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Celebrating New Mexico’s private-sector successes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Need a meeting planner, a museum installation or a bottle of merlot?

On the market for a new house, a new car or a diamond ring?

The companies on this year’s New Mexico Private 100 have you covered.

This year’s list – now in its 19th year – once again highlights the diverse nature of New Mexico’s privately held companies. It’s a lineup that includes, for example, a research firm that studies U.S. military weapons, as well as a coffee-roasting company that helps satisfy the country’s caffeine cravings.

This year’s honorees represent the health care, technology and manufacturing sectors, the construction, restaurant and insurance industries, and many other fields.

They also represent a combined $3.9 billion in annual revenue and more than 10,027 jobs around the state.

To celebrate those contributions, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Moss Adams LLP, the Modrall Sperling law firm and the Journal’s Business Outlook have again united to sponsor the New Mexico Private 100 program.

“The success of our community depends upon the vitality of our private-business sector,” said Lynn Slade, marketing partner at Modrall Sperling. “These are the people that support the well-being of our community.”

The New Mexico Private 100 originated in 1988 and resumed in 2012 after an eight-year break. Companies apply for the recognition and the 100 with the highest revenue make the list.

“I continue to be amazed at the diversity of the industries represented and the kinds of businesses (on it), and some of the geographic diversity,” said Steven Keene, managing partner for Moss Adams in Albuquerque.

Most call Albuquerque home, but members also come from Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Hobbs, Deming and more.

“You just look at the quality of the companies on the list and you’re not only happy for them to be on the list, but you’re really impressed with the abilities they have to serve the people of New Mexico,” said Michael Rodriguez, market president for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New Mexico.

Some honorees are stalwarts: Bradbury Stamm Construction, Jaynes Corp., Los Alamos Technical Associates and Sisbarro Dealerships have been part of all 19 editions of the list. Some, however, weren’t even around when the program started. In fact, 25 were established in 2000 or later.

Slade said he recognizes most of the 100 companies – more than a quarter have been Modrall Sperling clients – but others are unfamiliar.

“I guess that could surprise me, but I guess it reflects that we have a growing and evolving business community,” he said.

The name topping this year’s list should surprise no one: Akal Security ranks as the New Mexico Private 100’s highest-revenue company for the third straight year. While its approximately 7,000-person workforce is spread around the country – guarding courthouses, federal government buildings and other facilities – CEO Matt Branigan said New Mexico provided the foundation for Akal’s continued success.

“A lot of what we have, we owe to the fact we were able to build this in New Mexico, and we’re very, very proud of that,” Branigan said.

Government contractors, such as Akal, have 11 spots on this year’s list, but the construction/real estate category figures even more prominently – 23 made the cut this year, led by Albuquerque-based Jaynes Corp.

For Jaynes Chairman and CEO Rick Marquardt, charting as one of the list’s highest-revenue companies matters mostly because it reflects hundreds of jobs. Though it’s still below its pre-recession staffing levels, Jaynes currently has about 280 employees statewide.

“It’s nice to be a supporting member of the community and being able to supply some jobs to some folks,” Marquardt said. “That’s really it.”

Dreamstyle Remodeling, another honoree from the construction/real estate category, has expanded into Arizona and Southern California as part of its phenomenal growth in the last seven years. But its headquarters and about half of its 250 employees remain in New Mexico, where President Larry Chavez said he intends to stay.

“Being a native, this is where I want to live and work,” he said. “For our type of business, there are alternatives – we could headquarter in any of the markets we’re in – but we’ve found our workforce to be reliable, committed and motivated here.”

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