Nine UF/IFAS CALS alumni honored with Gator100 awards
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Eight companies owned or led by University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) alumni were named to UF’s 2019 Gator100 during a ceremony on Feb. 22 at UF’s J. Wayne Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.
Five of the eight companies have been named to the Gator100 previously, with two of them earning this honor for the fifth straight year. First-time Gator100 recipient Karthik Shanadi, co-founder of Greek House custom apparel company, placed third overall in the 2019 rankings with a company growth of 109.01 percent.
Sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Gator100 identifies and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or run by UF alumni. Ernst & Young calculated each company’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years to generate the ranking.
“The Gator100 honors UF alumni from across the university who are founding and growing amazing companies around the country,” said Kent Fuchs, president of UF. “It’s an incredible affirmation of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the Gator Nation.”
The following companies owned or led by CALS alumni were recognized as Gator100 honorees:
- Frisco Family Vision, founder and president Dana Biederman
- Greek House (previously College Thread), co-founder Karthik Shanadi
- Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, CEO and president Dani McVety
- Max Health Chiropractic, owner and CEO Matt Frahm
- SkyFrog Landscape, LLC, co-owners Jason Lee and Nick Pool
- Southeast Veterinary Neurology, veterinary neurologist and owner Michael Wong
- WE Insure, CEO Philip Visali
- Workwell Technologies (previously Processing Point), CEO Chad Buckmaster
Shanadi began Greek House with co-founder and fellow Gator Luke McGurrin in 2013 during their time in college together. The company provides promotional apparel and accessories for businesses, fundraisers, student groups and organizations of all sizes.
“I came to UF as a pre-dental major, switched to engineering because I enjoyed math, but then stumbled upon the food and resource economics major,” said Shanadi who earned his bachelor’s degree in 2014. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but the sales and marketing courses helped me leverage my degree to apply to whatever I wanted to do in the future.”
Shanadi encourages current CALS students to focus on the material learned in their courses and to think outside the box when it comes to applying those skills. “It’s important what you’re doing in undergraduate courses,” he said. “You may not use everything from classes in your immediate job, but you will use it along the way in other jobs and career paths.”
To qualify for the Gator100, companies must have been in business for five years or more as of Sept. 28, 2018, and have had verifiable annual revenues of $250,000 or more every year since 2015. 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, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018; or
- Served as company’s chief executive from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018; or
- Founded the company and been active as a member of the most senior management team from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018.
View the full list of Gator100 honorees at gator100.ufl.edu.
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. The college has received more total (national and regional combined) USDA teaching awards than any other institution. Visit the CALS website at cals.ufl.edu, and follow CALS on social media platforms at @ufcals.