East Tennessee business leaders speak about making the Inc. 5000 list

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Some East Tennessee companies are continuing to make the American Business Magazine Inc. 5000 list that ranks every company based on its revenue growth rate.

WATE was able to speak with some of the business leaders, who were on the Inc. 5000 list, to get some insight into their companies’ growth.

Axle Logistics, a company in Knoxville, offers advanced logistics services, like truckload, LTL, intermodal and warehousing, that they provide to a wide variety of customers throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to their website.

Axle Logistics was one of the companies in East Tennessee that made the Inc. 5000 list year after year.

“It’s an honor. It’s our seventh year in a row to be on the list. It’s the top 5000 privately held companies in the country, fastest growing,” said Ali Fraley, vice president of learning and development for Axle Logistics. “We’re a third-party logistics company based right here in Knoxville. it’s our job to move freight all throughout North America.”

According to Fraley, Axle Logistics was founded in 2012 by two South Doyle High School and the University of Tennessee students.

Fraley added that [Axle Logistics] credit their success in the company to their employees.

“I think we have a unique company culture, people enjoy working here and when you put people in the driver seat, no pun intended, of their career and their future, they really buy in and lean into providing great service,” she said.

Another company made the 5000 Inc. list from East Tennesse. A restaurant supply company in Morristown was on the list a total of 14 times.

KaTom is a company focused on providing supplies, furniture and equipment for upcoming and current restaurants. They work to help restaurants receive quality products to enhance their businesses.

“I remember the first year we won this award, we couldn’t believe it,” said Charley Bible, vice president of business development for KaTom.

KaTom started over 30 years ago in the founder’s garage in Morristown. Bible added that their ability to stay ahead of the curve was to keep their business at the top.

“We are currently in our fourth expansion, expanding this into a 350,000 square foot campus, so the growth has been significant,” Bible said. “You got to constantly keep innovating to keep growing.”

Other companies in East Tennessee that made the list, include Boston Government Services in Oak Ridge and Boldsquare, Strategies and Communications Firm in Knoxville.

To see the full 5000 Inc. list, visit inc.com/inc5000/2022.

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