Seventeen North Bay companies qualified this year for a national list of fast-growing private employers.
Four ranked for the first time on Inc. magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, released Aug. 17, six moved up in the rankings, and two returned after making the list in years past. Rankings were based on three-year revenue growth, with at least $100,000 in 2012 revenue and more than $2 million last year.
The highest-ranking North Bay company this year was Santa Rosa’s Moore Solar/Heating/Cooling, formerly Moore Heating & Air Conditioning. The 7-year-old installation and service company returned to the list for a third straight year, coming in at No. 467 with 815 percent growth to $9.2 million last year.
“It’s because we keep things to the basics,” said co-owner Jon Diamond, explaining the growth. “If you screw up and track mud on floor or damage the Sheetrock, you fix it.”
Curtis Moore started the company in 2009 and hired his best friend as the first employee in late 2010. Diamond joined as a half-owner in February 2011. There were 36 employees in mid-2015, and now the company employs 80. There are a half-dozen positions waiting to be filled from entry-level customer service to installation and maintenance technicians to a sales manager.
Because of a shortage of skilled workers and anticipated growth, the company often brings on those who come in with the right stuff, Diamond said.
“We hire for heart and train for the talent,” he said.
Revenue is on track for another big jump this year, to $20 million, Diamond said.
NEW TO THE LIST
North Bay newcomers to the Inc. 5000 this year were Bay Equity Home Loans of Sausalito, Yuba Bicycles of Petaluma, Nelson of Sonoma and Pacific Crest Group of San Rafael.
BAY EQUITY HOME LOANS
Three brothers — Brett, Casey and Jon McGovern — started Bay Equity in San Francisco’s Financial District in 2007 then relocated it to Marin County. The mortgage banker funds loans out of credit facilities then sells the instruments to capital-market investors. Eighty-five percent are conforming loans sold to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. The rest are jumbo loans sold to the likes of Chase, Mill Valley-based Redwood Trust and others.
Growth has come from transitioning to national lender from regional player, and the pace is accelerating with a new focus on retail lending, according to CEO Brett McGovern.
“Our growth is a result of our strategic plan for methodical growth across the country,” he said. “We bring on the best of the best loan originators.”
The workforce has grown from 23 in 2009 to more than 1,100 in 100 branch offices in 23 states. The company courts top originators in a target market before opening an office and strives to run the company as transparently as possible within the ranks.
Revenues last year were $97.5 million, up 168 percent over three years, on $3.1 billion in loan volume. This year, the company is on course to reach $130 million in revenue on $4.2 billion in loans on one- to four-unit residential properties, he said.
In December, Bay Equity shut down its wholesale lending division, which funded loans submitted by mortgage brokers, to focus on loans originated in its branch offices. More than three-quarters of the loan volume last year — $2.4 billion — came from the branches.
North Bay on Inc. 5000
Rank: Company, city, three-year revenue growth, 2015 revenue
- 467: Moore Solar/Heating/Cooling, Santa Rosa, 815%, $9.2m
- 1,064: Free Flow Wines, Napa, 368%, $4.5m
- 1,588: Sway Group, Corte Madera, 238%, $5.2m
- 1,850: Three Twins Ice Cream, Petaluma, 202%, $11.2m
- 2,127: Star Staffing, Petaluma, 175%, $25.2m
- 2,186: Bay Equity Home Loans, Sausalito, 168%, $97.5m
- 2,257: EO Products, San Rafael, 161%, $28m
- 2,354: ONEHOPE, Rutherford, 154%, $6.7m
- 2,776: Yuba Bicycles, Petaluma, 126%, $2.4m
- 2,894: ProTransport-1, Cotati, 119%, $82.4m
- 2,953: Before The Movie, Fairfield, 116%, $4.7m
- 3,088: Mogo Marketing and Media, Corte Madera, 110%, $13.3m
- 3,511: Nelson, Sonoma, 90%, $232.8m
- 3,529: OMW, Novato, 90%, $4.2m
- 4,146: Equator Coffees & Teas, San Rafael, 67%, $11.8m
- 4,187: Pacific Crest Group, San Rafael, 66%, $2.2m
- 4,640: Merrimak Capital Company, Novato, 52%, $20.1m
Source: Inc. 5000 list, Aug. 17, 2016