Sunday, April 21, 2024

North Carolina’s Top 100 Private Companies 2018

Prospects that Amazon and Apple will expand their strong N.C. presences with major new investments dominated the state’s business news coverage this year. But it’s the locally based, middle-market operators included in this year’s list of the state’s 100 largest private companies that drive North Carolina’s impressive growth. They collectively employ more than 107,000 people in a wide variety of industries.

An example is National Coatings & Supplies Inc., which distributes paint to more than 15,000 body shops, aircraft-maintenance companies, boat manufacturers and others. The under-the-radar Raleigh-based firm is controlled by O. Temple Sloan Jr.’s investment group. Sloan’s General Parts Co. appeared on the NC100 list for many years until its $2 billion sale to Advance Auto Parts in 2014. National Coatings, which has more than 200 offices in 38 states, nearly doubled its revenue in the last two years after acquiring a competitor, Roswell, Ga.-based Single Source Inc.

“Companies on the North Carolina 100 list are the backbone of our local economy,” says Dave Wedding, Charlotte-based managing partner for the Southeast region at Grant Thornton LLP, which compiles the list. “They are North Carolina’s top builders, innovators and creators.” Ownership ranges from families that have operated the companies for generations to private equity-controlled enterprises. Participation is voluntary.

The state’s boom in apartment complexes, distribution centers and university buildings is also evident, with general contractors including James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Inc., Samet Corp., T.A. Loving Co. and Edifice Inc. moving up sharply. Charlotte-based Edifice has nearly doubled its payroll in the last three years and ranked No. 41 this year, compared with 54th in 2017 and 69th in 2016. Jefferson-based Vannoy & Sons has jumped from 28th to 18th in that period, posting more than $550 million in revenue.

SAS Institute topped the list, reporting 2017 revenue of $3.2 billion, a 1.25% increase from 2016, according to company reports. SAS employs about 7,500 people at its Cary headquarters. No. 2 Transportation Insight LLC, a Hickory-based logistics company, reported 2017 revenue of about $1.9 billion, a company spokeswoman confirmed. It has boosted its staff by 20% to 510.

$1 billion or more in revenue
(latest fiscal year)

1 SAS Institute Inc., Cary

Software developer
2017 Rank: 1
CEO: Jim Goodnight
Employees: 14,116

2 Transportation Insight LLC, Hickory

Logistics consultant
2017 Rank: 2
CEO: Chris Baltz
Employees: 510

3 National Gypsum Co. 1, Charlotte

[media-credit name=”National Gypsum Co.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Manufacturer of wallboard products
2017 Rank: 3
CEO: Thomas C. Nelson
Employees: 2,200

The strong housing market is prompting the company to reopen its Wilmington plant, which had closed during the 2009 housing recession. CEO Tom Nelson says the plant will reopen later this year, joining about 40 facilities operated by the second-largest U.S. gypsum board manufacturer. Nelson’s father-in-law, C.D. Spangler Jr., who bought the company for $1.2 billion in 1995, died in July.

4 Pike Corp., Mount Airy

Construction and engineering services for electric utilities
2017 Rank: 4
CEO: J. Eric Pike
Employees: 7,500

$500 million to $999 million
(latest fiscal year)

5 AmWINS Group Inc., Charlotte

Wholesale insurance distributor
2017 Rank: 5
CEO: Scott Purviance
Employees: 4,200

6 Form Technologies Inc. 2, Charlotte

Manufacturer of metal components
2017 Rank: 8
CEO: Simon James Newman
Employees: 9,300

7 LORD Corp., Cary

Manufacturer of adhesives, coatings and motion controls
2017 Rank: 6
CEO: Edward L. Auslander
Employees: 3,000

8 Market America Inc., Greensboro

Product brokerage and internet marketer
2017 Rank: 26
CEO: JR Ridinger
Employees: 1,188

9 Carolina Tractor & Equipment Co., Charlotte

Dealer of construction and industrial equipment
2017 Rank: 7
CEO: Ed Weisiger Jr.
Employees: 1,552

10 Waste Industries USA Inc., Raleigh

[media-credit name=”Waste Industires USA Inc.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Provider of waste-collection and recycling services
2017 Rank: 10
CEO: Lonnie C. Poole III
Employees: 2,400

The 48-year-old company bought Denver-based Alpine Waste & Recycling in May, making Colorado the eighth state in which it operates and marking its first expansion west of Tennessee. The founding Poole family joined with two large private-equity groups to buy the business in 2017 from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners Inc., which had helped the company go private in 2008.

