Inside USF

2014 USF Fast 56 Awards

The annual event recognizes the 56 fastest growing USF alumni owned or led businesses in the world.

A Jamaican real estate firm, a global agriculture conglomerate and a national chain of trampoline arenas based in the Tampa Bay area were among the 56 USF alumni owned or led businesses inducted into the 2014 USF Fast 56 in ceremonies held April 11 at the University of South Florida Marshall Student Center. 

More than 300 award recipients and their guests attended the 2014 USF Fast 56 Awards dinner, which recognized the 56 fastest growing USF alumni owned or led businesses in the world. TECO Energy President and CEO John Ramil, a USF alumnus and chair of the USF Board of Trustees, was the keynote speaker at the event.

The 2014 USF 56 Awards presenting sponsor was Brandt Consolidated, a two-time USF Fast 56 recipient who’s President and CEO Rick Brandt, `91, accepted the inaugural USF Fast 56 Apex Award, for the USF Fast 56 recipient with the highest annual revenue. Another special award of distinction, the Accelerator Award, which recognizes the Fast 56 recipient with the largest percentage of cumulative growth among companies with more than $50 million dollars in revenue, went to another two-time USF Fast 56 recipient, Blue Grace Logistics of Riverview, led by Bobby Harris, `10.

“All of the USF Fast 56 businesses are a testament to what a quality education at a great university can help an ambitious and industrious person achieve,” said Bill McCausland, executive director of the USF Alumni Association. “They serve as an excellent example of the significant impact of USF alumni, locally, nationally and globally.”

More than 600 companies were nominated for inclusion in the 2014 USF Fast 56. To be considered for inclusion, a business must meet these following criteria:

- A business must be in operation for a minimum of 36 months
- A business must have verifiable revenues of at least $250,000 for the most recent 12-month period
- A business must be owned or operated by a former USF student who has completed at least 60 credit hours.

Nominees submitted confidential information packets to an independent auditor for verification and ranking. The Top 25 fastest growing USF alumni owned businesses were revealed during the event. The No. 1 fastest growing alumni owned business of the 2014 USF Fast 56 is Nutter Custom Construction of Sarasota, led by T.J. Nutter, Class of `98.

“I am proud and honored to be recognized with such a prestigious award from such a great university,” said Nutter. “As a graduate of USF, this award is especially poignant and is something I truly value. I am humbled by the support of USF and from the community that I grew up in, which has allowed my company to thrive here.”

The Top 10 fastest growing businesses in the 2014 USF Fast 56 are:
1. Nutter Custom Construction, Bull Leader: T.J. Nutter, President
2. AirHeads Trampoline Arena, Bull Leaders: Richard Heruska and Steve Johnston, Founders
3. Arehna Engineering, Inc., Bull Leaders: Sonia Florence and Jessica McRory
4. NoWait, Bull Leader: Robb Myer, President and Founder
5. Bulluck Law Group, Bull Leader: David Bulluck, President
6. Synoptos, Inc., Bull Leader: Richard Hartman, Ph.D., Director
7. Florida Wellness & Rehab, Bull Leader: Edward Leonard, D.C.
8. BridgeView IT, Bull Leader: Tim Glennie, President
9. Dynamic Communities, Inc., Bull Leader: Andrew Hafer, CEO
10. Machine Tool Recyclers, Inc., Bull Leader: Jonathan Leeb, Vice President

To see the Top 25 ranked business in the 2014 USF Fast 56 and for a link to all 56 award recipients, please visit this website.

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