DCP’s Dominance of Gator100 Continues in 2024 with 20 Companies

By: Kyle Niblett
Saturday, April 20, 2024

Led by No. 11 Southeast Concrete Systems, the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning placed 20 alumni-owned companies on the 2024 Gator100, the UF Alumni Association announced Saturday. Those who made the list, which recognizes the 100 fastest-growing Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world, were honored in a ceremony inside the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

“Claiming a fifth of the Gator100 reflects the profound impact DCP alumni exert on our global landscape,” remarked DCP Dean Chimay Anumba. “We take immense pride in the enterprises that emerge from the educational foundation laid by our faculty.”

Despite being the second-smallest college on campus, DCP grads with successful businesses have made up more than 20 percent of the Gator100 since 2018. Of the 20 DCP companies named to the prestigious list in 2024, seven were first-time honorees.

Year# of DCP Alumni-Owned Companies on Gator100

Below is a list of all DCP Alumni-led or owned companies that made the 2024 Gator100 list and where they ranked. Many of these companies joined Dean Anumba and college representatives prior to the event at The Social for a reception. Congratulations to all these great companies!

Business: Southeast Concrete Systems

DCP Leader: Adam Pearlman, BSBC ‘91

Location: Alpharetta, Ga.

Years Honored: 2023, 2024

Southeast Concrete Systems, Inc. is a commercial concrete construction company licensed in eight states, with five million square feet of concrete on the ground. We specialize in turnkey concrete solutions that include tilt-up construction, including cast in place walls, retaining walls, slab on grade, elevated platform decks, concrete on metal deck, footings and foundations, post tensioning and much more. Our projects range from smaller additions to new ground-up structures in various sectors of commercial, manufacturing and industrial markets throughout the southeastern United States.

With over two decades of industry experience, we take pride in delivering exceptional results to our clients. Our team, led by industry veterans Adam Pearlman and Ken Blumbek, bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge in concrete construction, ensuring that every project is executed with precision and quality.

From commercial buildings to industrial facilities, we have successfully completed a wide range of projects, earning a reputation for excellence in the industry. At Southeast Concrete Systems, we are committed to providing top-notch services, innovative solutions, and exceeding our client’s expectations.

We value communication with our customers, dedication to our employees, and quality in all that we do.

You can currently see our work throughout Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Business: Construction Specialties & Design LLC

DCP Leader: Don VanDemark Sr., BBC ’70

Location: DeLand, Fla.

Years Honored: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2023, 2024

Founded by Don and Phyllis VanDemark, Construction Specialties & Design started as a residential renovation company. It has since added to its management with Don VanDemark, Jr. and has grown to a service maintenance company that encompasses six states. Construction Specialties services over 60 major corporations and continues to add new corporations each month.

Business: Veteran Media Group

DCP Leader: Richard Smith, BSBC ’07

Location: Sarasota, Fla.

Years Honored: 2024

Veteran Media Group provides turnkey visual content production, digital signage solution integration, and visual asset management to connect your customers to your business. We collaborate with leading manufactures of the latest technology in the multimedia industry to delivery ideas and solutions to meet our client’s needs. VMG is a Veteran Owned Small Business that is built on the values and principles of the US Military. VMG can accomplish challenging multimedia projects with exceptional results.

Business: OnDefend

DCP Leader: Chris Freedman, BSBC ’01

Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

Years Honored: 2024

OnDefend empowers the information security industry through its cutting-edge technological innovations and battle-tested professional services team. By solving the problems that the cyber security industry has not solved, OnDefend has become a critical partner of security service firms and corporations throughout the US and around the world.

Business: Gulf Building

DCP Leader: John Scherer, BSBC ‘00

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Years Honored: 2018, 2021, 2024

Founded in 1991, Gulf Building LLC provides an innovative, integrated, and hands-on approach to construction management throughout the greater South Florida market and beyond. Celebrating over 32 successful years in business, Gulf Building believes that completing a project on-time is just as important as staying within budget. Additionally, quality construction can only be achieved with expertise and skill which Gulf provides on all its projects.

To that end, Gulf Building holds itself to a higher standard than most other construction firms, not only in the work that it delivers, but also regarding the employees in which the company invests. With a foundation based on integrity, quality and experience, Gulf Building’s detail-oriented, forward-thinking approach to construction management consistently generates end results that are on time, within budget and exceed client expectations.

