Submitted by Sarah Watts, communication and marketing director for Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.
Award winners were announced recently at Gilbert’s Annual Business Awards Luncheon.
• Volunteer of the Year Award: Jill Schiefelbein, Impromptu Guru. As an active member of the Small Business Council, Jill has helped to plan events that assist chamber businesses to foster business growth. Jill is passionate about helping and promoting solo entrepreneurs and small businesses; she hosted nine Power Hour events this past year on topics including video marketing and communication strategies to reach this membership segment.
• Gilbert Leadership Award: Bobbi Smith. Bobbi is a graduate of Gilbert Leadership Class 16. She serves as a past president to the Gilbert Leadership Board and has served on the board for six years. As a leadership visionary, Bobbi helped bring the Leadercast simulcast to Gilbert. Now, four years later, the Leadercast has been shared with almost 400 East Valley professionals each year.
• Family Business of the Year Award: Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Since 1985, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing has built its business by finding ways to offer unique services, learn new skills and add valuable options for its customers. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing recently received a rating more than 30 points above the national average for referral and repeat business. It attributes its success to providing high-quality products and a better process of customer care.
• Employer of Choice Award: Farm Bureau Financial Services — Lisa Fairbanks. According to the agents at Lisa’s office, the atmosphere at Farm Bureau Financial Services is fun and team-oriented. One could assume that a sales office would have an internal competitive spirit but the agents at Farm Bureau hope only to help and better one another for the sake of the team. Lisa has a passion for the success of her team and provides an environment of open and honest communication.
• Small Business of the Year Award: Sun Valley Medical Billing. In 2011, Sun Valley Medical Billing had two home-based employees and only two customers. In 2012, owner Jennifer Job partnered with Tiffany Fisher and together they started planning to overcome the challenges of reorganization, new ownership and focused on growing the business into a premier medical-billing practice. Today, the company has seven employees, a brick-and-mortar office in Gilbert, and astounding growth revenue of 418 percent.
• Medium Business of the Year Award: Bushtex Inc. Bushtex has experienced organic growth by way of referrals and word of mouth and, in the past four years, the company has doubled in employees and office/warehouse space. From 2012 to 2013, annual revenue grew 400 percent; much of this due to the acquisition of government contracts and continued success in business of broadcasting and corporate teleconferencing.
• Large Business of the Year Award: Rigid Industries. Rigid Industries is a full-service manufacturing facility for industry-leading forward projection LED lighting products. It designs, engineers and assembles all products in Gilbert. Rigid Industries has seen more than 1,900 percent growth and increased staff from nine to 210 employees since January 2010.
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