11 Barnhill Contracting Co., Rocky Mount

General contractor
2017 Rank: 13
CEO: Robert E. Barnhill Jr.
Employees: 1,099

12 SteelFab Inc., Charlotte

Steel fabricator
2017 Rank: 12
CEO: Glenn Sherrill
Employees: 1,077

13 Ennis-Flint Inc., Greensboro

Manufacturer of pavement markings and traffic products
2017 Rank: 14
CEO: Matt Soule
Employees: 1,500

14 Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co., Raleigh

Hotel management and development
2017 Rank: 15
CEO: Mark G. Laport
Employees: 4,232

15 Gregory Poole Equipment, Raleigh

Dealer of construction and other equipment
2017 Rank: 9
CEO: J. Gregory Poole III
Employees: 1,285

16 Southco Distributing Co., Goldsboro

Convenience-store supplier
2017 Rank: 11
CEO: Sherwin Herring
Employees: 205

17 National Coatings & Supplies Inc., Raleigh

Paint distributor for collision-repair shops
2017 Rank: 21
CEO: Dean Worley
Employees: 1,640

18 James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Co., Jefferson

General contractor
2017 Rank: 23
CEO: Eddie Vannoy
Employees: 311

19 Clancy & Theys Construction Co., Raleigh

General contractor
2017 Rank: 19
CEO: Tim Clancy
Employees: 344

20 Atlantic Packaging 3, Wilmington

Distributor of industrial packaging materials; paper converter
2017 Rank: 16
CEO: Russell “Rusty” Carter
Employees: 1,040

21 Sampson-Bladen Oil Co., Clinton

Wholesaler, retailer and distributor of petroleum products
2017 Rank: 20
CEO: Haddon M. Clark III
Employees: 797

22 Renfro Corp., Mount Airy

Sock manufacturer
2017 Rank: 17
CEO: Stan Jewell
Employees: 4,500

$250 million to $499 million
(latest fiscal year)

23 Crescent Communities LLC 4, Charlotte

Real-estate developer
2017 Rank: 24
CEO: Todd Mansfield
Employees: 176

24 CaptiveAire Systems Inc., Raleigh

[media-credit name=”CaptiveAire Systems Inc.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Manufacturer of kitchen-ventilation equipment
2017 Rank: 25
CEO: Robert L. Luddy
Employees: 1,250

The manufacturer is spending $10 million on an expansion in Indian-apolis, likely to create 75 jobs over the next several years. It will be the company’s seventh plant. “We picked Indianapolis because it’s a fine city and its proximity to major population cities,” says Robert Luddy, who founded the company in 1976.

25 Rodgers Builders Inc., Charlotte

General contractor
2017 Rank: 22
CEO: Patricia Rodgers
Employees: 276

26 Pharr Yarns LLC, McAdenville

Yarn manufacturer
2017 Rank: 27
CEO: William P. Carstarphen
Employees: 1,650

27 Strata Solar LLC, Chapel Hill

Solar developer
2017 Rank: 18
CEO: Markus Wilhelm
Employees: 320

28 Snider Fleet Solutions 5, Greensboro

Tire distributor and service provider
2017 Rank: 30
CEO: John K. Snider
Employees: 1,391

29 Eastwood Homes 6, Charlotte

2017 Rank: 36
CEO: Joseph Stewart
Employees: 261

30 Global Knowledge Training LLC, Cary

Information-technology and business-skills trainer
2017 Rank: 28
CEO: Todd Johnstone
Employees: 1,350

Formed in 1995, the company offers more than 5,000 classes a year teaching people how to use software developed by Red Hat, Cisco and others. New York-based Rhone Capital LLC has owned it since 2014.

