30 Years of No. 1 Companies

Timothy Rice
29 of 29

2010: Ambit Energy
Dallas

2009 Revenue: $324.9 million
Three-Year Growth: 20,369%

Founded in 2006, Ambit Energy capitalized off of Texas’ deregulated energy market, buying power at wholesale prices and reselling it to customers acquired through a direct sales channel. Jere Thompson, Jr., the company’s CEO, was hesitant about using multilevel marketing. “I called up a friend in Dallas who worked at Mary Kay at the time, and asked him how they did this in a way that people looked at them with pride and respect,” Thompson told Inc. in 2010. “He told me, ‘Never sacrifice integrity for growth.’ Since then, we have held that as our mantra.”

--Eric Markowitz