Business Achievement: Very Small Firms (less than $10 million)

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Gold Medal ► ARS Technologies, Inc. (New Brunswick, NJ) for growing revenue by nearly 50% to $7.4 million in 2013 and for achieving nearly 230% revenue growth over the trailing five-year period. Founded in 1991 by John Liskowitz, ARS Technologies is a remediation contractor specializing in environmental fracturing, remediation injection, and advanced environmental drilling. ARS’ management was successful in sustaining this growth through the recession by careful management of cash flow, implementation of strict financial controls and oversight, and a successful diversification strategy. Diversification included expansion of its operations through the opening of new geographical offices, entering into a strategic joint venture with Major Drilling, and acquisition of a drilling company. Internal investment focused upon key infrastructure investments, a comprehensive safety and field staff training program, and focusing on more cost-effective marketing strategies. In additional, as a part of the company’s efforts to build its leading-edge technology base, ARS successfully developed and launched an innovative patent-pending remediation technology called Hybrid Frac.

Silver Medal ► Environmental Management and Planning Solutions Inc. (EMPSi; San Francisco, CA) for reaching new milestones in 2013 for revenue growth, backlog, and securing new contracts for expanding market areas. For the fifth consecutive year, organic revenue grew by more than 20%, with total growth over the last five years of greater than 250%. In 2013, EMPSi was named by Inc. magazine as one of the top 15 fastest-growing private environmental firms. EMPSi also added to its growth expansion by opening an office in North Carolina. EMPSi continued expansion of both its government and commercial consulting business, including significant new energy work for third-party projects on federal lands in the western United States, including oil and gas development and renewable energy projects. EMPSi was also selected to lead a controversial project to use genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on federal lands in the southeastern U.S., as well as lead eight large controversial environmental projects on public lands in the West. In September 2013 alone, EMPSi received more than $3 million in new awards from the Department of the Interior, which included a contract to analyze potential fracking projects in California.

Bronze Medal ► Great Ecology (La Jolla, CA) for experiencing substantial growth since its inception 12 years ago, and for bouncing back in 2013 after losing a major client early in the year. Founded on September 10, 2001, with one employee, today Great Ecology is a multi-million dollar ecological consulting firm with 30 employees in five locations. The company’s growth has been rapid, with growth rates as high as 215%. At the start of 2013, Great Ecology’s had projected that revenue would reach $5 million for the year, continuing the firm’s remarkable growth. However, in January, Great Ecology experienced a dramatic and unforeseen drop in revenue as its largest client paused all consulting work to redevelop its strategy. The firm lost approximately $200,000 a month—40% of its annual revenue. In the face of this severe revenue loss, the firm developed a strategy to accelerate client-base diversification. Great Ecology replaced the lost revenue and experienced a positive growth rate and will reach $4 million in annual revenue, surpassing 2012 sales. The firm was recognized by Inc. magazine for the second year as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private firms and by The Zweig Letter as the nation’s 49th fastest-growing environmental consulting firm.

Bronze Medal ► Herndon Solutions Group (HSG; Las Vegas, NV) for significant growth over the past year and for its initial expansion outside the United States through a sustainable resort project. HSG, an SBA 8(a), woman-owned consultancy specializing in environment and safety, emergency planning, and sustainability management, grew revenue by just over 50% during its 2013 fiscal year—despite losing unrecoverable revenue during the government shutdown. During 2013, the company also increased staff from two full-time equivalents (FTEs) to seven FTEs and one part-time position. In 2013, HSG expanded to Aruba after a honeymoon stay at the Bucuti & Tara resort by President/COO Christine Herndon and her husband. Herndon noted that the resort handed out water bottles, re-filled by staff as needed, and a compliment to the owner on this rare practice in the hospitality industry led to a project involving a gap analysis of the resort’s effort to gain certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Operations and Maintenance (LEED O&M) program, followed by the preparation of LEED O&M certification documentation for submission to the U.S. Green Building Council.