Arizona Fireplaces Ranks No. 3528 on the List: America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000

The Richardson Family

On Tuesday, August 10, Inc. magazine revealed that Arizona Fireplaces is No. 3528 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“It’s exciting to know that an everyday normal family can grow a business in America and be on a list as prestigious as the INC5000. It’s more of a testament to America than anything else. We are honored to be a part of this list and very proud of our team.”  Don Richardson, CEO

Not only have the companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but this year’s list also proved especially resilient and flexible given 2020’s unprecedented challenges. Among the 5,000, the average median three-year growth rate soared to 543 percent, and median revenue reached $11.1 million. Together, those companies added more than 610,000 jobs over the past three years.

When asked about the past year and the challenges COVID-19 presented, president of Arizona Fireplaces Keith Richardson replied, “Last March, as news about COVID-19 swept the country, there was a memorable moment I’ll never forget. It was the day we returned from the HPBA show in New Orleans. My Mom, Dad, Brother & I had an emergency meeting on how we were going to handle the pandemic, and what changes we were going to implement immediately. Walking out of that meeting, the level of uncertainty was high, but one thing was certain: we were not going to furlough anyone. At that time, our employee count was at 150. Today, there are 250+ employees and climbing.”

Keith further stated, “We used this opportunity to cross-train employees, streamline efficiencies and not reduce inventory levels. We were catching up with processes and doubling down on efficiencies. An evolving trend that we began to recognize was the amount of people working from home, staying in, and cooking in their backyards. We hoped this would somehow translate into BBQ grill sales, but still had absolutely no idea what the months to come would bring us.  We did know this:  that our intention, initiative, investment in our people and doubling down on inventory would fortify us in riding out the storm.  It proved successful and for that we are very grateful.”

 

 

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000

Methodology

Companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2017 to 2020. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017. They must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2020. (Since then, some on the list may have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2017 is $100,000; the minimum for 2020 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Growth rates used to determine company rankings were calculated to three decimal places. There was one tie on this year’s Inc. 5000.  Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including web sites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Vision Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc.

Press Release here.

Keith Richardson, President, Featured in Phoenix Business Journal’s People on the Move

Keith Richardson, President

Keith Richardson is President of both Arizona Fireplaces and AF Distributors – industry leaders in retail and 2-step distribution centers that serve the southwest. Under Keith’s direction, the companies represent the largest combined part of the family business. The other related companies include AF Steel Fabricators (fabricators and installers of structural steel in metro Phoenix for large commercial and residential builders), Modern Flames, LLC (manufacturer and inter-national brand of electric fireplaces), and Grand Canyon Gas logs (manufacturer of gas logs and burners).

Under Keith’s direction, the companies enjoy a strong and energetic team of 280 talented employees who are striving to bring change to the hearth & outdoor living industry. Keith’s appreciation for technology and design shows in the products they display at the company’s two state-of-the-art showrooms. Clients and customers experience the products firsthand as they tour their retail space, experiencing the warmth and cool-to-the-touch hearth products: fireplaces, gas & electric, outdoor grills and fire tables and features, gas logs and accessories, up close and personal. With over 140,000 sf of warehouse space, their inventory ranks second-to-none.

Phoenix Business Journal listed Arizona Fireplaces (Arizona Fasteners Corp) as Arizona’s 28th Largest Phoenix-Area Family-Owned Companies for 2018. Also, for the past 4 years Arizona Fireplaces has been ranked by INC5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America.

Phoenix Business Journal | People on the Move

Don Richardson, CEO featured in Phoenix Business Journal’s People on the Move

Don Richardson is Founder & CEO of Arizona Fireplaces, an Arizona-privately held family retailer that sells hearth products to the entire southwest including AZ, NM, NV, CA, UT, TX & OK plus online order fulfilment for the largest retailers in the industry.