Business: Gast Construction Group

DCP Leader: Allen Gast, BSBC ’00

Location: West Palm Beach, Fla.

Years Honored: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2024

Gast Construction Group is a construction management firm located in West Palm Beach specializing in commercial, residential and exhibit construction, as well as estate management.

Business: Heatherwood Construction Company

DCP Leader: Walter Crawford, BBC ‘89

Location: Bonita Springs, Fla.

Years Honored: 2021, 2024

Heatherwood Construction Company is a full-service commercial general contractor serving Southwest Florida from Marco Island to Tampa. This premier firm provides complete construction services, including site search and selection, feasibility analysis, site development, value engineering, vertical construction, LEED certification and more. Recent projects include schools, multi-family, retail, restaurants and community amenities.

Business: Stevens Construction, Inc.

DCP Leader: Mark Stevens, BSBC ‘90

Location: Fort Myers, Fla.

Years Honored: 2023, 2024

Stevens Construction was established in Fort Myers by Mark Stevens. Mark returned to his hometown after graduating from the University of Florida to build his career and start his family. While working for another construction company, Mark identified a need in the community for a company that would provide more than construction. He recognized that clients would benefit from a company who can guide them thru the entire development and construction process as it can be an overwhelming feat. This may include selecting a project site and design team, permitting and providing guidance through the whole design process which enables clients to make decisions that allow them to save money, time and provides the best construction experience possible. Often this is providing recommendations for products, systems and materials that may provide more efficiency in the long-run, lower costs, have shorter lead-time and still achieve the clients’ goal. This process positions every project for success and what sets Stevens Construction apart.

Stevens Construction’s pre-construction and construction services (referred to as construction management) proved to be a solution within the community as the company quickly grew and became an industry leader, building healthcare, commercial, hospitality and government projects throughout Florida. Clients valued the exceptional quality of construction and high level of service delivered through a transparent process. The Company expanded to Orlando and Sarasota but the headquarters have always remained in Fort Myers.

Mark is most proud that the company continually achieves its goals, surpasses clients’ expectations, encourages professional development opportunities for team members and gives back to the community. Achievement of these criteria have allowed Stevens Construction to be recognized by its peers as the only company to earn Contractor of the Year at the Lee Building Industry Association’s Summit Awards for ten years. The company has received more than 100 awards in construction and safety excellence and earned a position for six years on the Inc. Magazine Fastest-Growing Companies in America, Inc. 5000.

Mark attributes the success of the company to focusing on building projects that best suit the experience of the team and carefully balancing the diversification of work between healthcare, commercial, hospitality and government projects. With the Mission to: “Identify, hire and retain the very best people.” Mark commends the 68 professionals comprising the Stevens Construction team for sharing the dedication that he does to achieving clients’ goals 100% of the time.

Construction is a service-based industry thus there is no higher priority than customer service. The Company stands behind the work they do and provides an exceeded warranty for projects, offering double the industry standard. The Company has received 90% of its business from repeat or referred clients which is a testament to the level of client satisfaction.

Stevens Construction launched a special projects division in 2018 which enables us to better serve existing and new clients with projects under $1M. This division has benefitted our existing clients with repairs, additions and renovations as their buildings mature or their needs evolve..

Business: Crescent Communities

DCP Leader: Brian Natwick, BSBC ’97

Location: Charlotte, N.C.

Years Honored: 2024

Crescent Communities is a nationally recognized, market-leading real estate investor, developer, and operator of mixed-use “communities.” They create high-quality, differentiated multifamily and commercial communities in many of the fastest growing markets in the United States. Since 1963, their development portfolio has included more than 85 multifamily communities and 24 million square feet of commercial space. Crescent Communities has offices in Charlotte, DC, Atlanta, Orlando, Nashville, Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix. Their multifamily communities are branded NOVEL, RENDER and HARMON by Crescent Communities, their industrial developments are branded AXIAL by Crescent Communities, and their life science developments are branded THE YIELD by Crescent Communities.

Business: Murray Contractors

DCP Leader: Patrick Murray, MSBC ‘06

Location: Little Rock, Ark.

Years Honored: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2023, 2024

Founded in 2010 by Patrick Murray, eco Construction is a full-service general contracting and construction management firm. eco Construction specializes in the healthcare and K-12 and Higher educational market segments. The business was built around basic a principle; commitment to clients, employees, and communities. This is achieved by establishing and following a set of solid core values; commitment, service, honesty, integrity, and quality.

