CLEVELAND, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a black tie gala last night, Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) announced the winners of the 2009 Weatherhead 100 Awards, which recognizes the fastest growing companies in Northeast Ohio. This year's winners represent a wide range of industries, including technology, health care, professional services, insurance, construction, food services and manufacturing.
The top 2009 Weatherhead 100 winner is SageQuest LLC, a Solon company founded in 2003. With 67 employees, SageQuest LLC provides GPS vehicle tracking solutions to improve the efficiency and productivity of mobile workforces. From 2004 to 2008, SageQuest LLC had sales growth hitting a staggering 1,473 percent from 2004 to 2008, and employee growth of 253% over the same five year period.
Using a ranking system, The Weatherhead 100 identified the 100 fastest growing companies based on sales from 2004 through 2008. Also honored were the Weatherhead 100 top twelve Centurions -- the fastest growing companies in the larger, $100 million-plus sales category (with a minimum of 16 full-time employees) that have seen at least the sales growth of the #100 Weatherhead award winner; as well as the Weatherhead 100 top 32 Upstarts, growth companies in the smaller (15 or fewer employees OR less than $1 million in sales in 2008) category that have seen at least the sales growth of the #100 Weatherhead award winner.
"Weatherhead is pleased to recognize the 2009 winners, all of which are realizing incredible success despite the challenging economic times," said professor and Chair, Information Systems at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. "It is apparent that entrepreneurial success is still thriving in Northeast Ohio."
The top winner of the 2009 Weatherhead 100 Centurion category is Dealer Tire. This Cleveland-based company designs, implements and manages tire programs exclusively for automobile Original Equipment Manufacturers and their dealers. These programs make it easy for automobile dealers to replace bald tires and deliver convenience, safety, and expertise. Founded in 2001 and with 596 employees, the winner is celebrating its fourth consecutive appearance on the Weatherhead list including a second place finish in this category last year.. Dealer Tire has experienced sales growth of 229 percent from 2004 to 2008.
The top winner of the 2009 Weatherhead 100 Upstart category is MMI Textiles, Inc., a company that has realized significant growth in just thirteen short years in business. Founded in 1997 and with 8 employees, this Rocky River-based supplier to the industrial textile sewing industry specializes in producing custom fabrics, including many of those used to provide comfort and safety for our armed forces. As a result of their incredible growth, this year's upstart winner is a repeat #1 winner having won this category last year. MMI Textiles, Inc. has experienced a sales growth of more than 1,372 percent and a 167 percent growth in employees from 2004 to 2008.
"These companies are small, exciting and important to Northeast Ohio. While you won't see many 'marquis names' in this list, what you will see are smart, passionate entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and growth in Northeast Ohio," said Steve Millard, President and Executive Director of COSE. "We need more companies to follow their success to bolster the success of the region. It's important to let everyone know about the great work they are doing!"
Founded in 1987 by The Weatherhead School of Management, the Weatherhead 100 has been a leading honor bestowed on Northeast Ohio businesses. In 2004, COSE, which has nurtured the region's entrepreneurs for more than three decades, became a partner with the Weatherhead School of Management in this effort. Since its inception, more than 2,500 entrepreneurs have achieved the extraordinary business growth required for winning.
For a full list of Weatherhead 100 winners, log on to www.weatherhead100.org.
About the Weatherhead School of Management
The Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management is an international center of management scholarship, committed to preparing and enhancing organizational leadership. The Weatherhead School is dedicated making discoveries of enduring consequence, developing innovative educational programs, fostering strategic partnerships with students and organizations, and providing services to multiple communities. (www.weatherhead.case.edu)
COSE is one of Ohio's largest small business support organizations, striving to help small businesses grow and maintain their independence. Comprised of more than 17,000 member companies, COSE has a long history of fighting for the rights of all small business owners through group purchasing programs for health care, workers' compensation, or energy, advocating for specific changes in legislation or regulation to benefit small business, or providing a forum and resource for small businesses to connect with and learn from each other. (www.cose.org)
SOURCE Council of Smaller Enterprises