Small business is no laughing matter, so it would seem. But for every rule, there’s always an exception, and one local business organization …
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Small business is no laughing matter, so it would seem.
But for every rule, there’s always an exception, and one local business organization continues to prove life in the entrepreneurial lane doesn’t have to be all work and no play.
The South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, the leading business trade group in Arapahoe and Douglas counties, hosted its 27th Annual Small Business Leadership Awards ceremony May 1 at Comedy Works in Greenwood Village.
The gathering, which is the chamber’s signature event, drew more than 300 local business and civic leaders to yuk it up with emcee and comedian Karyn Ruth White and to congratulate this year’s award recipients: Health Images, iCORE Global-Denver and Rick Jory.
“This is really an awesome group,” White said. “Marcia McGilley (director of the chamber’s Small Business Development Center) was telling me this chamber does more than 500 events per year. Personally, I think they’re just looking for anther reason to party.”
Small Business of the Year
Health Images of South Denver, a dedicated team of radiologists and health-care professionals specializing in diagnostic imaging, was honored as the chamber’s 2012 Small Business of the Year, an award that goes to companies in business for five years or more and with five to 250 employees. The company is located in unincorporated Douglas County near Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue.
“This is such a huge honor for us just to even be nominated, and to be recognized for what we do on a daily basis,” said Shelly McLeod, Health Images’ vice president of Colorado operations. “Going through the nomination process with the chamber really allowed us to take a look at all the great things we do, and to talk about and showcase our employees. It’s really given us a whole new perspective on what we do.”
Terracare Associates and The Wright Group Services were also finalists.
Emerging Business of the Year
The chamber selected iCORE Global-Denver as its emerging business winner, an award given to companies with five or more employees and in business one to four years. A full-service commercial real estate company located in Greenwood Village, iCORE Global-Denver focuses primarily on tenant representation.
“What this award means is a new and expanded opportunity for not only media coverage, but to reflect on what it took for us to get to this point,” said Justin Rayburn, managing partner. “This is just a phenomenal opportunity to show others what we’ve been doing and, of course, to be recognized by our peers and by the chamber.”
Grillo Commercial Real Estate and Checkmate Moving and Storage were also finalists for the Emerging Business Award.
Brian Vogt Community Leader of the Year
“You know, I’ve known Brian Vogt. I’ve served with Brian Vogt, and I’m a friend of Brian Vogt, but I’m certainly no Brian Vogt,” said Rick Jory, president and CEO of Sandhill Scientific, as he parodied a famous Lloyd Bensten remark during a 1988 vice-presidential debate.
Jory, who accepted the prestigious Brian Vogt Community Leader of the Year award, said it was an honor to be nominated, “but I do stand in the shadow of Brian Vogt. Just to be considered is quite the honor in itself.”
Based in Highlands Ranch, Sandhill Scientific is a world-leading developer and marketer of innovative gastrointestinal diagnostic solutions, but Jory was nominated as an individual for his extraordinary contributions to the chamber and the south metro community at large. Those eligible for the award include owners or employees of a business, as well as nonprofit and government agencies.
The award is named for the 6-foot-6 former SMDCC president, gubernatorial cabinet member, and current CEO of the Denver Botanic Gardens, whose enthusiasm for small business and innovation remain an organizational staple today.
“We have such a wonderful community, with so many positive things happening,” Jory added. “And anytime we get a chance to be part of that community, it’s a really good feeling. I’ve given a little, but I’ve gotten back far more than I’ve given.”
Other finalists nominated for the award include Harold Smethills, managing director and founder of Sterling Ranch LLC, and Rick Whipple, owner of WhippleWood CPAs.
This year, the chamber received a record number of 70 nominations: 27 for Small Business of the Year, 19 for Emerging Business of the Year, and 24 for the Brian Vogt Community Leader of the Year. Nominees were evaluated on achievements to include leadership and management ability, innovation, financial performance, prospects for sustained business, and community involvement.
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