MELE tops 50 fastest growing Md. firms Rockville consultant had revenue rise of 17,000% in five years

October 22, 1997|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

If you ask Eleanor Chiogioji, president of MELE Associates Inc., running a fast growing high-technology company in Maryland is "just plain hard work."

"We eat and sleep this business," said Chiogioji, MELE's president. "When you run your own business and want to be a success, there is no vacation from it."

The toil has paid off. The Rockville company, which provides environmental engineering and other technical services to federal agencies and private industry, holds the No. 1 spot on the annual "Fast 50" list of the fastest growing high-technology companies in the state this year.

The list, compiled by Deloitte & Touche LLP, the national accounting and business consulting firm, is to be announced today at an event it organized with the Greater Baltimore Committee at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Deloitte & Touche, which compiles similar lists in several other technology-rich regions of the country, has bought rights to similar rankings from organizations around the country. Up until this year, the rankings were compiled by the Suburban Maryland High-Technology Council and the GBC's High-Technology Council.

The rankings are based on revenue growth over the past five years, based on information provided by surveyed companies.

To qualify, companies for the Fast 50 had to have revenue of at least $50,000 five years ago and 1996 revenue of at least $1 million.

MELE, which posted $9.5 million in revenue in 1996, captured the top spot with stunning revenue growth of more than 17,000 percent during the five-year period. Five years ago, the firm made about $60,000

And while some of the companies on the list are not profitable, or marginally so, MELE is making money, according to Chiogioji.

Keys to the company's success, said the executive: A pool of top technical talent in the Baltimore-Washington region and aggressive marketing.

Landing on the Fast 50 list can be a boost when it comes to marketing, said Chiogioji, who started the company with her husband as a part-time consulting endeavor.

Not only does the recognition from being on the list draw unsolicited business, it can also help build credibility when making a competitive proposal, said Chiogioji, a former U.S. Department of Energy employee.

As in recent years, the Fast 50 list is dominated by telecommunications, information technology and specialty computer system developers and consultants.

Looking ahead, Jane Shaab, executive director of GBC's High-Technology Council, believes entertainment software firms, diversified educational and training providers and biotechnology companies will increasingly be seen on the list.

"These are industries in which the Baltimore area has a number of young, emerging companies," said Shaab.

This year's list is largely composed of companies based in Howard and Montgomery counties.

Five on the list are based in Baltimore, including Sylvan Learning Systems Inc., the tutoring and professional testing company, and the Hunter Group, which provides business software consulting services.

Also on the list were health technology companies, including publicly held Antex Biologics Inc., MedImmune Inc. and North American Vaccine.

Maryland 'Fast 50'

RANK .. .. COMPANY .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..LOCATION

1 .. .. .. MELE Associates Inc. .. .. .. .. ...Rockville

2 .. .. ...OAO International Corp. .. .. .. ...Greenbelt

3 .. .. ...Airflex Biologics Inc. .. .. .. .Gaithersburg

4 .. .. ...Houston Associates Inc. .. .. ..Silver Spring

5 .. .. ...Sytel Inc. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .Bethesda

6 .. .. ...Orion Network Systems .. .. .. .. ..Rockville

7 .. .. ...Force 3 Inc. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .Crofton

8 .. .. ...Caelum Research Corp. .. .. .. .Silver Spring

9 .. .. ...Sylvest Management Systems .. .. .. .Landover

10 .. .. ..Global Management Systems .. .. .. ..Bethesda

11 .. .. ..QSS Group Inc. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...Lanham

12 .. .. ..Syscom Services Inc. .. .. .. ..Silver Spring

13 .. .. ..Robin Technologies .. .. .. .. .. ..Rockville

14 .. .. ..Advanced Concepts Inc. .. .. .. .. ..Columbia

15 .. .. ..Sequoia Software Corp. .. .. .. .. ..Columbia

16 .. .. ..BSG Government Solutions .. .. .. ...Columbia

17 .. .. ..Capitol Hill Software .. .. .. .. .. ..Lanham

18 .. .. ..International Data Products .. ..Gaithersburg

19 .. .. ..Marshall Technical Services .. .. ..Annapolis

20 .. .. ..SHS North America .. .. .. .. .. ...Rockville

21 .. .. ..The Hunter Group .. .. .. .. .. .. .Baltimore

22 .. .. ..The Presidio Corp. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Lanham

23 .. .. ..Bergman & Co. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Bethesda

24 .. .. ..Sylvan Learning Systems .. .. .. ...Baltimore

25 .. .. ..SOTAS Inc. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .Rockville

26 .. .. ..North American Vaccine .. .. .. ...Beltsville

27 .. .. ..Telogy Networks Inc. .. .. .. .. ..Germantown

28 .. .. ..Fusion systems Corp. .. .. .. .. ...Rockville

29 .. .. ..HT Medical .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ....Rockville

30 .. .. ..Triad Management Systems .. .. .. .Rockville

31 .. .. ..TeleCommunication Systems .. .. .. .Annapolis

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