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Chamber Salutes Top-performing Companies

Chamber Salutes Top-performing Companies
Super 60

Super 60

The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield’s Super 60 companies reveal the strong diversity of the region’s economy, and the breadth and depth of the small companies that form its backbone. From a manufacturer of cremation urns to a maker of high-powered hand dryers; from a day care center to a private college, the companies on the list have a common denominator — success.

Higher education and health care. Those are two of the economic sectors displaying strength and resilience in the Pioneer Valley, and areas producing many of the area’s new jobs.

So it’s not surprising that both realms are well represented on the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce (ACCGS) Super 60 list for 2005. Indeed, three of the top performers on the ‘Total Revenue’ chart are private colleges based in Springfield — Western New England College, American International College, and Springfield College. Meanwhile, both the Revenue and ‘Revenue Growth’ lists are dotted with health care and health care-related businesses — from physician groups to a chain of drug stores.

But there are many other business sectors represented on the lists as well, from retail to manufacturing, transportation to hospitality.

“Diversity — that’s the strength of our local economy; we’re not dependent on any one area,” said ACCGS President Russell F. Denver. “The Super 60 list has always reflected that diversity; it’s an accurate barometer of the health of our business community.

BusinessWest looks this issue at those barometric readings, and what the Super 60 list reveals. Scanning the names, Denver said the compilation, which includes a mix of familiar names and new faces, reveals that many companies of all sizes are doing well, and that bodes well for the Pioneer Valley.

Blanket Coverage

The diversity that Denver spoke of can be clearly seen in the Super 60’s Revenue category.

At the top of the chart is a veteran of the program, Pride Convenience Inc., which operates gas stations and convenience stores, and is advancing plans to build more (see related story, page 19). But there are also the three colleges on the list, some retailers — including two auto dealerships, a recreational vehicle seller, and Manny’s TV and Appliance — and an engineering firm specializing in the design of food-processing plants (the Dennis Group).

And then, there’s Berkshire Blanket, the Ware-based manufacturer of fleece blankets that has seen strong, steady growth over the past several years.

The health care sector is also well represented in the Revenue category, with a mix of ventures, including Disability Management Services Inc., Louis & Clark Drug, Hampden County Physicians Inc., and the Mental Health Association.

“Diversity — that’s the strength of our local economy; we’re not dependent on any one area. The Super 60 list has always reflected that diversity; it’s an accurate barometer of the health of our business community.”

To qualify for the Revenue list, companies needed to compile at least $1 million in sales in 2004. The average for the 30 companies that made the list, however, was more than $30 million. Combined the Revenue winners logged more than $1.1 billion in total sales.

The top five Revenue companies were:Pride, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Springfield College, Western New England College, and Northeast Treaters. Berkshire Blanket was one of nine newcomers to the list. The others were Astro Chemicals, Environmental Compliance Services (previously listed on Revenue Growth lists), Heatbath Corp., M.J. Moran Corp., Manny’s, Mental Health Associates, Sound Seal, and Springfield College.

While diversity is prevalent on the Revenue list, the word defines the Revenue Growth chart, as a look at the top-five performers reveals.

First-place finisher Brookdale Associates is a machine tool distributor. The runner-up, meanwhile, a Westfield-based venture called Little Rill Corp., specializes in the packaging of ice-melt and other products for national manufacturers. Third on the list is a staffing agency (United Personnel Services), followed by Dimauro Carpet and Tile, and an insurance agency (Field Eddy & Bulkley).

Further down the list one finds a day care center, a farmers’ supply company, a truss-making venture (see related story, page 22), a company making a new, more powerful line of hand dryers, Springfield Spring , and MacKenzie Vault Inc., the East Longmeadow-based maker of cremation urns.

There are also several health care-related businesses on the Growth list. They include Baystate Ob/Gyn Group , Micro Test Laboratories, a pharmaceuticals manufacturer, Consolidated Health Plans, and Pediatric Services of Greater Springfield.

Nearly half the companies on the ‘Growth’ list are newcomers. They are ACT Vehicle Equipment Inc., Allston Supply Co., Amherst Farmers Supply Inc., Dimauro Carpet & Tile, Excel Dryer, Field Eddy & Bulkley, James J. Dowd and Sons Insurance Agency Inc., Little Rill, Mackenzie Vault, Norman B. Keady Const. Co., Pediatric Services, Springfield Spring, Truss Engineering Corp., and Wright Architectural Millwork.

To make the Growth chart, companies needed to log at least 20.6% growth over the past three years. The average for the group, however, was 49%, and three-quarters of the firms on the list recorded at least 30% over that time.

The Super 60 companies will be honored at a luncheon at Chez Josef on Oct. 28. For more information, or to order tickets, call (413) 755-1313, or