In 18 years in business, John Kiernan (right, with dog) hasn't had one customer that he wouldn't put on a referral list. “We work toward 100% customer satisfaction, from sales to warranty,” says Ben DePrenger, general manager and vice president. “Sometimes it costs money, sometimes it pays back in huge dividends.”

Design is done in-house, with the help of a masters-level architect who works with clients, and Kiernan takes special care in the sales process to meet clients' needs and help them understand the construction process.

“What separates John from other companies is the time and attention he puts into making sure everything goes [well],” DePrenger says. “Design/build is really an intimate process. Building relationships — that's the cornerstone of our whole business.”

The firm has also been doing commercial work at a local hospital for several years. Kiernan and DePrenger plan to strengthen the design/build side of the company while continuing to build on their enviable reputation. As DePrenger puts it, “We want to be the benchmark for Manatee County.”