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Business Recognition Awards


Local businesses and business professionals will be recognized by their colleagues at the 2020 Business Recognition Breakfast, Thursday, February 13, 2020 inside the newly renovated Lake Michigan College Mendel Center Grand Upton Hall with over 500 expected people in attendance to celebrate and hear our key note speaker. Join the Cornerstone Alliance, Women's Business Center, and the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber in celebrating the success of our peers, and all the growth that is happening in Michigan's Great Southwest. 

Nominations for the below Awards were accepted Monday, September 30th through Friday, November 8th

Nominations can be submitted by anyone; however, nominees must be members in good standing with the Chamber in order to be eligible for recognition, no self-nominations will be accepted.  

Congratulations Winners!

Business Awards

The Non-Profit Excellence Award - New for 2020

Rewards 501(c) organizations who provide exceptional contributions to the community, in going above and beyond to benefit those in Southwest Michigan.

Nominations should include the following:

  • Mission of the organization
  • Brief history of the organization
  • Examples of the following:
    • Leadership abilities, strategic planning, partnerships, and alliances, effective volunteer management, fundraising initiatives, successful marketing and promotion initiatives and effective program development.
    • Benefits of the service that is provided

Non-Profit Excellence Nominees:

  • Harbor Country Missions
  • Krasl Art Center
  • St. Joseph Today

Excellence in Customer Service Award is defined as:

The ability of a business organization to continually and consistently exceed the customer’s expectations.

  1. Business should be at least one year in existence.
  2. Entry is open only to those businesses classified as part of the retail or service industry.

Excellence in Customer Service Nominees:

  • Boelcke Heating
  • Art F/X Signs & Graphics
  • Kitty Lee Photography
  • Nathan Thomas Orthodontics 

Economic Impact Award is defined as:

  1. BUSINESS SIZE - Nominees must have more than 100 total employees to qualify.
  2. RESPONSE TO ADVERSITY - Explain any major problem that might have been faced at the local facility emphasizing the response of local management and employees.
  3. COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY - Address investment, employment growth and/or modernization of facilities in the local area.
  4. CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY - Civic affiliations and accomplishments through the involvement of employees and management, or other company resources.

Economic Impact Award Nominees:

  • Edgewater Automation
  • Abonmarche Consultants
  • Eagle Technologies
  • Kay Manufacturing
  • Vickers Engineering
  • Wightman

Small Business of the Year Award

These awards are presented annually to the businessperson in each sector of our economy who has demonstrated top management skills and leadership. The business must have no more than 100 employees. The selection will be based on the following criteria:

  1. STAYING POWER - The ability to survive during tough times
  2. GROWTH IN NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES - A benchmark for the impact on the local   economy and job market
  3. INCREASE IN SALES - A benchmark for growth as an indication of  management skill and ability
  4. FINANCIAL STATUS - Evidence of fiscal responsibility and viability [Confidential   data need not be disclosed. Partial data with confirmation statements from auditors and/or accountants will be acceptable.]
  5. PRODUCT, SERVICE AND METHOD INNOVATIONS - Illustrations of management’s creativity and imagination
  6. RESPONSE TO ADVERSITY - Skills exhibited and solutions found to challenges that have been faced
  7. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND ENTERPRISE - Civic accomplishments or affiliations through the use of personal time and resources

Small Business of the Year Nominees:

  • Freedom Finishing
  • Boelcke Heating
  • King Media
  • Kitty Lee Photography
  • Modern Day Knights, LLC
  • Transient Artisan Ales

Individual or Business Award

The Pat Moody Award - Someone (business or individual) making their mark in the community.

  1. LONGEVITY 10+ years in business
  2. STAYING POWER - The ability to survive during tough times
  3. CUSTOMER SERVICE - consistently exceeds the customer’s expectations.
  4. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT - Civic accomplishments or  affiliations through the use of personal time and resources

The Pat Moody Award Nominees:

  • Bob Gerbel - Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors
  • Boelcke Heating
  • Hanson Logistics
  • Millicent Huminsky - Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council
  • Chris Newland - Hampton Inn
  • Roger's Foodland

Individual Award

Young Business Leader of the Year Award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of a highly motivated, emerging leader of the community.

  • Nominee should demonstrate excellence, creativity, and show initiative/leadership in their field, company or profession.
  • Applicant shall clearly serve as a role model for others personally and professionally.
  • Must be between the ages of 21-40 years old.
  • At least 1 or more years of professional experience in your current career.
  • Dedicated time and effort in education/career development programs to achieve a higher level of knowledge and expertise in field of business
  • Involved in community, civic, church or charitable activities in a leadership role

Young Business Leader of the Year Nominees:

  • Stacey Dodson - Honor Credit Union
  • Christine Aranyos - Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor
  • Charlotte Becker - United Way of Southwest  Michigan
  • Chris Britton - First Church of God/New Heights CCDA
  • Zack East - Mid-West Family/WSJM, Inc.
  • Grace Kelmer - The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College
  • Mary Morphey - Kinexus Group
  • Thomas Newnum - Honor Credit Union
  • Zach Vaughn - Cornerstone Alliance

Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes the Chamber Ambassador who goes above and beyond to make sure that events and members are equally supported and ran. Without our fantastic team of Ambassadors, we wouldn't be able to effectively run our events, or maintain our membership. 

Ambassador of the Year Nominees:

  • Lorrie Brink - CMG Financial
  • Dave Clark - Clark Insurance Agency
  • Jo Farrell - MailMax
  • Donna Hill - Attitudes Salon
  • Sandi Kopach - Edgewater Bank
  • Nancy McDonnall - NMAC Marketing
  • Phyllis Palmer - Cressy & Everett Real Estate
  • Kimberly Pichot - Andrews University
  • Bob Rogers - SERVPro of Berrien County
  • Tanya Urias - Honor Credit Union
  • Joan Walters - JR Walters Resources
  • Luralynn Wright - Thayer, Inc.