31 Flexential Corp. 7, Charlotte

[media-credit name=”Flexential Corp.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Data-center operator
2017 Rank: 48
CEO: Chris Downie
Employees: 1,000

Operating 41 U.S. data centers, the company was created in June 2017 through Charlotte-based Peak 10’s $1.7 billion acquisition of Greenwood Village, Colo.-based ViaWest. Its owner is San Francisco-based private-equity group GI Partners.

32 Crowder Constructors Inc., Charlotte

General contractor
2017 Rank: 31
CEO: Otis A. Crowder
Employees: 1,062

The family- and employee-owned business started in 1947 with five people. Projects include bridges, dams, wastewater facilities and power plants. It is building a pedestrian tunnel connecting the N.C. State Fairgrounds and Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh. The founder’s sons Otis and Bill lead the firm.

33 Samet Corp., Greensboro

[media-credit name=”Samet Corp.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

General contractor
2017 Rank: 55
CEO: Arthur Samet
Employees: 176

Opening offices in Charlotte in 2008 and Raleigh in 2015 has enabled the family-owned contractor to benefit from those regions’ strong economies. Education projects made up 47% of volume in 2017, a company newsletter notes. Norman Samet started the business in 1961, while his son, Arthur, has led it since 2000. Other projects include apartment complexes.

34 Harvey Enterprises & Affiliates, Kinston

Distributor of farm equipment and petroleum products
2017 Rank: 33
CEO: John O. McNairy
Employees: 776

35 Golden Corral Corp., Raleigh

2017 Rank: 29
CEO: Lance Trenary
Employees: 1,546

36 ECMD Inc., North Wilkesboro

Manufacturer and distributor of millwork products
2017 Rank: 39
CEO: Joe Woods
Employees: 585

37 Carolina Handling LLC, Charlotte

Distributor of material-handling equipment
2017 Rank: 41
CEO: Dave Reder
Employees: 455

38 Warren Oil Co., Dunn

[media-credit name=”Warren Oil Co.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Manufacturer and distributor of petroleum products
2017 Rank: 37
CEO: Richard Kalin
Employees: 484

Irvin Warren and a colleague started their business in 1976. In addition to Dunn, it has plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas. Warren makes fluids for chainsaws, brakes and many other uses.

$150 million to $249 million
(latest fiscal year)

39 Jones & Frank 8, Raleigh

Fuel-equipment installer and service provider
2017 Rank: 34
CEO: Jim Bolch
Employees: 527

40 T.A. Loving Co., Goldsboro

General contractor
2017 Rank: 52
CEO: Sam Hunter
Employees: 250

41 Edifice Inc., Charlotte

General contractor
2017 Rank: 54
CEO: Eric Laster
Employees: 103

42 Salem Holding Co., Winston-Salem

Provider of transportation and truck-leasing services
2017 Rank: 40
CEO: Thomas L. Teague
Employees: 1,146

43 Blythe Development Co., Charlotte

General contractor
2017 Rank: 44
CEO: L. Jack Blythe
Employees: 900

44 Colony Tire Corp., Edenton

Tire retailer, servicer and distributor
2017 Rank: 45
CEO: Charles Creighton
Employees: 572

45 Carolina Wholesale Group, Charlotte

Distributor of office supplies and equipment
2017 Rank: 50
CEO: Larry Huneycutt
Employees: 185

46 Baker Roofing Co., Raleigh

Roofing contractor
2017 Rank: 46
CEO: Mark Lee
Employees: 1,181

47 Tencarva Machinery Co., Greensboro

Distributor of liquid- and air-handling equipment
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Ed Pearce
Employees: 370

48 Camco Manufacturing Inc., Greensboro

Manufacturer and distributor of RV accessories
2017 Rank: 47
CEO: Donald Caine
Employees: 437

49 Megacorp Logistics LLC, Wilmington

[media-credit name=”Megacorp Logistics LLC” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Logistics consultant
2017 Rank: 66
CEO: Ryan Legg
Employees: 205

The company that Denise and Ryan Legg founded in 2009 with five people now dispatches about 2,500 truckloads per week. While it operates a handful of rigs, most of its work is connecting truckers with shippers, including Walmart and Kroger. The growth is prompting a move to a bigger office next year that will include a gym, cafeteria and steam room.

