Seven of the fastest growing companies in Missouri were honored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the 2017 Fast Track award during the annual Missouri Business Awards at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Nov. 16, 2017.
“These are the companies that are driving economic growth in Missouri,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “We consider these companies the superheroes of our economy. Many have overcome significant obstacles to be where they are today, but through hard work, innovation and perseverance they are thriving and providing thousands of Missourians with good paying jobs and opportunities.”
Since its beginning as a simple online directory in 2007, GigSalad has expanded into the largest and most diverse marketplace for entertainment and event services today. A leading source of gigs for entertainers and event professionals for hire across the U.S. and Canada, they offer tens of thousands of listings. Their beautiful, sleek website provides an easy and secure booking experience. They pride themselves in taking the stress out of event planning and giving talent a network to make a living doing what they love. With an impressive 3-year revenue growth of 224 percent, this company is well-deserving of this award.
4 Hands Brewing Co., St. Louis
Focusing on their home market has paid off big for 4 Hands, which is located in the Lasalle Park neighborhood of St. Louis. In 2016 they expanded from the Brewers Association microbrewery category to the regional brewery grouping and they predict 2017 sales will reach 23,000 barrels by the end of this year. 83 percent of the beer they produce stays within Missouri borders and 87 percent of their in-state volume sales were in St. Louis. Founder Kevin Lemp plans for that figure to grow over the next five years to 90 percent. 4 Hands offers 6 year-round beers along with a selection of seasonal beers and boasts a 20,000 square foot brewing facility. Last summer, they also debuted a new second-story tasting room.
Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co., Louisiana, Mo.
The Stark Bro’s name is synonymous with the Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of all worldwide apple production. With a 201-year legacy, this company is still going strong. Originally famous for their apple trees, Stark Bro’s now provides more than 150 varieties of trees and plants to their customers. In spring, their busiest season, they sell up to 15,000 a day. They have 250 Missouri employees and are planning to expand their greenhouse capacity by two-thirds over the next two years. Their hard-earned heritage includes the title of world’s oldest continuously-operating nursery.
With customers in industries ranging from agriculture to aircraft, PolySource is more than a resin distribution company – they are a team of consultants who support new application developments and existing applications where a problem or issue may exist with the current supplier. Representing over 25 domestic and international suppliers, they provide customer-centric focused distribution and warehousing as well as full-time support staff for international supply chain management. As a partner in delivering solutions, their company empowers field developers to make decisions. They are on pace to finish with 27% growth from 2016 to 2017.
LMV Automotive Systems, Liberty
A division of Magna International, LMV Automotive Systems has been located in Liberty’s Heartland Meadows Business Park since 2012. What began as a 212,000 square foot manufacturing plant was expanded in 2014 with an additional 256,600 square feet when they secured a contract with another major auto manufacturer. But they didn’t stop there – in 2015 they completed a $90 million facility equipped with assembly technologies including robotic spot and MIG welding as well as an Innovation and Training Center, where they provide skilled trade training to hundreds of new employees including weld technicians, tooling technicians and maintenance personnel. LMV currently employs 700 people.
TG Missouri Corporation, Perryville
TG Missouri is celebrating 30 years of success. The first Toyoda Gosei company in North America, TG Missouri manufactures Safety Systems and Interior/Exterior automotive parts as well as managing 2 locations in other states. Since their start in 1987, they have expanded their facilities to include nearly 1.8 million square feet of floor space. Over the past three years, their growth has included the addition of 390 employees for a total of 1,934 and 600,000 square feet of additional space for operations. With a revenue increase of 7.5 percent – not including a $107.5 million in business transferred to another TG North America site – their dedication to continuous improvement has greatly benefited their local communities and Toyoda Gosei globally.
The Boeing Company, St. Louis
During their nearly 80-year presence in St. Louis, Boeing has built more than 12,000 fighter jets. Even more exciting is the expansive growth they are pursuing now. Last year, they opened St. Louis’ first commercial airplanes facility – a new 424,000-square-foot composite center initially created for building composite parts for the 777X, the company’s newest commercial jetliner. Boeing invested more than $300 million to bring this production to the region, which is the largest commercial aviation work statement ever placed at the site. Production of the 777X wing edge and empennage parts positions the area for more commercial and defense work in future years. By the early 2020s, they expect a total of approximately 700 jobs to be generated in production, engineering and support.