The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Small Business of the Year Awards presented by PNC Bank, as well as the Small Business Person of the Year. The Chamber is honoring organizations in six categories, spanning many of the industries vital to the South Florida community. The winners are as follows:
Small Business Person of the Year: Graciela Valdes, Valdes Fine Art Photography
Health & Wellness: Unleash LIFE
Hospitality & Tourism: Florida Supercon
Nonprofit Organization: Broward 2-1-1
Professional Services: The Law Office of Stephanie Schneider
Retail Products & Services: Minuteman Press Wilton Manors and Oriental Rug Care (tie)
Technology: LAN Infotech
All nominated businesses employ 50 or fewer employees, nonprofit organizations excluded. Winners were judged on their growth, work environment, contributions to the community and involvement with the Chamber. Members of the Chamber’s Small Business Committee, chaired by Golden Johansson of Legacy Bank, narrowed down the nominees to a group of finalists, which was then sent to a group of independent judges for final votes.
“Small businesses are a cornerstone of our economy,” said Chamber President & CEO Dan Lindblade. “May is Small Business Month, and it’s vital we not only support these organizations, but acknowledge their achievements. Our winners have shown they have the courage to break out on their own, the savvy to build success and the dedication to give back to the community.”
Nominated organizations include BeWell Med Spa, Complete Family Dentistry, Prescod Life & Health, Ocean Therapy Center, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Ocean Land Investments, Red Chair Catering, T. Donner & Associates, Essentials Boutique, Morningday Community Solutions, 4Kids, Junior Achievement of South Florida, FLITE Center, Kiwanis Fort Lauderdale, A Prom to Remember, Firewall Centers, OIC of South Florida, The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, Gilda’s Club South Florida, Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, Bullseye Strategy, Sabal Insurance Group, Blade Title Company, Supergreen Solutions, Duree & Company, Allstate Agent Catherine Grady Niemeyer, Betts Concierge Services, Strauss Law Firm, Merchant Processing Solutions and Latin 2 Latin Marketing.
“A large company is born from a small business. We must do everything in our power to make sure they not only succeed, but thrive,” said Lindblade.
All attendees at the May 4 breakfast at the Downtown Event Center at First Baptist FTL were treated to a keynote address from 16-year-old inventor Peyton Robertson, who holds six patents and was named to the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 in Science.
Event sponsors included the Florida Association of Nonprofits, The Eppy Group, LAN Infotech, Regis HRG, The Riverside Hotel and The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, Bill Holland of Edward Jones, GFR Photography, Eye on South Florida and SMark Graphics.