Fastest-growing companies celebrated at Metro 50

Thursday, October 1, 2015

On Sept. 29, 2015, the Metro 50 committee honored 50 of the fastest-growing, privately-owned companies in the region at the 20th annual Metro 50 Awards. Earning the title of Oklahoma City’s fastest-growing company was CNI Advantage LLC., with Candor and PowerHouse Resources International Inc. rounding out the second- and third-fastest growing companies, respectively. The company with the most growth in this year’s rankings, CNI Advantage, grew from five to 100 employees since 2013 and experienced revenue growth of more than 3,300 percent.

CNI Advantage offers a total logistics solution for its customers, including construction, job order contracting, supply chain management and security support and has been in operation for four years.

“Central Oklahoma offers an immense amount of resources at a lower operating cost than other large cities,” Jeff Keel, general manager of CNI Advantage, said. “Strategically located in the middle of the country, operating in Central Oklahoma provides convenience and value.”

According to Keel, CNI Advantage was created to help promote the economic development of the Chickasaw Nation, and its profits are used to help support Chickasaw Nation’s childcare, education, senior care and healthcare.

For CNI Advantage, the people of Oklahoma City that make up their workforce are a key to their growth.

“We are surrounded by hardworking, dedicated employees who strive to help our company support our desire to contribute to the Chickasaw Nation and our surrounding community,” Keel said.

Candor, a full-service public relations and business consulting firm, took second place in the Metro 50 awards. Candor was founded in 2012 with one full-time employee – its founder and president Karen Wicker. Today, the company has expanded to 10 employees and has recently purchased a building on Film Row to accommodate its growth.

Wicker said that her company experienced growth organically as it added business consulting services alongside its work in perception management. Candor’s capabilities include addressing the strategic communications needs of its clients and advising them on organizational management.

Wicker, who spent part of her career in Tulsa before founding Candor, credits Oklahoma City’s location as a benefit to her business.

“In two or three hours, if you need to have a face-toface meeting in any part of the state, you can,” Wicker said. “Half of my team travels every day. It is a good location for doing business at the crossroads of all the interstates.”

PowerHouse Resources International Inc., the third fastest-growing company, was founded in 2010 as an HR and finance consulting firm for government contractors. The company shifted its business model a few years later, and now acts as an aircraft and group vehicle maintenance company supplying services to the U.S. military throughout the country. From 2012-2014, PowerHouse Resources International Inc. experienced an 800 percent revenue increase and an expansion from five to 60 employees.

Linda Mandel, CEO and chief operating officer of PowerHouse Resources International Inc., said that Oklahoma City’s central location and its recent renaissance have helped her business succeed. She also credits the people of Oklahoma City as being a positive asset for her company.

“We strongly believe the people of Oklahoma City are one of its biggest assets,” Mandel said. “As PowerHouse Resources continues to grow its headquarters, we are confident that we can fill open positions with qualified, knowledgeable employees that have good work ethic.”

The 2015 Metro 50 Awards also honored two companies that have been on the list seven or more times in the last 10 years. Saxum celebrated its ninth appearance on the Metro 50 list, and Enviro Clean was recognized for its 10 years as a Metro 50 winner.

“The Metro 50 Sustainers are an example of what makes Oklahoma City’s economy so vibrant,” said Kurt Foreman, executive vice president of economic development for the Chamber. “Oklahoma City’s economy sustains lasting success for its companies, and in turn, those successful companies help maintain the strength of our economy.”

The Metro 50 Committee includes Bank of Oklahoma, Cox Business, EY, Express Employment Professionals, Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville, The Journal Record Publishing Company, OGE Energy Corp. and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.

View a list of all 50 winners at

Read more in depth about the top three winners at The Journal Record's website (subscription required):