50 Precision Walls Inc., Cary

Building contractor
2017 Rank: 38
CEO: Brian Allen
Employees: 975

51 Apple Gold Group, Raleigh

Applebee’s Bar & Grill restaurant franchisee
2017 Rank: 42
CEO: Michael D. Olander
Employees: 3,720

52 Electrical Equipment Co., Raleigh

Distributor of electrical equipment
2017 Rank: 51
CEO: Mark K. Holmes
Employees: 293

53 Epes Logistics Services Inc., Greensboro

[media-credit name=”Epes Logistics Services Inc.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Logistics consultant
2017 Rank: 63
CEO: Jason Bodford
Employees: 187

Penske Truck Leasing bought Epes Logistics’ sister company, Epes Transport, in July, but the deal does not include the logistics company that connects shippers and trucking companies. Epes Logistics was founded in 1989, two years after Alvin Bodford bought the business, according to FleetOwner magazine. Epes Logistics made six acquisitions between 2012-17.

54 Advantage Truck Center 9, Charlotte

Retail truck dealership
2017 Rank: 53
CEO: Terry Young
Employees: 151

55 ettain group Inc., Charlotte

Information-technology staffing agency
2017 Rank: 56
CEO: Jeff Harris
Employees: 1,260

56 American Welding & Gas Inc., Raleigh

Manufacturer and distributor of gases and welding supplies
2017 Rank: 58
CEO: George Golliday
Employees: 592

$80 million to $149 million
(latest fiscal year)

57 Hissho Sushi 10, Charlotte

Sushi bars and kiosks
2017 Rank: 62
CEO: Dan Beem
Employees: 343

58 InVue Security Products Inc., Charlotte

Provider of security products for retail displays
2017 Rank: 60
CEO: Jim Sankey
Employees: 240

59 N2 Publishing 11, Wilmington

Publisher of community magazines
2017 Rank: 61
CEO: Duane Hixon
Employees: 241

The company better known as N2 Publishing produces nearly 1,000 magazines targeting specific neighborhoods. Started in 2004, its revenue increased 108% over the last three years to $137 million. Local franchise owners sell ads and gather news, while the Wilmington staff designs the free publications.

60 Morrisette Paper Co., Browns Summit

[media-credit name=”Morrisette Paper Co.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Distributor of paper, packaging and janitorial supplies
2017 Rank: 64
CEO: Bill Morrisette Jr.
Employees: 197

The late Bill Morrisette opened the paper and packaging distributor in 1962 and his son, Bill Jr., took over as CEO in 1992. Morrisette helps companies improve their packaging and make their facilities more efficient. It has operations in Charlotte, Hickory, Raleigh, Duncan, S.C., Roanoke, Va., and Honduras.

61 The Budd Group Inc., Winston-Salem

Provider of janitorial, landscaping and maintenance services
2017 Rank: 67
CEO: Joseph R. Budd
Employees: 2,108

62 Best Logistics Group Inc., Kernersville

Transportation services and management
2017 Rank: 70
CEO: Roy Cox
Employees: 520

63 Union Corrugating Co., Fayetteville

Manufacturer of metal roofing materials
2017 Rank: 69
CEO: Keith Medick
Employees: 342

64 Smith Turf & Irrigation/STI Turf Care Equipment 12, Charlotte

Distributor of landscaping and irrigation equipment
2017 Rank: 68
CEO: Wayne B. Smith Jr.
Employees: 270

