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Lee-Collier Runner-Up

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  • | 6:00 p.m. May 18, 2006
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Lee-Collier Runner-Up

Steven Camposano

President, High Velocity

Since starting High Velocity in 2001, Steven Camposano's company has become one of the Gulf Coast's leading manufacturers and installers of hurricane shutters.

The company owns the Category 5 brand name, a series of accordion shutter designs certified to withstand Category 5 winds. The products have been instrumental in protecting some high-profile condominium buildings, including The Belize and Veracruz, both on Marco Island.

It's a big leap forward for Camposano, previously a salesman for a now-rival shutter company he declines to name. After working there for 11 years, he decided to start his own business after his employer dropped The Belize project.

"It was the biggest risk I ever took," says 44-year-old Camposano. "But it never crossed my mind that it wouldn't succeed."

That's because he knew he had a revolutionary idea for an accordion shutter design that nobody was making - yet. Using his and his wife's entire retirement savings of $1 million, plus $100,000 he borrowed from a friend, Camposano signed on The Belize with his new company about five years ago.

Demand for his products are so big now that he has a 24-week backlog. He's building a 100,000-square-foot facility in Naples to handle the work; the building is scheduled to open in 2007.

That won't be the last of Camposano's expansion plans, either. "We've been getting requests from people out of state that want to install our products," he says. The company has been negotiating with dealers nationwide to distribute its Category 5 trademark shutters.

Of course, Camposano's still constantly thinking of revolutionary designs.

"I'm absolutely fascinated by it," he says of the wind engineering field. Although not an engineer himself, Camposano is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers, where he is the only layperson to sit on the wind effects committee. He's also currently working with the state to develop the first-ever certification program for trade workers in the shutter industry.

-Isabelle Gan

Revenues 2003: $982,972 2004: $1.8 million 2005: $4.9 million

(83% increase) (172% increase)

Average annual growth: 127.5%

EMPLOYEES 2004: 10 2005: 29 2006: 52


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