Now marketing The Oaks and variety of Longboat communities
9. LONDON INTERNATIONAL U.S. HOLDINGS INC. Operating units are Schmid Laboratories (contraceptives); Cook-Bates Co. (manicuring implements); and LRC Surety Products (latex industrial gloves); also Julius Schmid of Canada. Chief U.S. executive: Ken Matthews Annual sales: estimated, $100 million-plus ($100 million-plus) Employees: 950 In business: parent, over 25 years; oldest division (Schmid), over 100 Operating division of London International Group; U.S. headquarters in Sarasota since July 1990.
10. LORAL DATA SYSTEMS Telemetry and signal processing systems, instrumentation tape recorders, aviation flight data and voice recorders Chief executive: R. Joseph Keller Annual sales: estimated, $95-100 million (estimated, $100.6 million) Employees: 819 In business: 34 years Data systems division of international corporation
11. CENTRAL PARK LODGES Owner and operator 27 retirement facilities and nursing homes, primarily in Florida Chief executive: John Overton Annual sales: $84 million ($67 million) Employees: 2,600 In business: 30 years U.S. division headquartered in Sarasota; parent is Central Park Lodges of Toronto
12. APAC-FLORIDA INC. Road contractors Chief executive: E.K. Richardson Annual sales: $70 million (estimated, $86.9 million) Employees: 600, statewide In business: 90 years
13. DOCTORS HOSPITAL OF SARASOTA Hospital Chief executive: Val Christensen Annual sales: $64 million ($40 million) Employees: 530 Became limited partnership 1990 Pending zoning approval, will begin construction May 1992 on replacement facility at Bee Ridge and Sawyer
14. W.G. MILLS INC. Building contractors Chief executive: Lemuel S. Sharp III Annual sales: $57 million ($53 million) Employees: 70 In business: 20 years Projects throughout state; largest locally owned construction company
15. McGIFFEN DEVELOPMENTS INC. Real estate investment and land development Chief executive: John W. McGiffen Annual sales: $55 million ($18 million) Employees: 11 Florida, excluding construction Developed over $300 million in hotels, offices, condominiums throughout country; developer Bayside, president new managing general partner of Venice Golf & Country Club LTD.
16. EATON CORP. (Manatee) Manatee plant part of aerospace and commercial control division Chief executive: George La Chapelle Annual sales: $53 million ($53 million) Employees: 650 In business: 50-plus years
17. HI-STAT MANUFACTURING CO. (Manatee) Automotive original equipment manufacturer Chief executive: H.R. Williams Annual sales: $50 million-plus Employees: 1,300 In business: 11 years Five plants in three states
18. OSHKOSH TRAILERS INC. (Manatee) Manufacturer over-the-road semi trailers Chief executive: William C. Coleman Annual sales: $50 million Employees: 300-500 In business: 58 years Formerly Miller Trailers, became new division of Oshkosh Truck Corp. this year
19. TROPITONE FURNITURE CO. (Manatee) Leading manufacturer mid- to high-end casual furniture Chief executive: Douglas Baker Annual sales: $40 million (estimated, $48 million) Employees: 450 In business: 37 years Also plant in Irvine, Cal.
20. DESEAR'S APPLIANCE INC. (Manatee) Home appliance and electronics sales and service in Southwest and Central Florida Chief executive: Vernon DeSear Jr. Annual sales: $35-40 million ($30 million) Employees: 330 In business: 43 years 18 stores; added five this year; GE dealer of distinction
21. QUEST INTERNATIONAL BIOPRODUCTS GROUP Manufactures food ingredients for dairy, meat, bakery, prepared food and agricultural industries Chief executive: Joe Dunne Annual sales: $30 million-plus ($30-million plus) Employees: 105 in Sarasota Division of Quest International
22. ELECTRO CORP. Supplier magnetic and ultrasonic speed, position and motion sensors and controls Chief executive: Doug Schneider Annual sales: $30 million ($28 million) Employees: 350 In business: 55 years
23. SARASOTA KENNEL CLUB Dog track Chief executive: Jerry Collins Annual sales: $28.4 million ($40.9 million) 80 percent goes to winners Employees: 325 in season In business: 46 years Season has just expanded from four to six months, Dec. 27-June 27
24. STOTTLEMYER & SHOEMAKER LUMBER Lumber and building material suppliers Chief executive: Greg Bell Annual sales: $28 million ($29 million) Employees: 200 In business: 33 years Owned by London-based Meyer International
25. SUN HYDRAULICS CORP. Designer, manufacturer, fluid power control valves Chief executive: Clyde Nixon Annual sales: $28 million ($28 million) Employees: 275 In business: 21 years
