For the second year in a row, Harvey-based tech firm Global Commerce and Services topped the LSU 100, a list of fast-growing businesses headed by LSU graduates.
Joaneane Smith, the owner, president and chief executive officer of Global Commerce, is a graduate of the LSU MBA program. Her company, founded in 2000, provides system and software engineering, cyber security and project management to government clients, including the U.S. departments of agriculture and defense. Global Commerce has 31 employees.
In an emotional speech, Smith discussed how she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and how her faith helped her find business success and combat the disease. “It’s five years later and here I am, talking loud and standing tall,” she said. “What I’ve learned is that whether you’re battling cancer or building a business, much of the same elements are required. And to me, it all starts with having faith.”
While LSU officials would not disclose the revenue of the companies making the Top 100 list, Global Commerce was ranked 219 in Inc. magazine’s 2014 list of the fastest-growing small businesses in America. According to Inc., Global Commerce had revenue of $3.5 million in 2013, a 2,041 percent increase in sales over a three-year period.
The Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute in LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business honored the Top 100 businesses at a luncheon Friday at L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge.
Skyhawk, a Baton Rouge tech and security firm, was No. 2 on the list. Stuart Gilly, Brett Lofton and Paul Ellis, the three partners who head up Skyhawk, are all LSU graduates
Other members of the top five are Tin Roof Brewing Co., a Baton Rouge-based craft brewery; Cimation, a Lafayette firm that provides technology solutions to the energy industry; and Red Six Media, a Baton Rouge advertising agency whose clients include Dow, Turner Industries, Celtic Studios and the Louisiana Chemical Association.
The institute said the 2015 list features 19 companies new to the LSU 100 and 14 who have been included every year since its inception in 2011.
To be considered for the list, businesses must submit their financial details to LSU. The companies must be in business for at least five years; have verifiable revenue of at least $100,000 in 2011, 2012 and 2013; have a former LSU student as owner of at least 50 percent of the company, as an active founder or as chief executive officer, president or managing partner; and operate in a manner consistent with the mission of LSU and SEI.
Performance Contractors Inc. was honored with the Summit Award for generating the highest revenue in 2013. The Baton Rouge-based industrial construction company was founded in 1979.
The remaining companies listed here are by area/city, then alphabetically by company name, with their ranking:
BATON ROUGE: Brown Claims Management Group, 97; Catapult Creative Media, 22; Champion Technology Services, 55; Champion Wealth Strategies, 66; C-K Associates, 60; Gatorworks, 42; General Informatics, 50; Gladden Sales, 58; Henry Insurance Services, 54; and Horizon Wealth Management, 32; Immense Networks, 73; ISC Constructors LLC, 79; Joubert Law Firm, 29; Keys Graphics, 91; Lipsey’s LLC, 10; IWD Agency, 14; Paper Rock Scissors, 36; Performance Contractors, 41; Perry Dampf Dispute Solutions, 93; Perry, Atkinson, Balhoff, Mengis, Burns & Ellis, 84; Plus One Design and Construction, 49; Quality Testing, 57; Raising Cane’s, 34; Ruffino’s Restaurant, 82; SGS Petroleum Service, 44; Sherman and Balhoff Orthodontics, 65; Sigma Consulting Group, 72; Sigma Engineers & Constructors, 67; Smith & Baker Landscape Architects and Contractors, 62; Solid Ground Innovations, 7; Sparkhound Inc., 75; Stonetrust Commercial Insurance, 13; Teknarus, 74; Traina & Associates, 83; Verma Systems Inc., 56; Vivid Ink Graphics, 52; Window World of Baton Rouge, 92; and Xdesign, 95.
AROUND BATON ROUGE: Coating Services, 81, Gonzales; STI/RumbleRoller, 24, Greenwell Springs; Faulk & Meek General Contractors, 53, and Lyons Specialty Co., 89, both of Port Allen; Roofing Solutions, 27, Prairieville; CEG Assessments, 26, and Heirloom Cuisine, 45, both of St. Francisville; and Hickory Small Animal Hospital, 37, Pontchatoula.
NEW ORLEANS AREA: Zehnder Communications, 19, New Orleans; Audubon Engineering, 71, Geocent LLC, 64, and Staines & Eppling APLC, 98, all of Metairie; Health Data Specialists, 21, Luling; Baldone Reina Dermatology, 94, and Mele Printing, 61, both of Covington; Netchex, 40, Mandeville; and B&G Food Enterprise, 35, Morgan City.
LAFAYETTE AREA: Bizzuka Inc., 87; Excelerant, 70; J.P. Oil Co., 63; RCS Tank Cleaning Solutions, 12; and Safety Management Systems, 68, all of Lafayette; and Cane River Pecan Co., 76, and Fremin General Contractors, 28, both of New Iberia.
REST OF LOUISIANA: Argent Financial Group Inc., 18, Ruston; Brammer Engineering Inc., 90, Gremillion & Pou Marketing Inc., 25, and Towne South Animal Hospital, 77, all of Shreveport; Red River Bank, 85, Alexandria.
TEXAS: ABIP, 11; Alloy Metals and Tubes International Inc., 69; Asakura Robinson Co. LLC, 9; Cypress Advisory Services Ltd., 17; Excalibur Events, 46; Gastar Exploration Inc., 15; Indigo Minerals LLC, 43; Pinot’s Palette, 6; SEMPCheck Services, 48; Shoreline Energy LLC, 8; and The Bulsard Group LLC, 78, all of Houston.
Also, Gulf Coast LTC Partners Inc., 88, The Woodlands, Texas; BarZ Adventures, 80, Austin, Texas; Global Data Vault LLC, 59, Dallas; Homeland Healthcare, 47, Allen, Texas; JB Knowledge Technologies Inc., 31, Bryan, Texas; Landon Companies, 16, Plano, Texas; and PetroLog, 30, Sugar land, Texas.
ELSEWHERE: A Dog’s Day Out, 96, Fairfax, Virginia; Dewmar International BMC Inc., 39, Clinton, Mississippi; Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., 100, Chester, Illinois; Gregory Switzer Architecture PC, 99, New York; Ideavate Solutions Pvt. Ltd., 20, Indore, India; Team People LLC, 51, Falls Church, Virginia; The Anderson Group, 23, Nashville, Tennessee; USA Technologies, 38, Malvern, Pennsylvania; Visual Risk IQ, 33, Charlotte, North Carolina; and VOA Associates Inc., 86, Chicago.