The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and presenting sponsor SunTrust last week announced the winners of the 2016 Business Awards. The Chamber annually honors businesses for their role in helping our region advance toward a vision of Greater Gainesville as the global hub of talent, innovation, and opportunity. To be considered for a Business Award, the organization must standout for excellence and innovation within business practices and community involvement.
“The strength and competitiveness of this year’s entries in addition to the rigorous evaluation and review by the judges to select the winners should be a reason for each finalist to take great pride in their entry,” said Chamber President/CEO Susan Davenport. “These companies all serve as strong examples of excellence in business practices and innovation, and commitment to community progress.”
This year’s award winners include:
- Commitment to the Environment Award: Sweetwater Branch Inn
- Leading Women’s Enterprise Award:Eat the 80
- Minority Owned Business of the Year Award: Florida Fun Bikes
- Startup Business of the Year Award: Feathr
- Nonprofit of the Year Award: Children’s Home Society
- Small Business of the Year Award: 2 College Brothers
- Tech Company of the Year Award: PHOS Creative
- BioScience Company of the Year Award: AGTC
- Manufacturing Company of the Year Award: Endoscopy Replacement Parts
- Large Business of the Year Award: Gainesville Health and Fitness
In addition to Presenting Sponsor SunTrust Bank, award Sponsors include the Best Western Gateway Grand, Keith Watson Events, The Best Restoration, Capital City Bank, ProActive Tax & Accounting, Foresight Construction, Florida Credit Union, TD Bank, CareerSource North Central Florida, the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Northwestern Mutual, Targeted Training Solutions, Vystar Credit Union.
With nearly 1,300 members and fewer than ten awards, competition for this year’s Business of the Year Awards was high. This year, eligible applications were evaluated by a membership task force comprised of volunteers. Each judge assessed the applications on a five-point scale focused in the areas of Strategic and Financial Goals, Employee Best Practices, Customer Service Strategies and Community Involvement.
Many thanks to our members who served as judges for this year’s slate of awards:
- Ginger Nappy, Napolatano’s
- Dwight Hulse, D.L. Hulse Consulting, LLC
- Steven Datkuliak, TD Bank
- Laurel Brown, UF Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Raydel Cornelio, CareerSource North Central Florida
- Virginia Grant, Gainesville Black Professionals
- Tom Porter, ProActive Tax & Accounting
- Laura Gunter, TD Bank
- Clay Martin, Folds & Walker
- Kip Harrison, Capital City Bank
A total score was tabulated and given for each applicant. The top three in each category were announced as finalists, except in the instance of a tie, where four were announced as finalists.
To view photos of this year’s event, click here.