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Staying Power: Arthrex Remains in Collier County

Arthrex
Arthrex workers protested incentives for Jackson Lab at a county commission meeting last year.

Arthrex

Founder and CEO: Reinhold Schmieding

2010 revenue: $970 million

Employees: 1,500

Products: More than 5,000 implements used in arthroscopic and minimally invasive orthopedic surgical procedures

Schmieding
Schmieding
Reinhold Schmieding, founder and CEO of Naples-based Arthrex, fought against giving Maine-based Jackson Laboratory the $260 million in state and county tax incentives it wanted last year to open a genetics research facility near Ave Maria. Schmieding argued that the lab's potential economic impact was being exaggerated and any incentives the county had to give should go to expanding local companies instead. At one county commission meeting, more than 50 Arthrex employees showed up and urged commissioners to reject the deal.

Amid the hoopla and excitement over the county possibly attracting a world-class research facility, Schmieding complained that Arthrex, a surgical equipment maker that ranks 24th on Florida Trend's list of the state's biggest private companies, was not getting the community support it deserved. As a result, he implied that Arthrex — and its nearly 1,500 employees — might leave Collier County.

In the end, the millions in incentives for Jackson never materialized, and Jackson Laboratory took its proposed research facility to Sarasota County, where a deal there fizzled. Schmieding reaffirmed his commitment to Collier County this summer, announcing a $20-million plan to build a manufacturing plant near Ave Maria that Arthrex estimates will create 150 jobs. The company, which has also purchased a former Robb & Stucky warehouse in Lee County, stands to gain $2.2 million in incentives and impact fee breaks from Collier County.