26. DOOLEY & MACK CONSTRUCTION Building contractors Chief executive: William Dooley Annual sales: $27 million ($30 million) Employees: 75 In business: 17 years Projects include Leon City Jail, private mini-storage, Phar-Mor, K-Mart
27. REHABILITATION INSTITUTE OF SARASOTA Free-standing, 60-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital Chief executive: Mark Kraemer Annual sales: $23.6 million ($18.9 million) Employees: 260 In business: Five years Specialized inpatient and outpatient programs in pediatrics, brain injury, stroke, neurological, musculo-skeletal, chronic pain
28. WHITEHALL DEVELOPMENT Developer homes, condos, villas, zero-lot line homes in Sarasota, Bradenton, El Jobean Chief executive: Ron Mustari Annual sales: $23.5 million ($17.8 million) Employees: 23 In business: Six years Named Diamond Builder from Homebuyers Warranty Corp. for outstanding quality
29. FURMAN'S INC. Burger King franchise operator Chief executive: Robert G. Furman Annual sales: $23 million ($23 million) Employees: 800 24 stores
30. KLOCKNER-BARTELT INC. (formerly Rexham Corp.) Manufacturer, packaging machinery Chief executive: Charles C. Brown Annual sales: estimated, $23 million ($25 million) Employees: 180 In business: 40-plus years 35,000-square-feet manufacturing addition completed
31. ARTHUR ANDERSEN & CO. TAX TECHNOLOGY GROUP Accounting firm's tax software division Chief executive: J. Donald Moulton Annual revenues: estimated, $22 million (estimated $20 million) Employees: 265 In business: Seven years Headquarters for all tax software operations of one of the big six accounting firms
32. FREEDOM VILLAGE (Manatee) Life-care retirement community Chief executive: Spring Rosen Annual sales: $20.1 million ($10.3 million) Employees: 680 In business: Seven years Current expansion of 60 skilled nursing beds and 70 independent apartments will increase capacity to 1,300 residents, 650 staff
33. VINYL TECH/PGT Manufacturers of vinyl glazed and aluminum glass windows Chief executive: David Layman Annual sales: $20 million-plus ($20 million) Employees: 200-plus In business: 11 years Ship all over world; this year added prefab screened room for Midwest and Northern markets
34. SARASOTA PALMS HOSPITAL Inpatient and outpatient psychiatric service for entire family Chief executive: Marc Lazarus Annual sales: $20 million ($23 million) Employees: 175 22 years Owned by Psychiatric Institutes of America of NME Corp., which has facilities around the world
35. WESCO-TURF INC. Distributors lawn, irrigation, commercial turf equipment Chief executive: William Gamble Annual sales: $20 million ($20 million) Employees: 54 Purchased 1987
36. DANA CORP., MOBILE FLUID PRODUCTS DIVISION Manufacturer hydraulic valves and controls Chief executive: Tom Kay Annual sales: $19 million ($19 million) Employees: 170 Acquired division 1982 Manufacturing excellence and quality awards
37. MARAN GROVE CORP. Citrus grove operations and management Chief executive: Lucien Sanchez Annual sales: $19 million ($14 million) Employees: 30 Own and manage groves around Florida
38. C&D FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CO. (Manatee) Growers, shippers fruit and vegetables Chief executive: Tom O'Brien Annual sales: $18-19 million ($15 million) Employees: Nine In business: 14 years Recipient industry's Redbook Business Character and Bluebook Trading Member awards
39. THE COLONY BEACH AND TENNIS RESORT Condo hotel/resort Chief executive: Dr. M.G. "Murf" Klauber Annual sales: $18 million ($17 million) Employees: 320 In business: 23 years National Wine Award, Wine Spectator magazine, named one of country's top 10 restaurants, Nation's Restaurant News
40. FLORIDA WORLDWIDE CITRUS PRODUCTS (Manatee) Traders in citrus and flavor products worldwide Chief executive: Martin O'Brien Annual sales: $17 million-plus ($17 million-plus) Employees: Nine In business: Six years
41. FOREST PRODUCTS Manufacturer mill work, trusses, prehung door products; supplier lumber, related building materials Chief executive: Steve LeCroy Annual sales: $17 million ($17 million) Employees: 150 In business: 17 years Strong commitment to community involvement
42. KELLOGG & KIMSEY Commercial contractors Chief executives: Philip Kellogg and Charles Kimsey Annual sales: $16.5 million ($15 million) Employees: 22 In business: Five years Projects completed statewide: Carrollwood Commons, Rotunda Plaza, Arcadia Food Lion
