EBE awards honor local entrepreneursWritten by Hannah Nusser | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Nov. 4, six of Northwest Ohio’s most outstanding businesses will be honored at the induction ceremony for the Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall of Fame. The program recognizes area business leaders who inspire their customers and employees through company growth and creating jobs in Northwest Ohio, said Adam Davenport, president of the EBE HOF.
“It’s really just to recognize and honor local entrepreneurs and business owners around the region because a lot of the time they don’t get credit for what they’ve done for this region and for their employees and their companies,” Davenport said. “It shows a positive aspect of what’s going on in the region.”
There are four honorees for the Business Excellence Award this year: Business District Solutions, Bolt Express, Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, Inc. and North Design. Branam Oral Health Technologies Inc. won the Start-up Innovation Award this year and the Reineke Family Dealerships will receive the Excellence in Family Business Award. The 2010 winner of the Davenport Lifetime Achievement Award will also be announced at the ceremony.
“Every year we do this I get surprised … It’s good to show that, ‘Hey guys there are great things going on,’” Davenport said. “There are companies around here doing world-renowned things that everyone might not know about.”
Nominations start pouring in every summer, Davenport said. Nominators are required to fill out a simple form on the EBE HOF website stating how they know the business owners and why they are nominating the company. EBEHOF executive board members dig deeper than financial reports and statistics to get to know the facts and faces behind the success stories.
“Our main focus is on the person and the story behind everything, behind what they’ve done,” Davenport said. “What we really like to do is get the story of the company and the story of the entrepreneur versus having a heavily financial program.”
EBEHOF members conduct on-site interviews with all nominees to get to know the owners on both a personal and professional level.
“We try to capture the magic of the person and the company and their story so we can give them the best representation to the judge’s panel,” Davenport said.
After on-site interviews are completed, each nominee’s profile is given to the third-party judge’s panel, made up of five influential area business owners and past award winners, for deliberation and decision-making.
While this is the fifth year Gorillas and Gazelles LLC is sponsoring the EBEHOF, the program was created in 1989. Ernst and Young started the Entrepreneur of the Year program in 1989 to recognize businesses in Southern Michigan and Northwest Ohio.
In 2006. Gorillas and Gazelles adapted the EBEHOF from the Ernst and Young program, Davenport said, to better represent companies in Northwest Ohio.
The EBEHOF considers businesses within a 100-mile radius of Toledo.
Eligible businesses range from the west Ohio border to Sandusky and from Southern Michigan to Defiance.
The EBEHOF has grown rapidly since 2006, Davenport said. More than 700 attendees are expected for the induction ceremony this year. The ceremony, presented by the University of Toledo, will be held at The Pinnacle, 1772 Indian Wood Circle in Maumee and tickets are $85. To learn more or to get tickets, visit the website www.ebehof.com.