Richard Burke believes his company Performance Labs Inc. has been built on passion and teamwork. While working his way though California State University, Northridge to earn a business degree he meet up with his mentor, David Mercer, and eventually started the vitamin distribution company. “Being able to attend classes at night and during the day being able to apply what I learned in school was a tremendous value,” said Burke. Performance Labs Inc., has grown into 16 employees operating out of a 9,000 square foot office with its own warehouse. Having always been interested in the concepts of packaged goods marketing, Burke and David Mercer worked together to grow the business without relying too much on advertising but successfully competing with the big brands in the industry. Performance Labs currently markets six brands of nutritional supplements. In a large part, Burke depends on his customers to spread the word about their products. And it works. They are now distributed in Wal Mart, Costco, Walgreens, RiteAid, Albertson’s, Savon and many other stores across the United States. The company is looking to start selling overseas soon. Mercer decided he wanted to retire, and Burke bought out his mentor of eighteen years. “I’m proud and humbled to be nominated because of all the tremendous businesspeople I meet everyday in the San Fernando Valley. I feel this is only possible because of all the employees I have worked with and my mentor, it comes from teamwork,” Burke said.