Don’s journey began selling gun nails, staples, and framing hardware to contractors. He revolutionized the use of nail guns, by initiating a standardized angle (still, today) of 22 degrees of the nail strip, lowering the cost of gun nails to the framer. An entrepreneur, Don realized he could sell more products during the framing phase. Close ties with top builders, and the natural progression of house framing and fireplace installation occurring simultaneously, it became a natural fit that evolved Arizona Fasteners to become Arizona Fireplaces.

Don’s achievements include two state of the art showrooms built with designers, builders and their clients in mind. An engaging “live burn” view of the most current fireplace products available anywhere in the US include traditional with gas logs, large, linear look with a big screen TV above it, and even the sleek innovative beauty of Modern Flames electric. Fireplaces, BBQs, accessories & a sales team, and customer care department that are knowledgeable about their products rate second to none.

Under Don’s leadership and management of nearly 300 employees, Arizona Fireplaces celebrated 40 years this past March and at the age of 65, when most consider retirement, Don continues to evolve the business as an industry leader.

Industry Leader Grand Canyon Gas Logs Manufactures Largest Log Set in the USA

“Real logs…from real people”

Sold & Installed by Arizona Fireplaces

Phoenix – Grand Canyon Gas Logs celebrated another milestone this month as they manufactured the longest log set in the nation – a 120” treatment to suit the construction needs of client Whitestone Reit.  Whitestone Reit is a publicly traded real estate investment trust company, and in April, Michael Parrish, Director of Construction, contacted family owned and operated Arizona Fireplaces to collaborate on selecting the right fire feature for Market Street at DC Ranch, a rustic-style shopping center with boutiques, restaurants, salons & other services.

The sheer expanse of the fireplace wall, coupled with anchoring it as an intimate place to gather put John Farrier, Outside Sales for Arizona Fireplaces to work on evaluating specs and teaming up with Grand Canyon Gas Logs to supply the perfect solution.   When asked about the biggest challenge for this project, John replied, “I just wanted to offer something substantial in scale – a log set that not only filled the outdoor “room”, but one that elegantly captured the warm feel of the space.”

This is the largest log set sold and installed by Arizona Fireplaces in their storied 40-year history which sees more gas log sales per-capita than any other part of the country.  The 120” gas log set is Grand Canyon Gas Logs largest production log set and the largest gas log set in the fireplace industry.  When asked about the magnitude of this install, Elliott White, Grand Canyon Gas Logs, states “It is one thing to talk about building the largest logs in the industry, its another thing to actually make it happen.  This is definitely a significant installation showcasing a glimpse of our manufacturing capabilities.”

To see the fireplace in person, go to Market Street at DC Ranch located at the southeast corner of Thompson Peak Parkway and Pima Road in Scottsdale.

About Grand Canyon Gas Logs

Grand Canyon Gas Logs, established in 2014, was created to bring quality, realism and American manufacturing back to the hearth industries gas log market.  Scouring the South West for the perfect logs, each log is individually cast and hand painted to perfection.  Designed, engineered and manufactured in the United States of America, Grand Canyon Gas Logs craftsman pour American pride into each log and burner they build and are widely known as the “craft beer” of the gas log industry.  Our gas log burners are manufactured in the Heartland of America using high-quality stainless-steel components and a fully welded frame.  In 2019/2020 Grand Canyon Gas Logs was recognized on the Inc5000 list at #938 as one of the fastest growing privately owned companies in America.  Grand Canyon Gas logs employs over 30 years of experience in the hearth industry devoting their experience to innovating products for an ever-evolving marketplace.  Learn more about the company by visiting their website grandcanyongaslogs.com.

