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Fast Five
Published Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fastest Growing: Dyn

Three-Year Avg. Growth: 70.6%

Rank on Private 100: 76

Headquarters: 150 Dow St., Tower #2, Manchester

Product/Service: Internet Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) (Managed DNS, traffic management, email delivery, email reporting)

CEO: Jeremy Hitchcock

Founded: 2001

Total Number of Employees: 253


What began as the brainchild of four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute has grown into Dyn, one of NH’s hottest tech companies, providing internet traffic management, performance and email management worldwide to more than 4 million enterprise, small business and personal customers, including Twitter, Zappos, CNBC and Pandora. Simply put, the company helps websites run faster and be more reliable, while also ensuring that emails reach their intended destination.

The company services more than 65,000 registered domains and 15,000 email senders. “We take the hard part, basically that crucial role of getting the data where it needs to be for our clients, and make it happen with speed and reliability,” says CEO Jeremy Hitchcock. Dyn has nearly 20 data centers around the world and led its industry for uptime for more than a decade, and it hasn’t let up that pace. In the past year, Dyn acquired the SEO/SEM and e-commerce development arm of Incutio Ltd., DNS provider TZO, website monitoring startup Verelo and mobile dashboard app Trendslide. In October 2012, it received $38 million in investment from North Bridge, its first-ever outside funding to further fuel its high growth trajectory.

Dyn recently added 30,000 square feet to its Manchester offices and anticipates adding about 80 workers in the coming year. It was named the top job creator in NH by Inc. Magazine last year and made the Inc. 5,000 list. That reputation is attracting top talent, including Chris Griffiths, formerly Comcast’s director of high-speed internet and new business engineering, as Dyn’s vice president of engineering in June, and former Gov. John Lynch, who recently joined its board of directors. 

Second Fastest: Micronics Inc.

Three-Year Avg. Growth: 57.8%

Rank on Private 100: 50

Headquarters: 200 West Road, Portsmouth

Product/Service: Industrial filtration equipment

and supplies

President/CEO: Barry Hibble

Founded: 1983

Total Number of Employees: 65


Micronics, which manufactures filtration devices that separate liquids from solids, has struck gold for a second straight year when it comes to growth.

President and CEO Barry Hibble attributes that growth to the continued development of technology for the gold, silver, and coal mining industries it serves globally as well as developing other diverse markets, which includes customers like DuPont and Ford.

Hibble says that this year the company merged its U.S. and U.K. operations, making Portsmouth its corporate headquarters. The company also leased a 35,000-square-foot building in Dover for the assembly of Micronics’ latest innovation, a 90-foot-long filter press. The largest capacity filter press, it is designed for large scale dewatering projects, Hibble says.

“There are only three other companies in the world that fill the demand of this market, and the development of this high-volume filter press puts us into that marketplace and gives us a competitive advantage,” he says.

But a leveling off of business growth within the mining industry means Micronics, which serves more than 70 markets worldwide, is diversifying beyond its core business.

With demand worldwide for liquid applications, the company has found new customers across the globe, including Africa, and is focusing on future growth from chemical companies and “fracking,” also referred to as hydraulic fracturing, a process that enables extraction from shale of natural gas that was once unreachable. 

Third Fastest: New England Wood Pellet, LLC

Three-Year Avg. Growth: 55.1%

Rank on Private 100: 60

Headquarters: 415 Squantum Road, Jaffrey

Product/Service: Wood pellet heating fuel

CEO: Mark Wilson

Founded: 1992

Total Number of Employees: 77


What started with one man—Founder Steve Walker—learning to make wood pellets in his garage has evolved into the largest pellet manufacturing business in the Northeast, producing more than 240,000 tons of wood pellets annually. New England Wood Pellets’ success story really heated up during the past five years, though, as it tripled its business and workforce.