65 Mickey Truck Bodies Inc., High Point

Manufacturer of truck bodies and trailers
2017 Rank: 71
CEO: Dean Sink
Employees: 411

66 Carotek Inc., Matthews

Distributor of industrial equipment
2017 Rank: 72
CEO: Deryl Bell
Employees: 165

67 DuBose Strapping Inc., Clinton

Distributor of industrial equipment
2017 Rank: 79
CEO: Charles H. DuBose Jr.
Employees: 150

68 Bulk TV & Internet 13, Raleigh

Provider of DIRECTV and internet services
2017 Rank: 77
CEO: David O’Connell
Employees: 155

69 Wayne Brothers Inc., Davidson

Provider of concrete and site-work construction services
2017 Rank: 78
CEO: Keith Wayne
Employees: 430

70 McGee Brothers Co., Monroe

Masonry contractor
2017 Rank: 75
CEO: Mike McGee
Employees: 650

71 Pine Hall Brick Co., Winston-Salem

[media-credit name=”Pine Hall Brick Co.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Brick manufacturer
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: W. Fletcher Steele
Employees: 269

The company dates to 1889, when J.C. Steele received a patent for brickmaking. Fletcher Steele, a cousin of the founder’s grandson, has been CEO since 1989. It has posted higher sales for seven straight years.

72 Trialcard Inc., Morrisville

Pharmaceutical marketing services
2017 Rank: 76
CEO: Mark Bouck
Employees: 417

73 AvidXchange, Charlotte

Payment-processing software
2017 Rank: 83
CEO: Michael Praeger
Employees: 1,151

74 Spectraforce Technologies, Raleigh

Staffing and consulting services
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Amit Singh
Employees: 2,591

75 MedStream Anesthesia, Asheville

Anesthesia service provider to hospitals and surgery centers
2017 Rank: 82
CEO: Douglas Ellington
Employees: 81

76 Oliver Oil Co., Lumberton

Convenience stores, distributor of petroleum products
2017 Rank: 80
CEO: Christopher L. Oliver
Employees: 82

77 Myers & Chapman Inc., Charlotte

General contractor
2017 Rank: 74
CEO: Marcus Rabun
Employees: 65

78 The Remi Group, Charlotte

[media-credit name=”The Remi Group” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Equipment maintenance management
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Dan Schuster
Employees: 141

Founded by Dan Schuster in 1998, Remi helps hospitals, government agencies and companies save money on equipment maintenance. Remi has boosted employment by 50% in the last year and expects to reach $100 million in revenue in 2018. When a client’s machine breaks or needs servicing, Remi oversees the repair company’s work and invoices.

$79 million AND UNDER
(latest fiscal year)

79 Mako Medical Laboratories LLC, Raleigh

Laboratory testing services
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Chad Price
Employees: 502

80 Parata Systems LLC, Durham

Provider of drug-dispensing technology for pharmacies
2017 Rank: 81
CEO: DJ Dougherty
Employees: 266

81 Alliance of Professionals & Consultants Inc., Raleigh

Professional and staffing services
2017 Rank: 84
CEO: Roy Roberts
Employees: 700

82 Allen Industries Inc., Greensboro

Sign manufacturer
2017 Rank: 85
CEO: Tom Allen
Employees: 365

83 Measurement Inc., Durham

Education-testing contractor
2017 Rank: 73
CEO: Henry H. Scherich
Employees: 471

Psychologist Henry Scherich started Measurement in 1980 as a test-scoring company for state governments and other organizations. It has 14 offices in nine states and employs thousands of seasonal workers.

84 Fairfield Chair Co., Lenoir

[media-credit name=”Fairfield Chair Co.” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Furniture manufacturer
2017 Rank: NA
COO: R. Dixon Mitchell
Employees: 415

The family-owned business, established in 1921 by James Harper Beall, makes upholstered furniture. Industry veteran Dixon Mitchell has led the company as president and chief operating officer since October 2017. Beall’s grandson, John Beall, chairs the board. Fairfield exports its furniture to customers around the world.

