The UGA Alumni Association honored the 100 fastest growing companies owned or operated by UGA alumni during the fifth annual Bulldog 100 Celebration Jan. 25 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
The 2014 fastest growing business was Social Empowerment Center, founded and owned by UGA graduates and husband and wife duo, Rachelle and Edward Hutchinson.
Located in Lawrenceville, Social Empowerment Center offers support to families in crisis, including mental health and indigent services. This was the company’s first appearance on the Bulldog 100. Rachelle Hutchinson, a 2000 graduate of UGA’s School of Social Work, is the first female and the first minority business owner to lead the No. 1 company since the program began in 2010.
To be considered for the list, each business must have been in operation for at least five years, experienced revenues in excess of $100,000 for the calendar year 2010 and be owned or operated by a former UGA student who owns at least 50 percent of the company or is the CEO, president or managing partner.
The Bulldog 100 recognizes the fastest growing businesses regardless of size by focusing on a three-year compounded annual growth rate.
More than 800 nominations were received for the 2014 Bulldog 100. The class includes companies of all sizes, providing services and products in a variety of industries, including advertising, staffing, real estate, pest control and mixed martial arts. Companies as far west as Texas and Kansas, and as far northeast as New Jersey, made the list this year.
The 2014 Bulldog 100 Celebration recognized the 100 businesses and 141 alumni who lead those companies. The evening began with a reception, followed by dinner and the awards ceremony. Fran Tarkenton, Smallbizclub.com founder, 1961 UGA alumnus and Hall of Fame quarterback, served as the keynote speaker.
“The UGA Alumni Association is pleased to have hosted another successful Bulldog 100 Celebration as the program celebrates its fifth year recognizing top alumni business leaders,” said Deborah Dietzler, executive director of alumni relations. “This is always a well-attended event, and the competition to make the Bulldog 100 list each year continues to grow.”
Businesses based in the Southeast claimed the top 10 spots in this year’s Bulldog 100:
1. Social Empowerment Center (Lawrenceville)
2. Vert Mobile LLC (Atlanta)
3. The Ansley Group (Atlanta)
4. Hitson Land and Timber Management Inc. (Port Orange, Fla.)
5. Aycock Properties Inc. (Atlanta)
6. EvoShield (Bogart)
7. Professional Technology Integration Inc. (Norcross)
8. Blake & Brady (Anderson, S.C.)
9. Two Maids and A Mop (Mountain Brook, Ala.)
10. Sovereign Systems (Norcross).
The complete list of the 2014 Bulldog 100 and photos from the celebration are at www.alumni.uga.edu/b100. Nominations for the 2015 Bulldog 100 will be accepted until May 31 at that same website.