In an effort to keep pace with increasing demand for wood pellet fuel, New England Wood Pellet has undergone significant expansions, adding two new facilities in New York in 2008 and 2011, and upgrading its NH plant in 2009. The additional facilities not only increased the company’s capacity, but also placed it strategically closer to customers, in turn reducing its transportation costs and allowing it to be more cost competitive in the marketplace, says CEO Mark Wilson. “People want to find alternatives to heating oil,” he says.

New England Wood Pellet has also attracted more resellers as customers because of its “execution with respect to delivering a quality product on time,” says Wilson, crediting employees. Wilson also attributes the company’s growth to establishing strong relationships with investors and its bank, so it has the finances to build up inventory during the slow season to hit the ground running when cold weather starts.

He says a primary goal of the company is to constantly improve and evolve its premium wood pellets. During the next year, New England Wood Pellet’s next project is to increase production efficiency. 

Fourth Fastest: Direct Capital

Three-Year Avg. Growth: 49.8%

Rank on Private 100: 8

Headquarters: 155 Commerce Way, Portsmouth

Product/Service: Provides equipment/technology leasing, working capital, merchant cash advance, franchise financing, vendor/vendor finance programs

CEO: Jim Broom

Founded: 1993

Total Number of Employees: 235


The success of Direct Capital shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, who should be better at effectively growing a company than one designed to help other businesses grow?

Direct Capital, a family- and employee-owned firm, was founded to provide small businesses with access to loans and leases. In doing so it grew from a mere three employees 20 years ago to more than 200 today. Jim Broom, CEO, says when the firm started, it went directly to small business owners, a market that was previously underserved in the financial lending arena, and created products tailored to specific needs and challenges that small businesses face when trying to compete and grow. It’s proved to be a winning formula. Direct Capital has generated 40 to 50 percent increases in business annually since 2009. Over the years, it has also been named to the Inc. 500 and The Monitor 100.

“We continue to focus on our customer’s experience, creating products that fit their needs, like shorter loan periods, lending capital for technology and creating a culture of better service that gets the loan processed and out into the hands of a business owner faster,” Broom says. “Our customer satisfaction ratings are at 59 percent versus 23 percent, which is typical for the industry.” Direct Capital serves a diverse client base, including fast food franchises like Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway and Dairy Queen—an area where Broom sees new opportunities for growth. And economic conditions seem to be in the company’s favor. A recent blog post from Direct Capital points out demand for equipment financing just spiked in June, according to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association. 

Fifth Fastest: Regency Mortgage Corp.

Three-Year Avg. Growth: 47.0%

Rank on Private 100: 6

Headquarters: 26  Londonderry Turnpike, 

Product/Service: Residential mortgage banking company

President: Quentin Keefe

Founded: 1996

Total Number of Employees: 115


Regency Mortgage knows how to close a deal. Regency is one of the largest residential mortgage lenders in NH, with 12 branch offices throughout NH, Maine and Vermont. Interviewed at Regency’s newly constructed corporate offices in Hooksett, President and CEO Quentin Keefe says that the company’s ability to survive and thrive during the market collapse six years ago was the stepping stone to its current success.

“Those lenders who survived back in 2007 were in good standing and gained many customers from the numerous mortgage banking firms that closed. Consolidation of the banking industry made us the beneficiary,” Keefe says. “Regency was stronger, more stable and we were in our local market and trusted. Our reputation just continued to grow. The company has more than doubled its size in the years since.”

Regency Mortgage Corp. offers a variety of mortgage products including conventional fixed and adjustable rate loans; FHA, VA, Rural Development and NH Housing Finance Authority loans; construction loans, and even some portfolio loans. Over the past couple of years, Keefe says that the company started a “pipeline hedging strategy” allowing it to sell all of its fixed rate loans into the marketplace on a mandatory flow basis. In other words, by purchasing mortgage-backed securities to offset any interest rate risk, while holding loans prior to sale, Regency is able to take advantage of best pricing when it goes to market.

Keefe says Regency Mortgage Corp. is planning to open offices in Massachusetts in the next year. The company already holds its license in that state (and Florida), and Keefe says he expects expanding into the Mass-achusetts market will double the company’s staff and business volume. 

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