Three local businesses will be honored on Nov. 3 as being among 50 “companies to watch” in Florida.
Gator Cleaning Solutions, RISA and X-Link Medical Software Interfacing will receive their awards at a celebration at Hard Rock Live, Universal CityWalk, in Orlando.
These companies were selected from 500 nominees in the annual Florida Companies to Watch annual awards program.
The statewide program identifies companies that are expected to achieve significant growth over the next several years. The awards program is managed by GrowFl, the Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University of Central Florida, in association with Edward Lowe Foundation and with programmatic support from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Winners of the distinction were singled out based on several factors, including their entrepreneurial management teams, competitive marketing positions and strong community involvement.
The 50 companies making the list generated more than $1.1 billion in combined revenue and added nearly 1,200 employees, between 2012 and 2015, according to information provided by the Pasco Economic Development Council.
Businesses on the list also had a 30 percent increase in revenue and 33 percent increase in job growth in 2016, the Pasco EDC reports.
Gary and Mary Lynn Gorsline, owners of X-Link Medical Software Interfacing, are delighted that their Land O’ Lakes-based company is one to watch.
Their company, which began in March 1988, now has 12 employees, but has immediate needs to add three more, Mary Lynn Gorsline said.
The couple is pleased to see second-stage companies receive recognition and support.
“It’s a group of companies that are not startups, and they’re not Ford Motor companies,” Gary Gorsline said.
Mary Lynn, added: “Second-stage companies are hugely important because they generate more jobs — yet get very little attention. Startups get lots of attention. Tiny little businesses get lots of attention, but second-stage that drive the economy are largely overlooked.”
Innovation has played a huge role in the company’s success and remains essential, she added.
“We have to never, ever, ever stop innovating because if we do, we’ll go away,” she said.
One pivotal moment for the company came from the exposure it derived from being among 80 top U.S. vendors that demonstrated at the Interoperability Showcase for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the largest American health care tradeshow.
The appearance there led to new partnerships and created new opportunities at the local, state, national and international levels, according to the couple.
The company also has supported the creation of a clinic in Managua, has provided financial support to the nonprofit Ghana Orphanage and helped with the startup, and has provided continued support for Oasis Pregnancy Care Center, which has office space in Copperstone Executive Suites, where X-Link operates.
Gator Cleaning Solutions, of Odessa, has been in business for more than 12 years. The company has evolved from a janitorial service to a facility maintenance provider.
It delivers customizable strategies to meet its customers’ needs. Recently, it expanded to include residential floor care such as carpet, tile/grout and upholstery cleaning.
The company rebranded itself in 2010, changing its name, expanding its executive leadership team and developing its first comprehensive website. It expanded its footprint in 2012 by purchasing its corporate office and warehouse space, and adding staff, to prepare for continued growth.
The company is a big believer in community involvement.
“I’m a big part of Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel,” said Erin Meyers, co-owner of the company.
She’s also involved with the Interact Club at Land O’ Lakes High School and is a Big Sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister organization.
Her husband, Marcus, also a co-owner of the company, coaches two teams in the West Pasco Soccer Club. He’s also on the Greater Pasco Chamber Board.
The company shows its support for community involvement by providing a paid work day for each employee, dubbed a “Give Day” to allow them to give back to a charity of their choice.
The company is also involved in a number of other organizations and charitable causes.
The company has about 80 employees, including about 30 full-time staff members, Erin Meyer said.
“We made it to a finalist last year. We were totally honored. If you look back at last year’s winners, there were just some amazing companies,” she said. “To have won this year is just extremely exciting and humbling.”
RISA, of Land O’ Lakes, is also on the list of companies to watch.
RISA is a Hispanic, Certified Veteran Owned Small Business that specializes in cyber security and information technology services.
It helps the Department of Defense and the federal government to secure networks, improve overall network security and achieve government regulatory compliance, according to its website.
It also supports a number of charitable causes and organizations, locally and internationally, including a micro-church in Germany that provides food, clothing, shelter and the Gospel to Germans who may have never read the Bible or heard of Jesus, the company’s website says.
Closer to home, the company supports Christian Social Services of Land O’ Lakes and Grace United Methodist Church, which in cooperation with Metropolitan Ministries, provides hot dinners weekly to members of the local community.
Published October 26, 2016