By building on the same business model he had when named Big50 in 1994, the owner of Stephen C. Gidley Inc., in Darien, Conn., doubled his sales volume from $1.6 million in 1994 to $3 million today.

A diverse market focus including exterior upgrades, painting, and design/build projects, combined with business improvements over the last 14 years, have fueled this growth.

Gidley has continued to subcontract all of his work. "I've trained, honed, and carefully instructed and mentored my subcontractors," he says. He has also improved his systems. "We have systems and forms for job tracking, customer surveys, punch lists, and inspections."

The remodeler has earned an impressive number of credentials, including GMB, CGB, CGR, and CAPS -- designations that he promotes in press releases, direct mail pieces, and brochures.

Two people who have helped Gidley reach his goals are office manager Debra Cinanciullo, who has been with the company for 25 years and is the "backbone" of the business, and outside architect Bruce Salvo, who Gidley has worked with for more than 10 years. In 2000, this team earned the International Better Business Bureau Torch Award for leadeship and marketplace trust.