43. PURSLEY INC. (Manatee) Real estate, land developer, sod producer, tree farmer, cattle rancher Chief executive: Larry J. D'Urso Jr. Annual sales: $16.1 million ($16.1 million) Employees: 150 employees In business: 37 years Projects include Braden Woods, Mill Creek, River Club, Hidden Oaks
44. COMMERCIAL REFRIGERATOR DOOR CO. Manufacturer glass display doors, shelving and lighting systems Chief executive: Robert J. Winsler Annual sales: estimated $16-18 million Employees: 85 In business: 16 years Ship all over U.S. and world; moved to new 75,000-square-foot office and manufacturing facility last year
45. BILL HALFACRE CONSTRUCTION Building contractors Chief executive: John J. Cox Annual sales: $15 million ($18 million) Employees: 45 In business: 21 years Recent projects include Sarasota recycling facility, North Port Library
46. SOUTHERN GROCERY CO. Food-service distributor for regional chain restaurants, institutions, businesses Chief executive: Daniel M. Walker Annual sales: $15 million ($15 million) Employees: 50 In business: 66 years Third-generation family company
47. MANATEE FRUIT CO. (Manatee) Grower gladiolus, cut flowers, citrus Chief executive: Walter Preston Annual sales: estimated, $12-14 million Employees: 200-350 In business: 99 years Fourth-generation family business
48. AIDLIN AUTOMATION (Manatee) Manufacturer automatic packaging material and assembly systems Chief executive: Samuel Simeon Aidlin Annual sales: $12.5 million Employees: 135 In business: 37 years Customers all over the world
49. ALDON INDUSTRIES (Manatee) Original equipment manufacturer of canvas and windshields; medical division manufactures body bags Chief executive: Alan Zirkelbach Annual sales: estimated, $12 million (estimated, $12 million) Employees: 100 in two locations: Manatee and r&d center in Sparta, Tenn. In business: 14 years 1988 Industry Appreciation Award from Florida Department of Commerce
50. KANE FURNITURE INC. Furniture, wallcoverings, carpet, decorating and design services; Chief executive: Edward Kalin Annual sales: $12 million ($16 million) Employees: 120 In business: 40 years Commercial division furnishes model homes; active in upscale second-home market
51. SUNCOAST MEDIA GROUP Publisher 10 Southwest Fla. newspapers, shoppers, magazines Chief executive: Derek Dunn-Rankin Annual sales: estimated, $12 million (estimated, $12 million) Employees: 275 Dunn-Rankin majority stockholder, 12 1/2 percent owned by Media General, 15 percent by Providence Journal Co.
52. SCOTT PAINT CORP. Manufacturer wholesale and retail paints and coatings Chief executive: Scott K. Wagman Annual sales: $11.9 million ($11.9 million) Employees: 100 In business: 26 years Fourteen stores along west coast of Florida
53. ICARUS INC. Aviation-related activities Chief executive: Ronald Ciaravella Annual sales: $11 million ($13.3 million) Employees: 125-150 In business: 22 years
54. GULFLAND HOMES INC. Builder/developer Chief executive: Michael J. Johnson Annual sales: $10.2 million ($11 million) Employees: 15 In business: Nine years Projects include Country Manor, Forest Woods at Cedar Creek, River Crossing in Brandon, Hunters Grove in Manatee
55. JOELSON CONCRETE PIPE CO. INC. Manufacturer concrete pipe Chief executive: Roger Beacom Annual sales: estimated, $10 million-plus (estimated, $10 million-plus) Employees: 125 In business: 38 years Three Florida plants; largest manufacturer oval concrete pipe in U.S.
56. S.W. JOHNSON DEVELOPMENT INC. Land development through various entities, joint partnerships Chief executive: Sherell W. Johnson Jr. Annual sales: $10-12 million ($10 million) Employees: 15 In business: 21 years Projects include Calusa Lakes, Deer Creek, Villa Palmeras, La Vista
57. MIKE CARTER CONSTRUCTION INC. (Manatee) Designer and builder of commercial and industrial facilities throughout Florida Chief executive: Mike Carter Annual sales: $10 million ($12.5 million) Employees: 15 In business: 14 years Projects include historic rehab Frances Carlton Apartments, Aldon Industries headquarters, 2.5 million s.f. self-storage throughout state
58. PLANTATION ASSOCIATES LTD. Developer, manager, Plantation Golf & Country Club Chief executive: John Duxbury Annual sales: $10 million ($12 million) 125 employees In business: 13 years Over 1,275 homes sold to date; another 1,000 planned
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|Title Annotation:||58 top-earning private companies in Sarasota and Manatee|
|Author:||Daniel, Pam; Williams, Binnie|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1992|
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|Next Article:||A black and white Sarasota.|