Pontchartrain Partners, a New Orleans-based construction company, ranked No. 38 on Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing businesses, the highest position for a Louisiana firm.
Louisiana had 41 companies on the 2014 list, which measures revenue growth from 2010 to 2013. Sixteen of the companies were from the New Orleans metro area; 12 from the Baton Rouge metro area; four from the Lafayette area; and four from the Shreveport area.
Pontchartrain Partners was founded in 2009 to help rebuild New Orleans’ flood protection system following Hurricane Katrina. The company’s revenue grew from $158,930 in 2010 to $10.5 million in 2013, a growth rate of 6,535 percent.
President and Chief Executive Officer Danny Blanks credited the three partners’ strategy and “a lot of hard work” for the company’s rapid growth.
“We had a strategy, and it worked. We had a short-term goal and a long-term goal,” Blanks said. “We went from saying we were going to pursue service contracts and then use the service contracts to grow the construction side.”
Pontchartrain now provides heavy civil construction, roadways and bridges, and mechanical, marine and coastal restoration services to local, state, and federal government clients. The company has added offices in Dallas; Mobile, Alabama; Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; and Miami.
Blanks said a lot of entrepreneurs make plans, but they don’t always stick to them or make the necessary sacrifices. Pontchartrain Partners plowed back every bit of revenue generated to grow the company.
Lawrence Closs, head of MaxHome of New Orleans, said the listing thrilled his team, whose members shed tears of both joy and pain to grow the company.
The home remodeler ranked No. 52, growing revenue 5,439 percent to $5.8 million. MaxHome’s sister company New Bath made the Inc. 5000 list five times, from 2009 to 2013.
Closs said his failures at New Bath — adding the wrong products, picking the wrong partners and hiring the wrong people — helped frame MaxHome’s success.
For example, it’s vital that the company do the hard work ahead of time to define exactly what it needs and wants and what the employee will be doing now and three years from now before hiring someone, Closs said.
“If you don’t have that all laid out, it makes it awfully hard to hire the right person.... We still struggle with that,” Closs said.
Companies submitted their financial information to qualify for the Inc. list. The other highest-ranking firms from metro New Orleans are:
- No. 219, Global Commerce and Services, a Harvey company whose services include systems and software engineering. Revenue grew 2,041 percent to $3.5 million.
- No. 610, Hernandez Consulting, a New Orleans firm that provides project management, construction, design, environmental, sustainability and security services to the government sector. Revenue grew 779 percent to $16.1 million.
- No. 623, Joule Energy, a New Orleans solar power dealer and installation firm. Revenue grew 750 percent to $12.5 million.
The other New Orleans-area companies on the list are Solomon Group, an entertainment design and production company, at 764; Solar Alternatives, a solar energy firm, at 895; Hunt Telecommunications, a telecom firm, at 1,441; Search Influence, an Internet marketing firm, at 2,592; AAC Enterprises, a custom lighting designer for autos, at 2,679; QCS Logistics, a same-day courier, freight distribution and warehousing service provider, at 2,979; Bottom Line Equipment, which handles construction and demolition equipment rentals, at 3,003; Tasc Performance, men’s and women’s clothing, at 3,025; Zehnder Communications, an advertising and public relations firm, at 3,139; Archon Information Systems, which provides tax-related and treasury management service for government and government agencies, at 3,877; and Netchex, a payroll, human resources and labor management firm, at 3,923.
The complete list of the Louisiana members of the Inc. 5000 list can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000/index.html
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