After stints in the Navy and the insurance and real estate industries, Richard Gordon started a management consulting firm in 1983 that eventually turned into his current business, R.j. Gordon & Co. This year’s fastest growing private company has 14 divisions, among them credit card services, information technology, publishing, association management, trade shows and management consulting.

Breath Asure president Lauren Raissen probably never thought that her husband’s love of strong-smelling foods would lead to the development of the second fastest-growing private company in Los Angeles. Lauren and Anthony Raissen started the company out of their home in 1992 and have seen it grow to include breath-freshening products for humans and animals that are available in 25 countries.

Goldmine Software president Elan Susser and co-founder Jon Ferrara started the company in a tiny San Fernando Valley apartment in 1989. Eight years later, Susser has 100 employees working for a company that has doubled its revenues every year since its inception. Susser worked as a systems integrator before developing Goldmine’s award-winning contact management software. He was a 1996 finalist for the Ernst & Young/USA Today Entrepreneur of the Year.

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