Business: KMF Architects

DCP Leader: Eric Kleinsteuber, BDES ’02, MARCH ‘04

Location: Orlando, Fla.

Years Honored: 2023, 2024

Much like the disciplined and multifaceted art form we strive to perfect, the KMF team represents the ultimate balance between architectural creativity and function. The pairing of energy and experience is evident in every venture we undertake, merging seamlessly with a project’s natural momentum to achieve an immersive harmony of design, utility and reliability. We are proud to feature a diverse array of talent and experience, offering our clients a personal touch unmatched in the industry. KMF brings a passionate hands-on approach to every endeavor from the first sparks of inspiration to the full realization of a project. KMF has been honored to work directly for The University of Florida, providing design services for the award-winning Atrium Canopy (known as “The Harp”) at the Architecture Building. We have also been selected as part of the team to deliver the much anticipated UF DCP Collaboratory, which is coming in 2025. 

Business: Morette Company

DCP Leader: Michael Morette, BSBC ’03

Location: Pensacola, Fla.

Years Honored: 2024

Morette Company, a Florida corporation, is a closely held family company that is locally owned and operated. Morette Company has been providing general contracting, construction management, development, and design-build services in the Southeast since 1978. We pride ourselves on being customer focused and have consistently proven to be good stewards of our client’s resources. Our steady and reliable performance is the foundation for our long-term client relationships. Over 85% of our projects are for repeat clients.

During Morette Company’s over four decades of construction experience, we have worked diligently to establish our reputation for quality, honesty, and transparency. We encourage each member of our Team to take ownership of what it means to be a Morette Company leader and to exhibit a great sense of personal pride in their work on our projects. We safely deliver each of our projects at the highest level of quality, on schedule and within budget.

Morette Company has built its foundation on several fundamental corporate values that are reflected in the day-to-day operations of the Company and its employees. Morette Company exceeds client expectations by delivering quality projects that will continue to serve our community for generations to come. It is our vision to improve our community by building strong foundations through our commitment to people, projects, and partnerships.

Morette Company strives to build legacies. We want our projects to make a lasting positive impact in our community and we want to remain involved in our project’s successes and service. When you partner with Morette Company you are engaging a Team who will work tirelessly to be more than just your Contractor. You are engaging community leaders who will take complete ownership of your project and who will endeavor to fully understand your project goals and aspirations to assure that your project is successful.

Business: kasper architects + associates

DCP Leaders: Erik Kasper, BDES ‘92, MARCH ’94 & Chris Densmore, BDES ’04, MARCH ‘06

Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

Years Honored: 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

kasper architects is a full service architectural + interior design firm. We exist to use the craft of architecture to develop our associates to impact their family, community, and themselves to be a conduit of good. At ka+, we bring our years of experience to bear on each project. This approach allows us to create a design solution that produces an efficient building plan contributing to the success of our clients. We are the right size to give personal attention to each client, while the technology we use gives us results that are second to none. We employ nine registered Architects and a support staff of designers and drafters, which affords us maximum efficiency and a team that sees the project through to the end. A solid understanding of real estate development, building engineering, and construction make us a great value.

Business: JK2 Construction

DCP Leader: Rick Amundson, BBC ’84

Location: West Palm Beach, Fla.

Years Honored: 2016, 2017, 2019,, 2020, 2024

For over 37 years they have helped lead the way in the Central Florida construction industry by tackling innovative projects, building lasting relationships and exceeding client expectations. From the installation of temporary office trailers to building the iconic Universal Studios Archway and Globe, JK2 has worked on all types of projects no matter the size. They have a proven track record of operating within demanding site conditions and providing logistical support to ensure workplace safety and minimize disruption to businesses. Their reputation extends nationally, with JK2 projects completed in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Business: Springer Construction

DCP Leaders: Jeremy Voss, BSBC ’03 & Cole Springer, BSBC ‘14

Location: Lakeland, Fla.

Years Honored: 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

Founded in 1987, Springer Construction fosters a family culture built on our core values of respect, honest, humility and trust. These standards and values allow us to achieve operational excellence from concept to close of each project.

Our success comes from the consistency of valuing our employees as much as our clients. We aspire to become one of the most recognizable construction companies in the Southeast by remaining committed to delivering work of the highest quality for a wide range of commercial and industrial clients.

Springer Construction has been building and maintaining quality Industrial, Retail and Commercial Construction for over thirty years.

