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More than 30 NH companies ranked among the Inc. 5000

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 26. 2012 12:12AM
Matt Sotherden, director of information technology for Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering, talks with Ryan Barton, president of Mainstay Technologies, which ranked 1,739 on this year's Inc. 5000 list, eighth highest among N.H. companies. Rist-Frost-Shumway is one of the Laconia company's clients. (Courtesy)

Jason Alexander, managing partner and cofounder of the Nagler Group staffing company based in Bedford, was delighted to learn that Nagler ranked fifth among New Hampshire companies on Inc. magazine's annual list of the fastest-growing 5,000 companies in the nation.

Alexander is no stranger to the honor. He's associated with three companies on the list, released last week. In addition to Nagler, which made the list at 1,427 in its first year of eligibility, Alexander and his partners also own the Alexander Technology Group, ranked at 2,173; and KBW Financial Staffing and Recruiting. KBW, ranked at 3,132, has now earned the Inc. honor for the fourth consecutive year. Alexander and his partners own BANK W Holdings, parent company for all three staffing organizations.

The group of 31 New Hampshire companies that made the list this year runs the gamut, from information technology services to manufacturing to dog grooming and boarding. All experienced dramatic growth in revenue since 2008. Only one New Hampshire company broke into the top 500 nationally. NorAm International Partners, ranked at 190, saw growth of 1,847 percent in the three-year period from 2008 to 2011 - the depths of the Great Recession. The Hudson-based reseller of overstocked and wholesale DVDs, CDS and video games, which made the top 500 the past three years, recently announced plans to relocate to Kentucky.

BANK W Holdings and its three staffing organizations have no such plans, according to Alexander. He said the three Bedford-based companies cater to New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts, with one branch office in Woburn and another scheduled to open in October at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, creating 10 to 15 new jobs. Alexander, a Hampton native and lifelong New Hampshire resident, says 80 percent of the ownership team lives in New Hampshire and is very loyal to the region.

In order to qualify for the Inc. 5000 list, a company must have generated at least $100,000 in revenue in 2008 with growth to at least $2 million by 2011. That's a tough standard, but the New Hampshire companies on the list have shown impressive gains, ranging from NorAm's 1,847 percent growth to the Barking Dog's 17 percent.

Its 211 percent growth rate put Nagler securely in the top 10 for the Granite State. 'We are just on the cusp of facilitating the successful placement of our 5,000th position,' Alexander said. 'For a little privately held firm that was started by a couple of guys making phone calls who were crazy enough to quit their jobs, that's quite amazing.'

Mainstay Technologies, an information technology service company based in Laconia, saw revenue growth of 164 percent during the three-year period, placing eighth among New Hampshire companies and 1,739 overall. Like BANK W, the company is intensely loyal to New Hampshire.

The company has 24 employees, 14 of whom were added in the past three years, with four to five new positions opening up in the next month. Mainstay opened a branch office in Manchester a little more than a year ago, and will soon move into larger quarters in Belmont, near the firm's Laconia roots.

'We're creating a different model for what sales and marketing look like,' Robinson said. 'We provide a lot of value prior to a purchasing decision.'

Madison Components broke into the list for the first time this year at third place among New Hampshire companies and 912 overall, with a growth rate of 362 percent over the three years. The company is a reseller of components for the computer hardware industry.

Like Mainstay, Madison has seen the greatest growth during difficult economic times. 'In trying times like this, manufacturers will do everything they can to reduce their costs,' said Matthew Pelletier, Madison cofounder and CEO. 'Buying surplus inventory through the secondary market is certainly one way to do that.'

Founded by two New Hampshire natives, the company will soon be moving from its Hampton headquarters to a larger building at the Stratham Industrial Park, adding 20 positions in sales and purchasing, according to Pelletier. While New Hampshire-based, the company has a global reach, with offices in Vienna, Hungary, Russia and Malaysia.

ENCO Industries, a provider of storage containers and spill control products for the government and private sector, also made the list for the first time this year, with 138 percent earnings growth that put the Plaistow-based company at the 10th spot for New Hampshire and 1,958th nationally.

Michael Faris, ENCO vice president, says demand for the company's products has increased with troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and private companies facing ever-increasing complexity in environmental regulations.

'We can be flexible enough to continue growth in any economy,' Alexander said. 'We enjoy ourselves more when the economy is booming. But being locally focused, locally owned and privately held gives us the flexibility to cater to our customers, whether we're in a booming economy or economic downtown.'

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Dave Solomon may be reached at

list of NH companies on Inc. 5000


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