May 21, 2013
Small Business Awards honors seven with top honors
Keynote speaker Clay Mathile, former CEO of the Iams Company and Chairman & CEO of The Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition
Small business, big dreams
Cincinnati’s business community celebrated this year’s Small Business Excellence Award winners on May 16th at The Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. Presenting sponsor, PNC Bank, excellence sponsors, Flynn & Company, Frontier Airlines and Humana, and media sponsors, the Business Courier and ZoneCG, hosted the luncheon ceremony with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
Keynote speaker, Clay Mathile, former CEO of The Iams Company and Chairman/CEO of The Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition shared. Mr. Mathile offered a message of admiration for Cincinnati as a nurturing environment for small businesses, and shared his own story of being supported by the region as a young entrepreneur many years ago. He urged the audience to embrace professional management principles as the single leading tool to achieve business growth. Mathile emphasized the importance of having an outside board of directors to guide any business toward success – regardless of size. He closed his remarks by asking the audience to “pay it forward” by mentoring the next generation of business leaders in the community.
This year’s Small Business Excellence Award Winners are:
2013 Emerging Business of the Year – Ingage Partners, LLC
Ingage blends business with a desire to make a difference. Ingage gives away 25% of annual profits to nonprofit groups. Consultants use paid time off to service the community and Ingage matches a portion of personal contributions to charities. In 2012, Ingage grew by 60% with revenues of $1.6 million and anticipates more than 50% growth in revenue and staffing in 2013. Ingage budgets $1,500 each for employee training. An Ohio program also will provide $18,000 for training. Ingage offers project management, business and systems analysis, application development and change management services. Clients include hospitals, health care payer organizations, and technology and retail firms. Launched in 2011, CEO, Kelly Dolan says, “We set out to do things differently in also helping the community with the services that we offer.”
2013 Non-profit of the Year, (1–40 employees) – Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
The Energy Alliance is a public-private partnership that has raised $23 million in capital to invest in energy efficiency. The group’s financial support of projects in the residential and commercial sector has led to more than $50 million in direct economic activity. More than 250 workers were trained at the Building Performance Training Center, in partnership with Cincinnati Technical and Community College. The Energy Alliance offers two programs endorsed by the U.S. Department of Energy: the Home Performance with Energy Start plan for homeowners and the Better Buildings Performance Program for commercial entities. Each offers project management, cash incentives and energy efficiency loans to help owners invest in sustainability. Future success will come investing in energy efficiency. If 69,000 homeowners and 460 nonprofit groups make energy improvements using the Energy Alliance’s programs, homeowners could save $59.6 million in energy bills by 2030, says the American Council for an energy-Efficient Economy. “We are dedicated to making Greater Cincinnati a more energy efficient place by leveraging public and private financial resources for clean energy initiatives,” said founder and CEO, Andy Holzhauser.
2013 Non-profit of the Year, (41–250 employees) – Camp Joy
Camp Joy’s mission is to help people grow and succeed through life-long, hands-on, experience-based learning. “We are an organization that is in the business to change lives,” says Executive Director, Amy Thompson. It offers week-long camps for children facing a variety of challenges, including economic, medical, special needs, at-risk and foster children. Once dependent on donations, Camp Joy is now self-sustaining and obtains 83% of revenues from service fees. Some of that comes from corporate leadership and team-building experiences. More than 1 million people have taken part in programs and many say the experience is “life changing.” Camp Joy staff works to ensure repeat business from customers and often develops programming specific to client needs, whether it be the foster care system, schools, or the E.W. Scripps Company. In the past year, 100% of camp clients and 65% of leadership development customers were returning customers as were 92% of schools. Many customers also devote volunteer hours to Camp Joy to help maintain the 315 acre facility.
2013 Community Involvement Award – Modern Office Methods
Modern Office Methods (MOM) supplies and services copy systems, multifunction devices, printers and document management software. The firm created the “Jump START Your Nonprofit” program in 2010, which awards three office technology makeovers worth $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 to deserving agencies. The program continues and to date more than 400 nonprofits applied for the grants. MOM also supports numerous groups important to employees, including the Susan G. Komen Walk for the cure and the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk. On Charitable Fun Fridays from April through September, the MOM team raises money for local nonprofits. In 2012, more than $107,000 was donated, plus 170 toys for Toys for Tots program. The firm also sponsors a “Live Well – Work Well” program to help employees stay healthy. Vice President of Marketing, Steve Bandy attributes the 55 year old company’s success to its 200+ employees and their dedication to serving their clients.
