"This year marks the 25th anniversary of recognizing fast-growing, locally owned companies that are growing in employment and revenue," said Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), which produces the Future 50 program. "It's good to see the more things change, the more they stay the same. Manufacturing has been at the heart of Milwaukee's business strength for more than 150 years, and it still is today."
Future 50 winners represent a diverse mix of industries from throughout the seven-county Milwaukee Region. In aggregate, the 2012 winners had revenues of $889,834,220 – a 32-percent increase over the previous year – and combined employment of 3,324 at the end of 2011. The companies are projecting to add just over 500 jobs by the end of 2012.
"Every company on the list – from information technology and construction companies to metal fabricators and educational providers – represents the entrepreneurial spirit. These businesses apply innovation, hard work and the best talent to grow their business. We salute and celebrate these firms, which are creating vital jobs in our community," Sheehy said.
To be considered for the Future 50 award, companies submit an application including revenue and employment history as well as growth projections. Companies must meet four basic criteria: local headquarters (within the seven counties of southeast Wisconsin); independent ownership; strong growth in revenue and employment; and in business for at least three years.
The Future 50 winners reported a variety of challenges impacting their business. The most common challenges cited were managing rapid growth (36 percent) and finding employees (30 percent). Other challenges noted were rising supply costs, health care costs and dealing with government policies and regulations.
MMAC's small business arm, the Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE), has conducted the Future 50 program since 1987. According to Mary Steinbrecher, COSBE's executive director, "It is always encouraging to see such a strong group of applicants and winners in this program. These companies truly represent the future of our region."
This year, there are 21 service companies on the list, 17 manufacturers, five in technology, four in construction, and three in wholesale trade.
The 2012 Future 50 companies will be recognized by the MMAC and BizTimes Milwaukee for their achievements at the annual awards luncheon, to be held Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 at the Hyatt Hotel. Park Bank is the long-standing partner and presenting sponsor of the Future 50 program. The Future 50 Luncheon sponsors include Findorff, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Northwestern Mutual.
The Future 50 companies will be profiled by BizTimes Milwaukee.
To view the list of winners, click here.