NHBR awards celebrate business excellence

Fifteen businesspeople from 13 industries across the state were honored for their determination, industriousness, innovation and achievements at the fifth annual New Hampshire Business Review Business Excellence Awards.

Three prominent Granite Staters also were inducted into the New Hampshire Business Review Business Excellence Hall of Fame, in recognition of their many contributions and years of service to New Hampshire business.

Over 220 people attended the event held at Oct. 10 at The Event Center at C.R. Sparks in Bedford to celebrate the Business Excellence Awards, which are given to owners and operators of businesses or organizations with 100 employees or fewer. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges who reviewed some 60 nominations.

“All nominees represent amazing success stories,” said Sharron McCarthy, publisher of McLean Communications, parent company of the Business Review. “There is just so much talent in New Hampshire. It continues to impress me and even helps me learn what is possible.”

McCarthy also gave special thanks to the nominators for their hard work on the entry packages.
Jeff Feingold, editor of the Business Review, said the winners “proved they can do it all. Not only do they run successful businesses, they focus on their employees, customers and community. Without businesspeople such as these, the state would not be the same.”
Feingold thanked the judges for their difficult task of selecting the 2007 BEA winners.

Back again as emcee was Ally McNair, New Hampshire state president of the AARP and former host of New Hampshire Public Television’s “Outlook.”
Recipients of the 2007 Business Excellence Awards were:

• Deborah Osgood, Knowledge Institute – Excellence in Business Services
• George Hague, ConEst Software Systems – Excellence in Construction
• William McCarron, Prime Buchholz & Associates Inc. – Excellence in Financial Services
• Matthew Albuquerque, Next Step Orthotics & Prosthetics Inc. – Excellence in Health Care
• Denise Meadows, E.F. Lane Hotel – Excellence in Hospitality
• Sari Ann Strasburg, Strasburg Law P.L.L.C. – Excellence in Law
• Peter Egelston & Joanne Francis, Smuttynose Brewing Co. – Excellence in Manufacturing
• Laurie Ferguson, New Hampshire Made and Nick Soggu, SilverTech Inc., both of whom won for Excellence in Marketing
• Julie Baron, Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire – Excellence in Nonprofits
• Thomas Farrelly, Cushman & Wakefield New Hampshire – Excellence in Real Estate
• Jackie Staiti, Amanda Thomas Unlimited – Excellence in Retail
• Michael Gray, Global Relief Technologies – Excellence in Technology
• Mark Lore, Ride-Away Handicap Equipment Corp. – Excellence in Transportation

This year’s nominees presented particularly strong qualifications, so several finalists were also mentioned:

• James Grady, LighTec Inc. – Finalist in Excellence in Business Services
• Brian Hooper, MSI Mechanical Systems Inc. – Finalist in Excellence in Construction. (Hooper was also the July 2007 EYE Award Winner, honoring emerging young entrepreneurs.)
• Robert C. Hannon, M.D. and Robert S. Schall, M.D., Salem Radiology – Finalists in Excellence in Health Care
• Donna Welch, From Out of the Woods Antiques; Walter & Chris Chapin, Company C – Finalists in Excellence in Retail (The Chapins were also the 2005 BEA winners in Retail Excellence)
• Tom Daly and Jeremy Hitchcock, Dynamic Network Services Inc. – Finalists in Excellence in Technology (Daly and Hitchcock were March 2007 EYE Award winners.)

In addition to honoring Business Excellence winners, three citizens were inducted into the NHBR Business Excellence Hall of Fame for their many years of service and dedication to New Hampshire’s business community and the state.
The 2007 NHBR Business Excellence Hall of Fame inductees were:

• John Stabile, The Stabile Companies
• Patricia Gallup, PC Connection Inc.
• Fred Kfoury Jr., Central Paper Products Co.

This year’s Business Excellence Awards judges were: Alice Zachos, business development specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration-New Hampshire Office; Patrick F. McDermott, economic and community development manager, Public Service of New Hampshire; Joseph Carelli, senior vice president, Citizens Bank New Hampshire; Paul McKeon, president, BID2WIN; Charles Kulch, president, Kulch Financial Services; Ellen Fineberg, former executive director, Women’s Business Center; Donald Pfundstein, president, Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, PC; Shelagh Connelly, president, Resource Management Inc.; and Chris Williams, president, Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsors of the event were: Laconia Savings Bank, Public Service of New Hampshire, Ameriprise Financial, Merrimack Street Volvo, Patriot Healthcare, St. Mary’s Bank, New Hampshire Public Television, WGIR-AM, Charter Trust, and PC Connection.

A portion of the evening’s proceeds were donated to Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, an organization that advocates in New Hampshire’s courts and welfare systems for the best interests of abused and neglected children, so they can grow up in safe, permanent homes. — CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW