The Mobile Area Chamber recently announced its 2019 stable of candidates as finalists for the 2019 Small Business of the Year award. The winner will be announced at a breakfast meeting on Thursday, August 22.
The three local companies were selected by a panel of judges and were identified to the chamber’s board of directors at its monthly meeting. In 2018, Lagniappe was selected as a finalist for the award, along with Harper Technologies, with both eventually losing to Blue Fish.
The Chamber defines a small business as staffed with 100 or fewer employees. Finalists were chosen based on five primary criteria: staying power — proof of growth, expansion, reputation and good business practices; economic impact — evidence of job creation, revenue and profit; innovation — illustrating creativity and ingenuity; community contribution — either financially or encouraging/allowing employees to participate; and strategy — future growth plans with specific and measurable goals.
The three local small businesses selected this year are:
BCM Grant Morring Co. Inc. located at 2956 Mill St. Owner and president Grant Morring founded the company in 2009 and currently staffs 56 employees. The company is a full-service general contractor, established after its owner was downsized during the 2008 recession. In addition to overall project management, the company has found profit in its subcontracting abilities, helping manage the timeline and costs. BCM’s newly-awarded Veteran-Owned Small Business status is helping the company compete for government projects.
Crow Shields Bailey PC, founded in 1986, employs 52 professionals and is currently headed up by Gina McKellar, managing shareholder. Located at 3742 Professional Pkwy. in Mobile, the company is a full-service accounting and consulting firm serving primarily small- to medium-sized businesses and high-net-worth individuals. The company has completed a merger and two acquisitions since 2009, expanding services to include estate and retirement planning, business valuations, business development and coaching. Crow Shields Bailey also has offices in Daphne and Gulf Shores.
The Stewart Lodges at Steelwood, located at 32311 Waterview Drive E. in Loxley, was founded in 2003 and is currently managed by CEO and president Jennie Campbell. The company employs five and consists of two properties with private guest rooms overlooking a 200-acre stocked, freshwater lake. While open for casual get-togethers and vacations with family and friends, the property has found a niche with corporate retreats and strategic planning meetings. The firm also assists with on-site meetings covering services ranging from program design and marketing to implementation.
More information about the nominees for this year’s Small Business of the Year event, held concurrently every year with the Mobile Area Chamber’s Business Expo, can be found on the chamber’s website.
Eastern shore Marriott hotels earn recognition
Courtyard Marriott, located at 13000 Cypress Way in Spanish Fort, was presented with the Gold Service Award for outstanding guest satisfaction scores at their general managers’ conference held in April. The designation is reportedly awarded to those hotel locations scoring in the top 10 percent out of all 1,074 Courtyard Marriott hotels located across the country. Ranking is based on “guest intent to recommend” scores collected in 2018 among properties nationwide.
Additionally, Courtyard’s sister hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott located at 12000 Cypress Way in Spanish Fort, also currently ranks among the top 50 of all 978 Fairfield properties. Plans are in place to reach the 1,000 hotel mark with new openings anticipated along the central Gulf Coast area, among other regions, by the end of May.
“We are proud of our entire staff,” Shannon Collins, director of sales, said. “It truly takes everyone in the hotel working together to provide a seamless and welcoming experience for our guests. Marriott considers guest intent to recommend scores as a top indicator to evaluate the service, cleanliness and hospitality that our staff delivers every day.”
Both the Courtyard and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotels are located in the Spanish Fort Town Center, were opened in 2009 and completed “soft goods” renovations in 2017. They are owned and operated by Encore Enterprises located in Dallas.
Rainbow Mobile Inc. plans new project downtown
Rainbow Mobile Inc., a local, nonprofit, virtual LGBTQ and community center, announced in a news release that it will create a rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Conti and South Joachim streets in the heart of downtown Mobile’s central business district, at the start of June. Area artists will contribute.
The project will also reportedly be the first of its kind initiated in the entire state. It was sponsored by the Mobile Arts Council and will not be a permanent fixture
“The purpose behind this art project is to celebrate the culture and beauty of Mobile and surrounding areas while also increasing the visibility of our local LGBTQ community,” Rainbow Mobile’s founder and executive director, Bryan Fuenmayor, said. “We at Rainbow Mobile believe that the more positive visibility our LGBTQ community has, the fewer misconceptions and less stigma there will be.”
He went on to say that artwork will pay tribute to the local music scene, Mardi Gras culture, the azalea flower and the local LGBTQ community.
Artists will use spray chalk, the same medium used a couple of years ago for another Mobile Arts Council project. The process should take a maximum of two hours and crosswalk artwork created is expected to last roughly one month, depending on weather and traffic.
Local participating artists include Kellie Jane Holland, DeAnthony Dulaney, Lucy Gafford,
Ben Kaiser, Marnee Wiley-Edwards, Conz8000, Shelia Guy, Sarah Rutledge, Sarah Bohnenstiehl, Lisa Hancock and Cari Searcy.
Founded in 2018, Rainbow Mobile Inc. is a 501(c)(3) created to connect the local area LGBTQ community with programs, resources and social networks that encourage, preserve and nurture productive living in Coastal Alabama. More information about projects can be found on its website.
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