About Arizona Fireplaces

Arizona Fireplaces was founded in 1980 and remains privately owned and proudly based in Phoenix, Arizona.  They have grown from its founding entity ‘Arizona Fasteners Corporation’ which began by servicing hardware needs of the local home building community.  Today Arizona Fireplaces services the Valley of the Sun with the service, sale and installation of fireplaces to builders, contractors, designers, architects and retail customers.  AF Distributors a division of Arizona Fasteners Corp, distributes hearth products to the entire South West including Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Texas & Oklahoma as well as online order fulfilment for the largest online retailers in the industry.  The other related companies include AF Steel Fabricators (fabricators and installers of structural steel in metro Phoenix for large commercial and residential builders).  A separate Company yet same family ownership is Modern Flames, LLC (manufacturer and international brand of electric fireplaces).

Phoenix Business Journal listed Arizona Fireplaces (Arizona Fasteners Corp) as Arizona’s 28th Largest Phoenix-Area Family Owned Companies. Also, Arizona Fireplaces has been ranked by INC5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America.  Learn more about the company on their website arizonafireplaces.com.

 

About Elliott White, GM, Grand Canyon Gas Logs

Born and raised in Chandler, AZ, Elliott White is a true Arizonan.  His alma mater:  Arizona State University.  One of the (many) things we admire about Elliott is his zest for life, his desire for more – for being the absolute best he can be in all aspects of life.  After being out of school for six years, Elliott went back to ASU to finish his degree.  He graduated in May 2014 from ASU’s WP Carey School of Business with a degree in Business Marketing.

He embraces this southwest lifestyle.  A triathlete at heart, Elliott has finished six Ironman distance races.   Ironman number five, however, did not come easily, as in September 2017 he was struck by a car while riding his bike.  But after two surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, he made a comeback in 2018.  This triumphant moment set the stage for yet another milestone in Elliott’s life when he proposed to his girlfriend Courtney White.  They married in October 2019 (and he competed all in the same month!)

Elliott began his career working for a local furniture company called Salt Creek.  He worked for Salt Creek for just over four years, starting out in the warehouse then working his way up to sales and then eventually managing one of their stores.  Upon leaving Salt Creek, he joined the AF companies and started Grand Canyon Gas Logs, the Gas Log manufacturing company featuring all Arizona wood species and selling the product across the US.   In just six years since launching Grand Canyon Gas Logs the company has grown considerably, becoming nationally known as a high-end gas log manufacturer with outstanding customer service.  Today, Grand Canyon Gas Logs is a force to be reckoned with.  Swiftly growing, offering hand-crafted authentic product that will be viewed as the “craft beer” of the log industry. Unorthodox methods, simple systems and customer service that takes a back seat to no one – keep an eye on this one.  Elliott and team are bound to keep lighting a-fire under this industry, one log set at a time.

SB 1222

Fireside Chat | March Article

By Keith Richardson, President

Arizona Senate Bill 1222 was introduced in January 2020. The bill prohibits a city, town or county from denying a building permit based on the project’s utility provider. Additionally, the bill prevents fines or requirements restricting an authorized utility provider’s service or operation. Requires municipal and county regulations to preserve use of the services of an authorized utility providers’ services are preserved per municipal and country regulations.

 

Arizona Fireplaces, one of the largest family-owned businesses in the state, supports SB 1222, as it provides the maximum flexibility options to builders and homeowners in the realm of fireplaces, firepits, and barbeques. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to represent our company and share my passion and support of the bill at the Senate for Natural Resources and Energy committee meeting on January 29, 2020.

 

Arizona Fireplace customers, both past, current, and future, love having choices when selecting the best fireplace, fire pit, and or barbeque for their homes. Many customers opt for natural gas or propane, as they are clean-burning alternatives to wood. SB 1222 allows our past and future customers to have confidence that no matter where they live in the great state of Arizona, they will have the same options for fireplaces and other products within their homes.

 

Our company has always believed that the fireplace is the heart of the home, to quote visionary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, SB 1222 will not only provide consistency and options to Arizonans, it will support the livelihood of our valued employees, their families, and the 112 active businesses buying from Arizona Fireplaces.

 

Do you have an opinion about SB 1222?  We’d love to hear your view, as conversation is where knowledge and growth flourish.  Thanks for engaging and sharing!