On May 21, at the Senior Center, 130 Wakulla County Chamber members and specialÂ guests gathered to celebrate the 2011 Business Excellence Awards.
President John Shuff kicked off the evening by welcoming everyone and inspiringÂ us to think about perseverance in these times of economic challenges. He quotedÂ former President Calvin Coolidge saying “”¦ “Press on” has and always will solveÂ the problems of the human race,” encouraging us to not give up just because theÂ business climate for growth seems uncertain. President Shuff thanked all the peopleÂ involved in the evening and gave an introduction of the evening’s speaker.
Our guest speaker Don Kirkman, President of Florida’s Great Northwest, outlinedÂ how important the 16 counties of the panhandle are in the economic development ofÂ sustainability for Florida overall. The unemployment rate in our area is lower than inÂ the many counties in the state which is a good indicator of the recovery. He went onÂ to say we are in a unique situation here in Wakulla County because of our proximityÂ to the Capital City and our current business climate is driven by a strong desire toÂ bring new jobs to the area. It is the desire of Florida’s Great Northwest organizationÂ to provide leadership in economic and workforce development and stressed that allÂ businesses need to work together to make things happen in this area.
Title Sponsor CenturyLINK, who is consistently generous with donations within theÂ community, was represented by Chamber Board member Broward Sapp.Â introduced the audience to a brand new product by CenturyLINK called PRISM, whichÂ launched earlier this week. PRISM will bring television access to customers throughÂ their existing phone lines and in particular, will bring access into rural areas whoÂ currently have no cable or satellite broadcast television. He offered handouts thatÂ were eagerly collected by people anxious to read about the new technology.
The remainder of the evening was dedicated to honoring the oldest WCC Business,Â Brooks Concrete, the 2nd oldest WCC Business, Edwin G. Brown and AssociationsÂ and 2011 BEA nominees and award winners. Paul G. Johnson and Associates wasÂ honored with a special recognition for his commitment and work to environmentalÂ stewardship.
Nominees for Start up Business of the Year: 3Y Outdoor Equipment, Beef O’Â Brady’s, Busy Bee Learning Center, Florida Coastal Outfitters, Gamerz Paradise,Â Talk O’ The Town Deli, Tally Up Tax & Accounting, The Learning Curve Tutoring, TheÂ Thread Tree, The Works Coworking CafÃ©, Two Friends Consignment, We’re All SoÂ Precious Day Care.
Nominees for Business of the Year: AirCon of Wakulla, Ameris Bank, BackwoodsÂ Pizza & Bistro, Beef O’Brady’s, Best Western PLUS, Bevis Funeral Home, BluewaterÂ Realty, Bricklauncher LLC, Centennial Bank, Century 21 Real Estate, Cook Insurance,Â Eden Springs Nursing Home & Rehabilitation, Faircloth Automotive & AC Specialist,Â Frances Casey Lowe, Hydra Engineering, Lube XPERT, Mowrey Law Firm, PoshÂ Java Organics & Gifts, Progress Energy, Shepherd Spring Animal Hospital, TalkÂ O’The Town Deli, The Wakulla news, Traci Cash, CPA, VCA Wakulla Animal Hospital,Â Wakulla Medical Center, Wakulla.com.
Nominees Non Profit Organization: Big Bend Hospice, Big Brothers Big Sisters,Â Florida Green Guide Association, Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, Habitat for HumanityÂ of Wakulla, NAMI Wakulla, Wakulla County Coalition for Youth, Wakulla ExtensionÂ Office, Wakulla Senior Citizen Center, WORKFORCEplus.
Nominees Environmental Stewardship: ACE Hardware, CenturyLink, FloridaÂ Foresight, Florida Green Guide Association, Hydra Engineering, J & C Garbage Pick-Â up, Lube EXPERT, Paul Johnson & Associates, Progress Energy, Shepherd SpringÂ Animal Hospital, Tallahassee Energy & Construction, T-N-T-Hide”“A-Way, WakullaÂ Extension Office, Wakulla Medical Center.
Nominees Wakulla Area Business: ACE Hardware, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage,Â Angelo’s Seafood Restaurant, Backwoods Bistro, Bayside Seafood Restaurant, BigÂ Bend Hospice, Inc., Bluewater Realty Group, Crawfordville Animal Hospital, Crum’sÂ Mini Mall, The Frog & The Hummingbird and Butterfileld’s Roadhouse, High QualityÂ Heating & Air, Keep Wakulla Beautiful, Keith Key Heating & Air, Myra Jean’s, OdomÂ Surveying and Mapping, Podalic Nail Care, R. Gowdy Farms, Salon Oxygen, TallyÂ Up Tax & Accounting, Tasty Takeout, The White Elephant & Friends, The WorksÂ Coworking CafÃ©, VCA Wakulla Animal Hospital, Wakulla County Extension Office,Â Wakulla.com.
Non-Profit Organization of the Year: Habitat for Humanity of Wakulla County
Start-up Business of the Year: The Works Coworking CafÃ©
Business of the Year: Backwoods Pizza and Bistro
Environmental Stewardship Award: Wakulla Extension Office IFAS
Special Recognition Awards:
Paul Johnson and Associates
Edwin G. Brown and Associates