14_Richard Lane


Richard Lane, 55

Buzz Off Insect Shield LLC
Greensboro, North Carolina

Richard Lane was bitten by success in 2004. He had begun developing his insect-repellent-impregnated clothing in 1996, and the Environmental Protection Agency approved the idea in the summer of 2003. Buzz Off quadrupled its output this year, sparked outdoor retailer Orvis’s most successful product launch ever, and landed a partnership with the granddaddy of outdoor retailers, L.L. Bean. Says Lane: “Our best advertising has always been the people who use it.” That includes Jack Nicklaus and the U.S. Marine Corps. Lane also formed a deal with a Japanese company to make more-effective bed netting to combat malaria, and he shipped crates of Buzz Off T-shirts to children in Third World countries. This year will bring a swarm of new products, including a longer-lasting repellent that protects against a wider variety of bugs.FCS