Four businesses named to EBE Hall of FameWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Four area businesses were recently named this year’s Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall of Fame (EBE HOF) honorees and the group also announced plans to form a group just for women.
Honored for business excellence are American Broadband + Telecommunications, Hanson Inc. and The Oasis Restaurant & Delivery. Honored for excellence in family business is Rima Manufacturing Company.
The EBE HOF recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs and business leaders who have built and sustained growing businesses and created jobs in the region, said Adam Davenport, EBE HOF chairman and president of Gorillas & Gazelles, founding sponsor of the event.
The companies will be inducted during a public ceremony Nov. 6 at The Pinnacle, 1772 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee. Networking will start at 5:30 p.m. with the first set of awards announced at 6:30 p.m. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are $85 with various sponsorship packages also available.
The winner of the Davenport-Longenecker Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced at the event.
The EBE HOF began as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program in 1989, brought to the area by Adam’s father, Larry Davenport. In 2006, Gorillas & Gazelles founded the EBE HOF, which took over the inductions.
More than 700 people attended last year’s induction ceremony and the event grows each year, Adam said.
“That proves and validates that we are doing something really great for the community and people need to know about the positive aspects going on in this area,” he said. “Every year, I get so many calls and emails after the event saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I did not know those companies even existed.’ The motivation all of the honorees give year after year is just truly astounding.”
Nominees come from businesses within about 60 miles of Toledo and winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges.
“Particularly as our Fortune 500 base has diminished, the entrepreneurial base has done a marvelous job of filling in for it in Northwest Ohio,” Larry said.
Partnering with Bowling Green State University has been great for EBE HOF, he said.
The university brings about 100 students to the event as ambassadors and for networking and learning opportunities, said Kirk Kern, director of BGSU’s Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
“What we’re trying to do is get students started on the right track,” Kern said. “This gives them the opportunity to look to the future and say, ‘Listen, if I start my company today, five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, look where I could be and be recognized.’”
EBE HOF also partners with BGSU on its E-Week, or Entrepreneurship Week, in April, which features a startup business competition called The Hatch. As many as 12 student finalists chosen to go through a 10-week training course with BGSU professors and alumni entrepreneurs compete.
Starting last year for the 25th anniversary of the business awards, the EBE HOF started hosting speakers and other events throughout the year.
“A lot of people love that we did that,” Adam said. “One of the things we want to focus on this year is what we going to do for the next 25 years.
“Each year we get bigger and better and bring different ideas. There are a few things we have in the works this year that we hope are going to blow away the audience. They are going to say, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s not just the ceremony anymore.’”
Women of EBE
Also new this year will be the formation of Women of EBE, a branch of the EBE HOF for female inductees as well as member spouses. The group will officially start in August with a speaker planned for October.
Adam’s wife, Terra Davenport, came up with the idea and recruited EBE HOF executive committee member Megan Stockburger, owner of Events by Megan, and Michelle Beczynski, wife of 2013 honoree Ed Beczynski, to help organize the group.
“Our goal is to re-engage,” Stockburger said. “We wanted to engage these women to connect, discuss similar experiences, support local businesses and inspire relationships between each other.”
Larry said he knows the organization is in good hands moving forward.
“I’m very encouraged by the current leadership’s efforts to make it a year-round event and keep the HOF members active and I’m particularly encouraged by the addition of the Women of EBE,” Larry said.
The event is presented by BGSU College of Business’ Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Other sponsors include Davenport, Hanf & Company LLC; BDO; Regional Growth Partnership; JobsOhio; and the University of Toledo.
“It’s the business event of the year,” Larry said.
For more information, visit www.ebehof.com or contact Adam Davenport at (419) 874-0000, Ext. 106, or email@example.com.
Tags: Adam Davenport, American Broadband, American Broadband + Telecommunications, EBE Hall of Fame, Ed Beczynski, Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence, Hanson Inc., Kirk Kern, Larry Davenport, Megan Stockburger, Michelle Beczynski, Ray Braun, Rima Manufacturing Company, Terra Davenport, The Oasis, The Oasis Restaurant & Delivery, Women of EBE