The 27th annual Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year (SBOY) Awards luncheon was held May 19 at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center with more than 300 people in attendance. The event, held during National Small Business Week, featured guest speaker Congressman Scott Rigell, who is a small business owner himself. “I have such deep respect for my fellow entrepreneurs, especially for those of you today who are being honored,” said Congressman Rigell. “It is a very difficult gate to get through to be honored here today, and I really trust that you will keep the mementos that you’ll see and recognition you will receive, and bring it back to your office and share it with others.”
The overall winner of the 2011 Hampton Roads Small Business of the Year was Virginia Eye Consultants of Norfolk. The company was established in 1963 by John W. Dickerson, Norfolk’s first ophthalmic pathologist and oculoplastic surgeon. The business, which employs 90 people, experienced nearly a 20% increase in revenue last year. Accepting the award for the company were Karen Spencer, Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Stephen V. Scoper, Vice President. “We so much appreciate this honor,” said Dr. Scoper. “It really rekindles the fire and helps us to work even harder than we’re working right now, thank you so much.”
Virginia Eye Consultants was Norfolk’s 2011 Small Business of the Year as well, and was chosen for the regional award from an excellent pool of city winners including:
Russell’s Heating & Cooling (Chesapeake)
Stealth Shredding Inc. (Portsmouth)
Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy (Suffolk)
B&T Kitchens & Baths (Virginia Beach)
The winning businesses were chosen based on financial performance and business history, staff training and motivation, community involvement, business plan, growth, and customer service and satisfaction.
Jim Carroll, Vice President of Small Business for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, Inc., said, “Each of the city award winners are exceptional companies with tremendous operations, customer service, employee involvement and in the accomplishment of major goals and growth. The judging committee felt that Virginia Eye Consultants’s operations, longevity, and accomplishments were unmatched. This is an exceptional company with tremendous achievements and potential for even more in the future.”
The following businesses were selected as the "Top 10 to Watch" because they are some of the fastest-growing in the area and for their service in supporting the local small business community: Cetan Corp.; Hampton Roads Security Corp.; Image Business Interiors; KBH Business Management Systems; M&M Hospitality Group; Phoenix Group of Virginia Inc.; reQuire Release Tracking; Specialty Systems Inc.; SteelMaster Buidling Systems; and Wolf Creek Fabrication Services Inc.
In addition, the Impressions in Print Leadership Award was presented to Gary M. Lisota, President & CEO of Valkyrie Enterprises, LLC for his leadership, professional achievements, and community service.
Winners were selected by the following judging committee: Jim Carroll, Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads and Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce; Joseph Donnelly, Donnelly Real Properties, LLC; Caron Crouse, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP; Lamont D. Maddox, The Guidance Law Firm; and Susan Long-Molnar, Managing Communications Consulting.
Many thanks to sponsors: Monarch Bank (Presenting); Inside Business (Media); Impressions in Print (Leadership Award); and American Indoor Karting-Virginia Beach, Jumpn' G's Ice Cream, ShepelleWatkinsWhite Consulting & Law, PLLC; and Sky Dive Suffolk (Silver).