UF CALS honors 11 alumni recognized as Gator100 recipients

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Nine companies owned or led by University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) alumni were named to UF’s 2017 Gator100. Of these companies, three were ranked in the top 25. All but two of the nine companies have been named to the Gator100 previously.

Sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Gator100 identifies and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing, Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world each year since 2015. Ernst & Young calculated each company’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years to generate the ranking.

“The Gator100 is a campus-wide initiative that recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit entrenched in the university,” said Timothy Walsh, the executive director of the UF Alumni Association and assistant vice president of Alumni Affairs. “UF alumni have created and guided some of the most innovative and profitable businesses in the nation and world. The Gator100 celebrates the very best of our Gator entrepreneurs.”

The following companies owned or led by CALS alumni were recognized as Gator100 honorees:

  • Environmental Pest Service, chairman George Pickhardt
  • Hyatt Survey Services, Inc., president Pamela Hyatt and vice president Russell Hyatt
  • Jaguar Power Sports, owner Shaun Jackrel
  • Intouch GPS, founder and president Andrew “Drew” Sheahan
  • Knight Pest Control, Inc., vice president Richard “Randy” Stout
  • Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, cofounder Dani McVety
  • Processing Point, CEO Chad Buckmaster
  • RAPiD Genomics, co-founder and chief scientific officer Leandro Neves and co-founder Marcio Resende
  • WE Insure, CEO Philip Visali

First-time Gator100 recipients Leandro Neves and Marcio Resende conducted research with UF/IFAS professor Matias Kirst while studying at UF. The team developed improved methods of collecting data for plant and animal breeding, which interested customers who wanted pilot tests. Thus began RAPiD Genomics. The company is located in UF’s Innovation Hub and hires UF students and graduates for internships and jobs in the lab.

“I’m very grateful for my education at UF and for being a part of the Gator family,” Neves said. “The field of genomics is competitive and fast-moving. I’m glad to be creating jobs and having a company that’s establishing a new industry, growing in markets that didn’t exist before.”

To qualify for the Gator100, companies must have been in business for five or more years as of Oct. 1, 2016, and have had verifiable annual revenues of $250,000 or more in 2013. Additionally, a UF alumnus or alumna must have met one of the following three leadership criteria:

  • Owned 50 percent or more of the company from Jan. 1, 2013, through Oct. 1, 2016; or
  • Served as company’s chief executive from Jan. 1, 2013, through Oct. 1, 2016; or
  • Founded the company and been active as a member of the most senior management team from Jan. 1, 2013, through Oct. 1, 2016.

View the full list of Gator100 honorees at gator100.ufl.edu.

Caption: A breakfast to recognize the 2017 CALS Gator 100 at McCarty Hall on Friday, February 10th. UF/IFAS photo


By: Dana Edwards, 352-392-1963, dana.edwards@ufl.edu

Source: Timothy Walsh, 352-392-1905, twalsh@ufalumni.ufl.edu

Leandro Neves, 352-273-2196, lneves@rapid-genomics.com

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities. Visit the CALS website at cals.ufl.edu, and follow CALS on social media platforms at @ufcals.



Posted: February 16, 2017

Category: UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: CALS, College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences

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