These, all founded within the past 10 years, have experienced growth that has brought them to prominence. Vote for the most promising. Also, read other success stories of older companies.
(Note: These companies are sorted by date founded.)
MarineMax CEO Bill McGill
2007 Revenue: $1.25 billion
Growth: The 1998 merger of six boat dealers with 28 stores in Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona made MarineMax the largest recreational boat retailer in the U.S. Since then, the company has more than quadrupled in size with more than 85 locations.
2007 Revenue: $467 million
Growth: EverBank has become one of the nation’s largest online banks, with approximately $6 billion in assets and more than 450,000 customers.
2007 Revenue: $479 million
Growth: ZeroChaos has grown to be one of the top contract labor companies in the country. Focusing on the professional workforce, the company has grown nearly 400% since its inception and has offices in Denmark, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Dynetech Corp., Orlando
2007 Revenue: $167 million
Growth: Since its incorporation eight years ago, Dynetech has grown into a multimillion-dollar company with nearly 600 employees. The company acts as a direct-to-market distributor of partner client’s products and services through direct sales, advertising, direct mail, e-commerce and other channels.
PODS Inc., Clearwater
PODS Inc., Clearwater
Growth: Founded 10 years ago, PODS originated the concept of transporting mobile storage containers with its patented hydraulic lift system. PODS, purchased in 2007 by Bahrain-based Arcapita, is available in 57 states and provinces, including Canada and Australia.
DayJet, Boca Raton
2007 Revenue: Unavailable
Growth: Ed Iacobucci, former chairman of Citrix Systems, and his wife, Nancy, founded this air taxi service under the research and development “code name” Jetson Systems. The company began shuttling passengers around the southeastern U.S. in its Eclipse 500 jets in the fall of 2007.
Moss & Associates, Fort Lauderdale
2007 Revenue: $649.7 million
Growth: Over the past five years, this Fort Lauderdale-based construction firm founded by Bob Moss, the former president and CEO of Centex, has become one of the largest general contractors in south Florida. The company’s repeat customers include Bass Pro Shops, Publix Super Markets and the Corrections Corporation of America.
Other Florida success stories:
(Note: These companies are sorted by date founded, oldest to newest.)
Times Publishing Co., St. Petersburg
2007 Revenue: $308 million
Growth: The St. Petersburg Times, the flagship publication of the Times Publishing, began in 1884 as a country weekly called the West Hillsborough Times. Today, the St. Petersburg Times is the largest daily newspaper in Florida. Times Publishing, which is owned by the non-profit Poynter Institute, also owns Florida Trend, the weekly newspaper tbt*, Congressional Quarterly and Governing magazine.
Florida East Coast Railway, Jacksonville
Founded: Incorporated in 1895
2007 Revenue: $238.4 million
Growth: Founded by Henry Flagler in the late 19th century to make traveling to Florida easier, the modern Florida East Coast Railway operates as a regional freight railroad with 351 miles of mainline track from Jacksonville to Miami and rail services at terminals in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fort Pierce, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. FEC and RailAmerica, one of the nation’s leading short-line and regional railroad operators, are being run as combined organizations from Jacksonville. Both RailAmerica and FEC are owned by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group.
Harris Corp., Melbourne
Founded: 1895 in Niles, Ohio; moved to Florida in 1978
2007 Revenue: $4.2 billion
Growth: Once a minor manufacturer of printing press machinery, Harris evolved during the 20th century into a major developer of electronics technology. Today, Harris is an international communications and information technology company with 16,000 employees and clients in more than 150 countries.
Stein Mart Inc., Jacksonville
Founded: 1902 in Greenville, Miss.; moved to Florida in 1984
2007 Revenue: $1.5 billion
Growth: Founded by the current chairman’s grandfather just after the turn of the century, Stein Mart has evolved into an upscale discount department store chain with 280 locations throughout the U.S.
W.S. Badcock Corp., Mulberry
2007 Revenue: $537 million
Growth: More than 100 years after Henry S. Badcock opened his first general mercantile store in Mulberry, Badcock is one of the largest privately owned home furniture retailers with more than 300 stores in eight states.
Beall’s Inc., Bradenton
2007 Revenue: $1.2 billion
Growth: Started 93 years ago by Robert M. Beall as a dry goods store in Bradenton, Beall’s is a major retailer with more than 560 stores, including Beall’s, Beall’s Outlet Stores and Burkes Outlet Stores across the Sun Belt.
Robb & Stucky Ltd., Fort Myers
2007 Revenue: $310 million
Growth: What began as a one-store general merchandise emporium has evolved into a full-service fine furnishings and interior design firm with more than 30 showrooms in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Costa Rica.
Suddath Cos., Jacksonville
2007 Revenue: $280 million
Growth: Over the past 80 years, Suddath has grown from a small northeast Florida moving and storage company into a multifaceted group of companies specializing in worldwide corporate employee relocations, household moving, warehouse and logistics management and specialized transportation services.
Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Jacksonville<br />
2007 Revenue: $7.2 billion
Growth: Started by Idaho native W.M. Davis when he purchased the Rockmoor Grocery in Miami 83 years ago, Winn-Dixie one of the largest food retailers in the nation and number 305 on the Fortune 500 list. Winn-Dixie, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2006, currently operates 359 stores in Florida and 162 stores in Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.
A. Duda & Sons Inc., Oviedo
2007 Revenue: $588 million
Growth: More than 80 years after Slovak immigrant Andrew Duda produced his first cash crop of celery on 40 acres in Oviedo, Duda has become a leading grower, shipper, marketer and exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables and diversified into sugar cane, sod, foliage, cattle and real estate development.
Rayonier Inc., Jacksonville
Founded: 1926 in Shelton, Wash.; moved to Florida in 2000
2007 Revenue: $1.2 billion
Growth: Rayonier has come a long way from its beginnings as the Rainier Pulp and Paper Co. in the Pacific Northwest, but timber remains the foundation of the company’s business. Today, Rayonier is a leading international forest products company with three core businesses: Timber, real estate and performance fibers.
Publix Super Markets Inc., Lakeland
2007 Revenue: $23 billion
Growth: Seventy-eight years after George W. Jenkins opened the first Publix market in Winter Haven, this employee-owned supermarket chain has grown into a Fortune 500 company with more than 900 stores in 5 states.