2013 Small Business of the Year (1–15 employees) – Strategic Human Resources, Inc.
By partnering with clients, Strategic HR is aligned with customer businesses and shares their goals. Services target small and mid-sized companies. Throckmorton and her team provide help in all areas of HR, including recruitment, training & development, benefits & compensation, communication, employee relations, recordkeeping, health, safety and security, and legal compliance. Strategic HR brings in the expertise of adjunct resources as needed and the firm is widely known as a go-to expert. Throckmorton’s team is active in professional organizations and speaking engagements. They’ve been quoted in national media. The Strategic HR website delivers free resources and receives 5,000 hits a day. “We attribute our success to our employees, our clients and our business partners,” says Robin Throckmorten, President, “As we celebrate our 18th year of operation, we could not have the success without the strengths of all our employees and their skills, our clients are wonderful in providing us with referrals, as well as taking advantage of different solutions that we provide, and our business partners have been fabulous about keeping us in mind as a value-added service for them.”
2013 Small Business of the Year (16 –50 employees) – Infintech LLC
Infintech is a nationally recognized payment service provider with customers in 48 states. It partners with 160 chambers of commerce and associations. The Infintech team and 50 independent sales representatives serve 5,000 businesses which process nearly $2 billion annually. Services include credit and debit card processing, corporate card issuing, electronic funds transfers, custom gift cards, check authorizations and remote check depositing. Infintech is transparent about the real cost of payment processing. Integrity and ethical business practices are at the firm’s core. Employees enjoy lots of training and flexible work schedules. The firm stays ahead of new technology to keep pace with the evolution of a cashless society. Founder and President, Ryan Rybolt says the company is dedicated to “achieving controlled growth without compromising quality.” Infintech has expanded into the business-to-business transaction processing space and staff has grown by 25% in the past year.
2013 Small Business of the Year (51 –250 employees) – Process Plus
Process Plus delivers engineering and design services that reduce or improve client costs. It operates offices in Cincinnati and Cleveland serving the chemical, food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Process Plus works hard to deliver simple solutions to complex customer needs. It is exploring opening offices in other locations to provide customers with a local presence. Services include process engineering and design, architecture, civil and structural engineering, packaging and material handling and construction management. As an employee-owned company, Process Plus started innovative programs to give employees ownership benefits. The firm also puts a big emphasis on stewardship and regularly gives back to the community. “We attribute our success at Process Plus to understanding customer needs especially early on in the project,” says Associate Principal and Vice President, Dennis Romak. (It’s) “Understanding what’s going to make a successful project for them and then delivering enthused customers at the end of the project.”
Full list of honorees:
2013 Emerging Business of the Year
Winner: Ingage Partners, LLC
Runner up: COG LLC
Finalists: Arthur Murray Dance Center, InfoTrust
2013 Non-profit of the Year, (1–40 employees)
Winner: Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
Runner up: Girls on the Run
Finalists: IKRON, Corp., Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
2013 Non-profit of the Year, (41–250 employees)
Winner: Camp Joy
Runner up: Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
Finalist: HealthSource of Ohio
2013 Community Involvement Award
Winner: Modern Office Methods
Runners up: Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products Inc., Ingage Partners LLC
Finalists: PowerNet Global, Process Plus LLC, Zimmerman & Company CPAs, Inc.
2013 Small Business of the Year (1–15 employees)
Winner: Strategic Human Resources Inc.
Runner up: Aquarius Professional Staffing
Finalists: Affordable Language Services, Boot Camp Digital, Center City Collision, Saxon Financial Consulting
2013 Small Business of the Year (16 –50 employees)
Winner: Infintech LLC
Runner up: Axiom Consulting
Finalists: Accelerated Business Results, Flottman Company, Illumination Research, Truepoint Inc.
2013 Small Business of the Year (51 –250 employees)
Winner: Process Plus LLC
Runner up: Che International Group LLC
Finalists: A Caring Choice, Inc., Fund Evaluation Group, Pep, Priority Dispatch
2013 Small Business Excellence Awards – "10 Under 5" (5 or fewer employees)
Blue Frog Promotions
Chester Mastalerz Insurance
(left) Rick Flynn, CEO of Flynn & Company, an Excellence Sponsor of the event and a 2006 small business award winner. (right) John Bosse, VP, Membership, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
(left) Ryan Rybolt, President of Infintech, (right) Ellen van der Horst, CEO and President of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Infintech was winner of the 2013 Small Business of the Year, 16-50 employees