Growth and culture go hand in hand at Greater Dayton Building & Remodeling, where more than a third of employees have been on staff five or more years, and 80% of projects are for referrals or repeat clients. “We like to think we're your contractor for life,” says president Greg Thompson (third from right), who started the company as an insurance restoration business, branched into residential remodeling, and in 2004 led its merger with a commercial construction firm.

A big company with a family feel, Greater Dayton encourages employees to ask for responsibility, attack problems head-on, and move up through the ranks, with an eye on the future. That culture extends to the community and the environment as well. The company is active in revitalizing blighted communities, and it recycles all jobsite metals and office paper. Even the company's trucks are spotless, Thompson says.

Disciplined systems support a goal of 20% to 25% annual growth. A three-year marketing plan began with the opening of a 12,000-square-foot design center. Every phone call is answered live; after 6 p.m., an answering service goes down a list of on-call superintendents (Thompson is number four on that list). Trade contractors are paid within days, fostering loyalty. And aggressive scheduling, modeled on the rigors of commercial construction, keeps clients happy. “The only delays are going to be weather or materials,” Thompson says. “And we document those.”