2011 Business Excellence & Environmental Stewardship Awards

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On May 21, at the Senior Center, 130 Wakulla County Chamber members and special guests gathered to celebrate the 2011 Business Excellence Awards.

President John Shuff kicked off the evening by welcoming everyone and inspiring us to think about perseverance in these times of economic challenges. He quoted former President Calvin Coolidge saying “”¦ “Press on” has and always will solve the problems of the human race,” encouraging us to not give up just because the business climate for growth seems uncertain. President Shuff thanked all the people involved in the evening and gave an introduction of the evening’s speaker.

Our guest speaker Don Kirkman, President of Florida’s Great Northwest, outlined how important the 16 counties of the panhandle are in the economic development of sustainability for Florida overall. The unemployment rate in our area is lower than in the many counties in the state which is a good indicator of the recovery. He went on to say we are in a unique situation here in Wakulla County because of our proximity to the Capital City and our current business climate is driven by a strong desire to bring new jobs to the area. It is the desire of Florida’s Great Northwest organization to provide leadership in economic and workforce development and stressed that all businesses need to work together to make things happen in this area.

Title Sponsor CenturyLINK, who is consistently generous with donations within the community, was represented by Chamber Board member Broward Sapp. introduced the audience to a brand new product by CenturyLINK called PRISM, which launched earlier this week. PRISM will bring television access to customers through their existing phone lines and in particular, will bring access into rural areas who currently have no cable or satellite broadcast television. He offered handouts that 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, Brooks Concrete, the 2nd oldest WCC Business, Edwin G. Brown and Associations and 2011 BEA nominees and award winners. Paul G. Johnson and Associates was honored with a special recognition for his commitment and work to environmental stewardship.

Nominees for Start up Business of the Year: 3Y Outdoor Equipment, Beef O’ Brady’s, Busy Bee Learning Center, Florida Coastal Outfitters, Gamerz Paradise, Talk O’ The Town Deli, Tally Up Tax & Accounting, The Learning Curve Tutoring, The Thread Tree, The Works Coworking Café, Two Friends Consignment, We’re All So Precious Day Care.

Nominees for Business of the Year: AirCon of Wakulla, Ameris Bank, Backwoods Pizza & Bistro, Beef O’Brady’s, Best Western PLUS, Bevis Funeral Home, Bluewater Realty, Bricklauncher LLC, Centennial Bank, Century 21 Real Estate, Cook Insurance, Eden Springs Nursing Home & Rehabilitation, Faircloth Automotive & AC Specialist, Frances Casey Lowe, Hydra Engineering, Lube XPERT, Mowrey Law Firm, Posh Java Organics & Gifts, Progress Energy, Shepherd Spring Animal Hospital, Talk O’The Town Deli, The Wakulla news, Traci Cash, CPA, VCA Wakulla Animal Hospital, Wakulla Medical Center,

Nominees Non Profit Organization: Big Bend Hospice, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Florida Green Guide Association, Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, Habitat for Humanity of Wakulla, NAMI Wakulla, Wakulla County Coalition for Youth, Wakulla Extension Office, Wakulla Senior Citizen Center, WORKFORCEplus.

Nominees Environmental Stewardship: ACE Hardware, CenturyLink, Florida Foresight, Florida Green Guide Association, Hydra Engineering, J & C Garbage Pick- up, Lube EXPERT, Paul Johnson & Associates, Progress Energy, Shepherd Spring Animal Hospital, Tallahassee Energy & Construction, T-N-T-Hide”“A-Way, Wakulla Extension Office, Wakulla Medical Center.

Nominees Wakulla Area Business: ACE Hardware, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage, Angelo’s Seafood Restaurant, Backwoods Bistro, Bayside Seafood Restaurant, Big Bend Hospice, Inc., Bluewater Realty Group, Crawfordville Animal Hospital, Crum’s Mini Mall, The Frog & The Hummingbird and Butterfileld’s Roadhouse, High Quality Heating & Air, Keep Wakulla Beautiful, Keith Key Heating & Air, Myra Jean’s, Odom Surveying and Mapping, Podalic Nail Care, R. Gowdy Farms, Salon Oxygen, Tally Up Tax & Accounting, Tasty Takeout, The White Elephant & Friends, The Works Coworking Café, VCA Wakulla Animal Hospital, Wakulla County Extension Office,

The Winners:

Non-Profit Organization of the Year: Habitat for Humanity of Wakulla County

Start-up Business of the Year: The Works Coworking Café

Business of the Year: Backwoods Pizza and Bistro

Environmental Stewardship Award: Wakulla Extension Office IFAS

Special Recognition Awards:
Paul Johnson and Associates
Brooks Concrete
Edwin G. Brown and Associates