DOME Headwear Co. selected to Gator100

Jacksonville-based business co-founded by Nease graduate


DOME Headwear Co. was named to the University of Florida’s 2018 Gator100 during a ceremony Feb. 2 at UF’s J. Wayne Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.

Sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Gator100 recognizes the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UF alumni. Ernst & Young calculated each company’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years to generate the ranking. Dome Headwear Co. ranked 53 with a CAGR of 44.08 percent.

Dome Headwear Co. provides the best in custom headwear to brands, people, lifestyles and schools nationwide. With unique and powerful partnerships, they have over 300 custom headwear distributors across the country. Based in Jacksonville, the founders, Jeff Whitaker and Chris Hetland, take precedence in putting their footprint on the local market and honoring the University of Florida.

“Chris and I are not only UF Alumni, we’re lifelong Gators,” said co-founder Jeff Whitaker, who is also a Nease graduate.  “Our childhoods were spent cheering for the orange and blue. To be recognized by our alma mater, the university we grew up adoring, was a surreal experience and is a testament to everyone’s hard work that has gone into making DOME Headwear Company into what it is today. I’m very proud to be working alongside people I love and growing a successful business in my hometown of Jacksonville. “

To qualify for the Gator100, companies must have been in business for five years or more as of Oct. 1, 2017, and have verifiable annual revenues of $250,000 or more in 2014. Additionally, a UF alumnus or alumna must have met one of the following three leadership criteria:

1. Owned 50 percent or more of the company from Jan. 1, 2014, through Oct. 1, 2017; or  

2. Served as company’s chief executive from Jan. 1, 2014, through Oct. 1, 2017; or 

3. Founded the company and been active as a member of the most senior management team from Jan. 1, 2014, through Oct. 1, 2017.

“The Gator100 honors UF alumni from across the university who are founding and growing amazing companies around the country,” said Kent Fuchs, president of the University of Florida. “It’s an incredible affirmation of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the Gator Nation.”

To view the full list of Gator100 honorees, visit