Gator100 logo

Five Warrington alumni named to Gator100 four years in a row

Since the inception of the Gator100 in 2015, more than 150 companies led by alumni from the Warrington College of Business have been named to the list that honors the 100 fastest-growing, Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world.

Many of those businesses have been named to the Gator100 multiple years since 2015. Five of those businesses, though, share a unique connection.

The Bowman Law Firm,, SSP Innovations, Study Edge and Victory Tailgate have all had the special distinction of being named to the list all 4 years since the Gator100 first started.

Dean Perry

Dean Perry

For Dean Perry (BSBA ’04), SSP Innovations Director of Sales and brother of SSP CEO Skye Perry (BSBA ’00), that distinction is one he is especially proud of.

“As Director of Sales, my job is about growth and business development,” he said. “It’s great to have that level of success.”

While Perry is responsible for business development and customer satisfaction, his background in Decision & Information Sciences (now Information Systems & Operations Management) prepared him for his work at SSP.

“SSP is a technology consulting company within the utility, telecommunication and pipeline industries,” Perry said. “We aim to guide utilities into the future of technology, with a focus on geographic information systems (GIS) and work and asset management.”

For SSP, that means providing value to clients in an ethical and transparent way. The company does this through its communications about the current and future technology within the industry.

“In the utilities industry, they are a very close community,” Perry said. “What we’ve done a good job at is communicating – we find what the biggest pain points are, and then offer clear and concise information. Our clients are getting the help that they need and something of value that they can use in their business.”

Catherine Bowman

Catherine Bowman

Similar to SSP, The Bowman Law Firm, founded by Catherine Bowman (BSBA ’93), found that offering clients the best service possible in a niche industry has helped her law firm see continued growth.

Bowman’s company, which she founded in 2008, specializes in conducting comprehensive and independent due diligence reviews of alternative investment products for independent brokers/dealers, investment advisors and other financial professionals.

“Our overarching goal is to provide great due diligence to brokers and advisors so they can make educated decisions and provide information to their clients,” Bowman said.

Bowman credits her economics education at Warrington for helping her law firm see success.

“My business is not just a legal review of securities and offerings, but we’re also looking at the financials of companies,” she said. “I’m not a CPA, so from a financial analysis standpoint, my degree is helpful for my business now and having a general financial understanding.”

Another important part of Bowman’s success comes from simply listening to her clients.

“You really have to listen to your clients and customers so you’re sure you’re filling their needs and they stay loyal,” she said. “A lot of my business is word-of-mouth. We don’t actively seek new clients, but we add them every week.”

Ethan Fieldman

Ethan Fieldman

Listening and providing clients with the best service is also a key to success for StudyEdge, a tutoring service founded by Ethan Fieldman (BSBA ’03).

“We simply work harder than anyone else in the education industry, and have an incredible team,” Fieldman said. “Because we always go over and above for our clients and customers, they always come back to us month after month.”

Fieldman’s business started when he began tutoring other students and providing reviews for $20 as a sophomore at UF. He’s since grown the company nation-wide, offering tutoring to university and K-12 students.

“We are about 50 percent content and 50 percent tech,” he said. “We create streaming videos, and deliver them, for STEM and business courses. Our goal is quite simple: help students learn.”

Benjamin Gordon

Benjamin Gordon

For Benjamin Gordon (BSBA ’04), a number of factors have allowed for the continued success of One key factor – hire the right people.

“[Employees] have to buy into the culture and what you are trying to achieve,” he said. “We have an amazing team that is extremely hard working, but also have a positive team spirit.”

Gordon also credits focusing on growth over profits, aligning the company with similar young and growing manufacturers, software companies and agencies, and creating a customer-focused website as factors that have allowed to sustain growth.

Many would think that being able to grow was going to be a challenge, considering Gordon and business partner Chris Larsen (BDES ’04) first created (originally named Kitchen Resource Direct) in 2009 at the bottom of the housing market with the idea of selling semi-custom kitchens and cabinets without a physical showroom.

In reality, was a hit with customers.

“They told their neighbors, friends and family how much money they saved buying online,” Gordon said. “Word-of-mouth and reviews go a long way, especially for an online business.”

Gordon points out that he and Larsen weren’t the first to break in to the online cabinet industry. However, their success came from finding the perfect customer to sell their products to.

“We weren’t the first to sell cabinets online,” Gordon said. “We found a niche of customer who was comfortable shopping online and wanted to save money on their kitchen, but still wanted good quality and options. That niche has grown bigger and bigger each year.”

Scott Sims

Scott Sims

Victory Tailgate founder Scott Sims (BSBA ’97) has also been able to find his niche within the online retail industry by selling college branded tailgate games.

“After trying to find a UF tailgate game online, I noticed there was no one successfully marketing and selling college branded games effectively online,” he said. “We put up a site and did a little marketing and started getting sales right away.”

Sims said the first game he made took him three days to create in his garage.

“Now, in peak season, we sell and manufacture over 1,000 games a day,” he said. “In the first five years of the company, we had to move seven times, and we doubled in sales and employees every year.”

Victory Tailgate’s success comes from doing a lot of things differently from others in the industry, Sims said.

“Most everyone in our industry manufactures overseas, and wholesale to other vendors who sell through traditional big box retailers,” he said. “We sell mainly direct to consumers, we manufacture everything her in the USA, and all of our products are made on-demand.

“Our business model allows us to go to market quickly, get instant feedback from our customers, not be tied down with inventory and pivot when needed.”

Victory Tailgate’s ability to be flexible has helped it see continued growth.

“We are currently launching several new games and products, and building our brand to become the number one source for outdoor fun and entertainment,” Sims said.

Five additional companies owned or led by UF alumni have been named to the Gator100 list consecutively since 2015. Congratulations to DirecLogix, e-Builder, Inc., Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, Processing Point, Inc. and ProctorU for their continued success.

Congratulations to all of the Gator100 winners! View the complete list of winners and read more about the event.