Two more companies have joined the 2005 Inc. 500: Paloma Systems, with a tied ranking of No. 181, and Exstream Software, with a tied ranking of No. 324.
Paloma Systems, based in Fairfax, Va., installs and integrates information and communications systems for government agencies. Since founding the company in 1998, CEO Isabel Pedrozo has won contracts from NASA and the Pentagon, in part by leveraging her 12 years of service in the Air Force. In the three years we measured, revenue grew 593.2% to $10.1 million in 2004. The company, which has 81 employees, qualifies for the Inc. 500 for the second year running.
Exstream's software system lets companies personalize their mass mailings. Merrill Lynch, for example, uses Exstream to create up-to-date 401(k) statements for its customers. The Lexington, Ky.-based company grew 408.8% in a three-year period, to $43.7 million in 2004. Davis Marksbury and Dan Kloiber founded the company in 1998. It now has 163 employees. An updated Inc. 500 list is available at Inc.com.
In our July cover story, Malcolm Bricklin, the controversial auto entrepreneur and CEO of Visionary Vehicles, shared his plans to sell some 250,000 Chinese cars in the U.S. by 2007 under the brand Chery--despite the specter of a lawsuit from General Motors over similarities to its Chevy brand. In November, Bricklin relented and announced that he would choose a different name. And there's another snag. The network of 250 dealers he planned to sign up by the end of 2005 has stalled at 37. His price tag for the right to sell his Chinese cars was an issue. "It's been a bitch for these dealers to get over the fact that they have to give me $2 million," says Bricklin.
Last January, Sarah Bartlett told the riveting story of how, after her husband died of lung cancer in 2003, she grappled with the legal and financial loose ends resulting from the shutdown of his architecture firm. The most worrisome was a $1.24 million lien on her home--a lien her husband had never mentioned to her. Bartlett is happy to report that the lien has been cleared. She has also decided to sell the spacious high-tech home that her husband designed. "I realized I was putting all of this energy into maintaining this edifice, and that it would be liberating to sell the house and think about the future," she says. In October, Bartlett and her children, Emilia and Ian, bought a smaller home two blocks away.