As a third-generation, family-owned General Contracting firm, we believe in building the community from the inside out through the successful completion of construction projects and our strong philanthropic ties to the community.

Our blueprint for success is delivering quality construction on time and on budget.

Business: Vickers Design Group

DCP Leader: Travis Vickers, BDES ’95; MARCH ’97

Location: Atlanta, Ga.

Years Honored: 2018, 2019, 2024

We are creators and innovators. At Vickers Design Group, our team is passionate about creating smart, responsive, and intentional design solutions that positively impact the lives and well-being of our clients and community.

Our four studios – Tenant Solutions, Landlord Solutions, Special Projects, and Architecture – provide limitless interior design and architectural solutions for businesses to thrive. The VDG approach is not a one-size-fits-all, and we are not constrained to one look or one type of project. Instead, we make spaces uniquely suited to each client. Our talented team tackles a variety of project types including corporate, industrial, restaurants, breweries, retail, multifamily, ground-up and adaptive reuse.

Where others see hurdles, we unleash creativity, and where others see limitations, we imagine possibilities. That’s designed to work.

Business: Snyder Building Construction

DCP Leader: Richard Snyder, BSBC ’00

Location: Englewood, Colo.

Years Honored: 2024

Snyder Building Construction is a commercial ground-up, tenant improvement, and restaurant / retail construction general contractor in Colorado’s Front Range. Long-lasting relationships and a team-oriented approach allow us to be honest, fair, and transparent in every facet of the construction process. Expect meticulously planned details and craftsman-like installation paired with a small team dedicated to quality care and attention. Snyder Building Construction was born and raised in Denver with nearly 100 combined years of local experience in commercial construction.

Business: Level Architecture + Interiors

DCP Leader: James Blythe, BDES ‘02, MARCH ’04

Location: Gainesville, Fla.

Years Honored: 2024

Located in the heart of Alachua County, Level Architecture + Interiors is a 14-person Gainesville-based full service architectural and interiors firm offering thoughtful, client focused, sustainable design. Our diverse professional backgrounds allow us to provide a variety of services to our clients from pre-design to post-construction, overseeing the project from an initial idea to reality. As a firm, Level Architecture + Interiors provides a full scope of planning, design, and construction administration services for public and private sector clients across the southeast. Our goal from the beginning has been to create a firm environment that is unique in the industry, balancing rewarding work, fun, and a sense of community. Our team is made up of people that enjoy what they do, and even more so, take pride in using their expertise to create meaningful spaces and experiences with our clients.

Level Architecture + Interiors is a Gainesville-based full service architectural and interiors firm offering thoughtful, client focused, sustainable design. We offer integrated planning, design, and construction administration services for public and private sector clients across the southeast. Our team creates a firm environment that is unique in the industry, balancing rewarding work, fun, and sense of community using our expertise to create meaningful spaces and experiences with our clients.

Our diverse professional backgrounds allow us to provide a variety of services to our clients from pre-design to post-construction, overseeing the project from an initial idea to reality.

Business: ELM ARCH

DCP Leader: Erik Myers, BDES ‘94, MARCH ’98

Location: Miami, Fla.

Years Honored: 2024

ELM ARCH is a comprehensive architectural firm with the skills and experience needed to realize a range of industrial, commercial, residential, and hospitality projects. Our unique fusion of planning, design, project management, and technology expertise, coupled with our commitment to excellence, enable us to exceed our clients’ expectations at every stage of the design process. As professionals, it is our duty to stay on the leading edge of design proficiency and knowledge of code. Our deep understanding of the complexities of various building departments allows us to avoid issues that can adversely impact a project’s design, schedule, or budget. At ELM ARCH, communication and customer service are paramount. We aim to provide every client with an exceptional design experience resulting in a successful project.

Business: Carlton Construction, Inc.

DCP Leader: Matt Carlton, BSBC ‘02

Location: Fleming Island, Fla.

Years Honored: 2017, 2023, 2024

Matt Carlton founded the company in 2005 because he was ready to work toward more than just the next deadline or paycheck. He dreamed of collaborating with partners whose visions exceeded four walls and a roof. In the years since then, he has built Carlton Construction into a company that truly understands, anticipates, and exceeds the expectations of discerning commercial and luxury residential owners across the Southeast. Within the construction industry, their name stands for transparency, trust, and an impeccable attention to detail. Carlton Construction is more than a contractor; they are experienced construction managers who guide projects from pre-construction to completion, resulting in unique spaces that enrich life.

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