Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Day & Zimmermann: Mission Possible

Harold Yoh has been chief executive for 10 years at Day & Zimmermann, a closely held engineering and construction concern. He admits he still occasionally struggles to describe his work.

"The cocktail party question of 'What do you do?' isn't the easiest one to answer," he jokes.

A quick glance at Day & Zimmermann's business description reveals why. The 107-year-old outfit, headquartered in Philadelphia and ranked 317th on our annual list of America's largest privately held companies, provides services as varied as storing 600,000 tons of ammunition, providing temp staffing of technology workers and maintaining nuclear power plants.

But one thing Yoh, 47, doesn't labor to explain is recent sales growth. Revenues in 2007 were $1.9 billion, up a robust 36% from $1.4 billion in 2006. This year, Yoh indicates, Day & Zimmermann should make it well past the $2 billion mark. Day's business mix seems to be working, however difficult it is to explain at cocktail parties.

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