85 Global Value Commerce Inc., Raleigh

Internet retailer of golf products
2017 Rank: 89
CEO: Edward Byman
Employees: 130

86 APEX Analytix, Greensboro

Software and audit services
2017 Rank: 90
CEO: Steve Yurko
Employees: 314

87 Systel Business Equipment Co., Fayetteville

Electronics dealer and service provider
2017 Rank: 86
CEO: Keith Allison
Employees: 245

88 Hornwood Inc., Lilesville

Fabric manufacturer
2017 Rank: 91
CEO: Chuck Horne
Employees: 350

89 Hickory Construction Co., Hickory

General contractor
2017 Rank: 88
CEO: C. Mark Baucom
Employees: 36

90 Guard-One14, Newport

Provider of security services and electronic monitoring
2017 Rank: 95
CEO: Robert Copeland
Employees: 1,885

91 CornerStone United Inc., Hickory

Provider of warranties and service contracts
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Richard A. Swartzel
Employees: 52

92 CCS Construction Staffing 15, Charlotte

Construction staffing firm
2017 Rank: 92
CEO: Matt Telmanik
Employees: 54

93 Cenduit LLC, Durham

[media-credit name=”Cenduit LLC” align=”alignright” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Clinical-trials services
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Sam Osman
Employees: 513

Clinical-trials giant Iqvia (formerly Quintiles Transnational) and medical-equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific formed a joint venture to establish the company in 2007. It helps drug developers operate more efficiently using interactive voice response technology. CEO Sam Osman is a former investment banker who had led Iqvia’s cardiac-safety device unit.

94 DuBose Industries Inc., Clinton

Importer and distributor of manufacturing parts
2017 Rank: 94
CEO: Charles H. DuBose Jr.
Employees: 20

95 Transportation Impact, Emerald Isle

Logistics consultant
2017 Rank: 97
CEO: Keith Byrd
Employees: 53

96 Imagine Software 16, Charlotte

Billing-automation software for the medical industry
2017 Rank: 96
CEO: Sam Khashman
Employees: 122

97 e-Emphasys Technologies Inc., Cary

Software services for equipment dealers
2017 Rank: 98
CEO: Milind Bagade
Employees: 250

98 Advanced Exterior Systems, Raleigh

Specialty contractor for exterior walls and trusses
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Brian Allen
Employees: 79

99 Jackrabbit Technologies Inc., Huntersville

Online class-management software
2017 Rank: 99
CEO: Mark Mahoney
Employees: 52

100 PrecisionLender 17, Cary

Price-management software
2017 Rank: NA
CEO: Carl Ryden
Employees: 95

About the Grant Thornton North Carolina 100®

Since 1984, the Grant Thornton North Carolina 100® has ranked the state’s largest private companies by revenue in the most recent fiscal year, based on data provided by the participants. The NC100 is a voluntary list restricted to companies based in North Carolina that do not have publicly traded stock. Companies owned by private equity are permitted. Nonprofits, financial-services companies, health care providers such as hospitals and subsidiaries of corporations are excluded. For more details, visit

1 registered name is New NGC Inc., 2 previously Dynacast International, 3 registered name is Atlantic Corp. of Wilmington, 4 acquired by Sumitomo Corp. in July, 5 registered name is Snider Tire Inc., 6 registered name is Eastwood Construction LLC, 7 previously Peak 10 Inc., 8 registered name is JF Acquisition LLC, 9 registered name is Young’s Truck Center Inc., 10 registered name is Lwin Family Co., 11 registered name is Neighborhood Networks Publishing Inc., 12 registered name is STI Holdings Inc., 13 registered name is MDU Enterprises Inc., 14 registered name is S&S Management Group LLC, 15 registered name is Carolinas Construction Solutions LLC, 16 registered name is Technology Partners LLC, 17 registered name is Lending Performance Group LLC


David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at

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