CPPI, Scarborough Insurance named businesses of the year
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 2:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 2:50 p.m.
The business community celebrated its success stories Wednesday as Charles Perry Partners Inc. and Scarborough Insurance took top honors during the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year awards luncheon.
CPPI was named best overall large business and Scarborough Insurance the best overall small business during a ceremony at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center.
The Chamber started a new award this year to recognize customer service that was open to nominees in all award categories. O2B Kids won the first Best Customer Service award.
"Teachers at O2B Kids have been described by the community as always helpful, cheery, concerned, sweet, caring, dedicated, invested, talented and well-organized," said Chamber Chairman Mike Gallagher of SantaFe HealthCare.
CPPI, a construction company with 87 employees, beat out 15 finalists for top company with 25 or more workers.
Gallagher noted that CPPI is ranked as one of Florida Trend's Top 200 private companies in Florida and has built more than 40 projects under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, including the first LEED Platinum project in the state — the University of Florida Heavener Football Complex.
CPPI also encourages its employees to become involved in the community and has contributed to construction education programs at Santa Fe College and UF.
"I think we won because of our team," said CEO John Carlson. "We have an outstanding group of loyal and skilled employees who advocate for our customers every day."
Scarborough Insurance was named best company with fewer than 25 employees out of 26 finalists.
Gallagher said the company has invested in improving the community for 51 years, offers flexible hours, pays for continuing education for employees, and has employed students from UF and Santa Fe.
"I don't know if that means we're different than anybody else. I just think it means we're doing a good job," said Brian Scarborough, a principal in the company.
"We've got good people working for us and we try to do the best for our clients and that translates into every once in awhile being recognized for doing a good job."
Nominations were scored by an independent panel of judges consisting of past winners and business people based on business growth, community involvement, local impact and criteria specific to the award category.
Other winners, with information from their nominations, were:
* LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, Best Non-profit. Has collected 4 million blood donations for 100 hospitals and brings awareness about the importance of donation to students.
* Solar Impact, Commitment to the Environment. Has designed and installed 4.5 megawatts of solar, the equivalent of powering 500 homes or driving 2 million miles. Funds the Alachua County Public School Solar Project.
* Giggle Magazine, Leading Women's Enterprise. Goal is to empower women to be happy, healthy and beautiful. Has donated $100,000 to local charities.
* Corks & Colors Studio, Best Minority Business. Owner Rebecca Barborak was empowered by her Hispanic heritage as a child to become an entrepreneur. Donates money, art and supplies to local schools.
* ToneRite, Best New Business. Revenues have grown 440 percent since 2011. Has customers in 36 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica.
* Infinite Energy, Best Business Expansion. Expanded into Texas four years ago and added 40 new employees. Named to Florida Trend's Best Companies to Work For for three years. Has 375 employees with $16.25 million in annual payroll.
* SumTotal Systems, Best International Business. Has offices in 16 other countries and multiple U.S. locations. Supports 3,500 customers and 45 million users worldwide, including Microsoft, the U.S. Army and Wal-Mart.