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A look at some of the most interesting people and places on the Inc. 500
Raj Prasad WDFA Marketing • No. 5 Prasad was born in Fiji and moved to the U.S. at 2. He landed his first advertising job at 16 and at 25 founded WDFA -- which runs microadvertising campaigns. "It's all about buzz."
Kevin Paul KPaul • No. 10 Paul moved from India to Indianapolis at 8 and joined the Army straight out of high school. His business, KPaul, sells supplies to the government. Paul says 14 years in the service taught him how to handle clients. "Just give them the facts -- don't sugarcoat anything."
Siva Kumar TheFind • No. 12 Kumar's grandfather started one of India's major movie studios, and his relatives operate theaters and produce movies. But Kumar chose to forge his own path. He moved to the United States in 1981 and started the e-commerce site TheFind.com in 2004. "I just want to do things on my own."
Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga The Penna Group • No. 13 Evangelista-Ysasaga started a general contracting firm at 18. When he became a lawyer, his clients were builders. Now he manages construction projects for federal agencies. "Contractors don't always generate good paperwork. But for the government, documentation is critical."
Amit Raut Digital Advertising • No. 14 Raut, the son of Indian immigrants, launched Digital Advertising in 2000. The company does just what its name suggests: manages online marketing and lead generation campaigns. "It's all about delivering superior service."
29 San Francisco Bay Area
23 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
27 Los Angeles-Long Beach
48 New York metro area
48 Washington, D.C., and Maryland and Virginia suburbs
Jamie Arundell -- Latshaw Lexicon Consulting • No. 4 A West Point grad and former officer in the U.S. Army's Transportation Corps, Arundell-Latshaw founded Lexicon in 2005. The company creates mock Iraqi and Afghan villages used to train military personnel. "Service members need the most realistic training possible."
Maria Vogt Ayuda Management • No. 22 Vogt learned the ropes of government contracting at her father's IT business. In 2002, she launched Ayuda Management, which provides construction management services to government agencies. "I thought, I might as well win work for myself and hire good people to do the work."
Marie Diaz Pursuit of Excellence • No. 26 Diaz puts family before work. In the early days of Pursuit of Excellence, the human-resources firm she founded in 1994, she often turned away work to spend time with her three sons. "Now, it's easier to focus on the business."
Eileen Gittins Blurb • No. 47 Gittins is the founder of Blurb, a website on which writers and artists design, print, and sell books. She attributes Blurb's success to the rise of social media. "People who are not authors now have audiences that want to see their books."
Mindy T. Withrow CSS Distribution Group • No. 55 Withrow and her husband, Daniel, were packaging-industry veterans when they launched CSS, a warehouse supply business, in 2006. Mindy got the CEO title thanks to her sales experience. Being a certified woman-owned business helps CSS land key accounts. "Clients can get tax breaks for dealing with companies like us."
From shocking marketing campaigns to mastering social media, the fastest growing companies on the Inc. 500 share the secrets to their rapid growth.