Thrust into the CEO seat in 1995 when his father was killed in an auto accident, Mat Vivona, 25 and a company production supervisor at the time, knew what to do: Trust in his people and remember everything his dad taught him about business.

Vivona's instincts served him well. He has maintained margins and revenues, as well as the loyalty of 60 subcontracting crews who produce 700 jobs a year ranging from $800 gutter installs to $250,000 additions. Vivona's wife, Carrie, does daily accounting.

Vivona saturates his market with advertising. But besides knowing the company's jingle, homeowners see the company as an authentic community asset. Vivona recently won a distinguished alumni award from Ferris State University for community involvement and business achievement.

"I never really consider it mine," Vivona says of the business. "I consider it a continuation of Dad's dream."