Fast 40 again looking for state’s best

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Published: June 22,2009

Of all of the Mississippi Business Journal’s awards programs, none is more focused on the bottom line than Fast 40. It is all about revenue growth, and this has made the award a most coveted honor.

The MBJ, joined again by sponsors KPMG, LLP, and Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis, P.A., is currently accepting nominations for the 2009-2010 class of Fast 40 winners. Winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon slated for Oct. 22 at the Country Club of Jackson. Each winner will be spotlighted during a special video presentation highlighting their achievements as well as their culture.

In addition, each company will be featured in a special publication that will be produced after the awards luncheon. In addition to the company features, the special publication will also include a list of past winners and other information.

The Fast 40 program has an interesting history. It traces its roots back to the 1990s when the Jackson office of KPMG brought the idea for the awards program to the MBJ. It has been held every other year since then.

“KPMG is excited to be associated again with Fast 40 and look forward to partnering with our co-sponsors, the Mississippi Business Journal and Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis,” said KPMG partner Mark Peach. “The Jackson office of KPMG initiated the Fast 40 program back in the 1990s because we were looking for a way to recognize outstanding businesses in the State of Mississippi. It has been very rewarding to see the success of the program grow over the years.”

Fast 40 looks to identify and honor the 40 fastest-growing privately held companies in the Magnolia State. Similar to the national Inc. 500 ranking, Fast 40 looks to recognize the dynamic private companies in Mississippi for their contributions to the growth and success of their entire community.

Great lengths are taken in the nomination process to ensure the program’s integrity. KPMG and Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis are more than just sponsors — they are part of the program itself. The accounting firm KPMG verifies that all of the nominees’ information is accurate, and then the information is held in trust by the law firm of Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis.

Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis CEO Dennis W. Miller said, “Sustained growth of business is the backbone of our economy, and we are very pleased to once again join KPMG and the Mississippi Business Journal in recognizing the star performers through the Fast 40 program. We are anticipating another year of recognizing outstanding applicants from all areas of the state.”

This year’s nominees are asked to supply revenues from fiscal years 2006, 2007 and 2008. Nominees must be independent and privately held, have revenue of at least $1 million in 2008 and have three complete years of operations and must have their home office and principal place of business in Mississippi.

This year’s winners will join elite company. Past honorees represent a veritable Who’s Who of Mississippi business and industry. Alumni include FNC Inc., Valley Services Inc., JBHM Education Group, LLC, Hol-Mac Corporation, Community Bancshares of Mississippi Inc. and Merchants Food Service (which has won every year since the program’s inception).

“It is no secret that the past year has been a challenging one for our business community,” said Ed Darling, publisher and editor of the MBJ. “So, this year’s winners will be a stellar group. To manage revenue growth during the current economic environment is a tremendous accomplishment.”

For more information on this year’s Fast 40 awards program, contact MBJ advertising director Kathy Arich at (601) 364-1011 or kathy.arich@msbusiness.com. Nomination forms are available on the at www.msbusiness.com (click on the banner at the top of the page).

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