The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce honored local businesses last week at its annual Business Awards Banquet, held at the Hyatt Regency Savannah. Each year, the Chamber recognizes standout leaders in the community and honors individuals and businesses that represent local economic drivers including hospitality, manufacturing, and small businesses.
Congratulations to the honorees!
Cornerstone Award: United Way of the Coastal Empire.
Recognizes a non-profit company whose mission directly supports Savannah’s business community. It is intended to represent, recognize, and encourage a non-profit partnership to result in a richer, better trained, and more diverse and inclusive human resource pool.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Kewaan Drayton, Savannah Underground.
Celebrates those who are building and leading growing and dynamic businesses. This award is presented to an individual whose creative vision, talent and innovative thinking develops opportunities for growth not just in business, but community-wide. This entrepreneur demonstrates the ability to persevere in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles, learn from experience, foster teamwork and build loyalty.
Environmental Excellence Award: Dulany Industries.
Presented to a manufacturing company that has demonstrated outstanding performance in its efforts to maintain a quality environment for Savannah in 2017. Examples of the criteria for the award include achievement in any of the following areas: reduction of emissions, pollution prevention projects, reduction in hazardous waste generated, reduction in usage/storage of EHS chemicals, water conservation, waste recycling, and special products.
Gulfstream Community Involvement Award: Step One Automotive.
Presented to a company that conducted an outstanding community outreach project during 2017. The activities can vary to include involvement with a partnership school, company involvement in coordination of a fundraising event for a charitable organization, ongoing community relations efforts, open house programs for community, educating the public regarding an issue of concern, or any other project that encouraged interaction between the nominated business and the community.
Helen V. Head Business Advocate Award: Marianne Ganem-Popell Ganem, Savannah Master Calendar.
Helen V. Head was the first female board chair of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, who is known for believing in and supporting small business. She was the first recipient of the Chamber’s Athena Award for the achievements as a woman in business. While the Chamber board chair in 1993, Head owned and operated a successful CPA firm, while still finding time to give back to the community by serving on numerous boards and councils. The Helen V. Head Business Advocate Award goes to an individual who exemplifies dedication to the community while being a true advocate for local small business. Candidates’ businesses must have been established for a minimum of three years.
Hospitality Business of the Year Award: JW Mariott Savannah – Plant Riverside District.
Presented to a business that demonstrates how to be a true steward and host. The business should embody the spirit of service so much that its guests visit again, relocate here and/or tell their family, friends and colleagues about the city. Nominees should also be engaged in social responsibility, while contributing to the community by staying up-to-date with tourism trends by educating potential visitors about all Savannah has to offer. Examples of potential award recipients include hotels, museums, art galleries, restaurants, tour companies and retail establishments.
Small Business of the Year Award: Above and Beyond Limousine Service
Presented to a company that has achieved success in its business through growth and quality performance, innovative efforts and active participation in the community. All nominees must be owner, partner or a major shareholder of a business in the Savannah area and must be active in the day-to-day operations of the business. The individual should act as an advocate of his or her trade by participation in trade associations and community activities, as they will serve as an ambassador for small, local business owners during the year in which the award is received. Companies must have been established for a minimum of three years, with fewer than 50 employees and sales not exceeding $7 million.
Manufacturing Business of the Year: Service Brewing Company.
The Manufacturer of the Year Award is presented to a company that has achieved success in its business through growth and quality performance, innovative efforts and active participation in the community. Manufacturing provides more than 17,500 jobs in the Savannah Area. In addition, manufacturing brings suppliers, distributors, and transportation companies to our area. The Manufacturer of the Year Award is given to a company who has contributed to the overall prosperity of our local economy.