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Nathaniel Graessle and Jay Hardy
Christopher Catani/Contributed Nathaniel Graessle, chief financial officer, and Jay Hardy, president of Hardy Diagnostics, display the Inc. magazine publication that includes the company as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing in the nation.

Hardy Diagnostics, a Santa Maria-based medical device manufacturer and distributor, has been named to Inc. magazine's third annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.

The list represents a comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy - America's independent-minded entrepreneurs, a spokesman for Hardy Diagnostics said.

Inc. magazine said the companies' aggregate revenue is $214 billion, up $29 billion from last year, despite the recession.

The companies also are responsible for creating more than 1 million jobs, which Inc. said shows the impact private, fast-growing companies have on the economy.

Company President Jay Hardy said Hardy Diagnostics has posted three consecutive profitable quarters in 2009, allowing the company to avoid the widespread layoffs caused by the recession.

Hardy said the company has not only weathered the economic storm but also has been able to plan for future growth and expansion of its product line, which also fits with Inc. magazine's criteria.

Companies on this year's list are poised for growth in coming years, according to Inc.

Health is the top industry in both total revenue, at $22.7 billion, and total employment, at 156,223 jobs, Inc. said.

Hardy Diagnostics' growth rate in 2008 was 29.2 percent, with revenues exceeding

$24 million.

Hardy Diagnostics is an FDA-licensed manufacturer of medical devices for microbiological procedures in both clinical and industrial laboratories.

The company, founded in 1980 in Santa Barbara by Hardy and Robert Shibata, manufactures more than 3,000 products for culturing and identifying bacteria and fungi.

Its products are used to culture and detect such commonly seen and publicized pathogens as E. coli, salmonella, listeria, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA, and the H1N1 influenza virus.

More than 6,000 laboratories nationwide are serviced by Hardy Diagnostics, which also exports products to more than 30 nations.

All of its products are manufactured at its headquarters in Santa Maria. For more information, visit www.HardyDiagnostics.com.

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