Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

Jobs blossom at Tampa vet specialists as pet owners open wallets to save loved ones

Amid the nasty recession, 100 private U.S. businesses still managed to create 73,032 jobs. That feat landed them on Inc. magazine's inaugural "Hire Power" list of big job creators.

One of those 100 is Tampa's BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a group of growing specialty animal hospitals that from 2008 to 2011 created 523 jobs while more than doubling revenues from $42 million to just under $100 million. That job growth, achieved by internal growth and acquisitions, placed BluePearl at No. 36 on the Hire Power list.

Inc.'s rankings are published in its December issue and appear online at www.inc.com starting today. Earlier this year, BluePearl's rapid revenue growth put it on the Inc. 5000 list of fast-growing companies for the first time at No. 1,695.

Most customers of BluePearl are owners of pets that need specialized medical attention, and they are mostly referred to its facilities by primary-care vets.

Chemotherapy to fight cancer? Congestive heart failure treatments? Ailments that are beyond the basic vet's care can end up in BluePearl's hands.

BluePearl's expertise in sophisticated (and often expensive) treatments reflects the growing bond between pet owners and their animals — and the growing discretionary income of pet owners. That trend began to be noticed by the industry in the early 1990s.

The Tampa company was started in the mid '90s by two brothers, MBA grad Darryl Shaw and veterinarian Neil Shaw. At first, the business was called Florida Veterinary Specialists. The BluePearl name was adopted in 2008 as the business merged with other veterinary services.

Company job growth continues, with more than 1,200 employees. BluePearl's website features long lists of job openings, from veterinary cardiologists and emergency clinicians to neurologists and surgeons in Texas, Virginia, Kansas and other states.

CEO Darryl Shaw expects that the economic outlook will keep BluePearl expanding.

"We have seen some good organic growth, and we believe the demand will continue to grow for specialty and emergency veterinary services," he said.

On Monday, BluePearl opened its 30th speciality veterinary hospital, in Kansas City, joining two other BluePearl medical facilities in that market. After rapid purchases of hospitals in 12 states across the country, the company is in the process of branding them under the BluePearl name.

Will BluePearl be taken public once it gets bigger? That's not the plan for now.

"We are just going to continue to try to take the right step in the right direction at the right time," said Shaw, who has a yellow Labrador and a Dalmatian.

Inc.'s Hire Power list of job creators includes some better-known names. The Web-hosting company GoDaddy.com added 1,403 jobs between 2008 and 2011. And Chobani, the Greek yogurt maker, added 1,043 jobs and separately was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year last month.

Florida tied with Colorado and Pennsylvania in fifth place among states with five companies apiece on the Hire Power list of 100. BluePearl, notified by Inc. over the weekend, is the only Tampa Bay area business to make this year's ranking.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18