America's Fastest-Growing Government Contractor
BY Inc. staff
Growing 16,636 percent in three years, Luke & Associates staffs Army- and Air Force–base hospitals and clinics with doctors and nurses.
No. 1 in Government Services
Luke & Associates 16,636.6% Three-Year Growth Revenue: $37.5 Million Employees: 588 CEO: James Barfield Founded: 2004 Overall RANK: No. 3 Merritt Island, Fla. lukeassoc.com
James Barfield spent his early career decked out in protective breathing gear, checking the air inside spacecraft for toxic chemicals and gases. Then his employer, Kennedy Space Center, discovered Barfield's talent for writing winning project proposals. Barfield moved on to Bechtel, where he split his time between tasks such as managing hazardous waste cleanups and assembling the voluminous proposals that snagged such contracts. In 1993, he became a consultant to large companies pursuing government work. In 2003, the Department of Defense consolidated medical services for most of its bases into a single contract. Barfield and two friends, Glen Bottomley and Rich Hall, launched Luke & Associates and became one of six vendors to land part of a nearly $2 billion Air Force job. Today, Luke & Associates staffs Army- and Air Force–base hospitals and clinics with more than 900 professionals, including neurosurgeons and nurses. The company appeals to physicians eager to escape the bureaucracy of managed care and treat challenging cases such as posttraumatic stress disorder and brain injuries. And most find it gratifying to serve the troops. So does Barfield, whose son will deploy this year to Iraq.