Take a look at the five winners of the Manatee Small Business of the Year Awards
The spotlight shone brightly Friday on four businesses and one non-profit selected from a field of 33 finalists, and more than 150 original nominations as Manatee Small Businesses of the Year.
Winners, honored for stellar customer service, dedicated employees, business growth, and community support, included Phil-Com Training & Consulting; Veritas! Pest Management; Home Helpers of Bradenton; U.S. Tent Rental & Linens by the Sea; and Turning Points.
Jacki Dezelski, president and CEO of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, noted that the small business awards program started 40 years ago, the same year that the Sony Walkman, ESPN, and the horror sci-fi movie “Alien” made their debut.
Much has changed in 40 years, but not the way the community comes together for the greater good, Dezelski told a crowd of more than 300 at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.
Phil-Com Training & Consulting, a five-year-old company with one employee, won in the under $200,000 in annual revenue category. Owner Tracy Vanderneck said her mission is to make communities better by providing nonprofit organizations with tools needed to deliver their missions efficiently and effectively through training and consulting services to improve governance, communications and fundraising.
Many of the nonprofits that Vanderneck assists provide the safety net for community members in greatest need of assistance, including the hungry, the homeless and victims of natural disaster.
Vanderneck’s resume shows a record of distinguished community service, including judging the Golden Heralds, serving as a member of the Manatee Chamber Small Business Council, as a Spirit of Manatee volunteer, and as National Philanthropy Day chair.
The winner in the $200,000 to $700,000 revenue category, was Veritas! Pest Management, owned by Donald Goudy. Accepting the award with Goudy was his wife, Tami, and brother, Bill. Veritas has has been in business 4 1/2 years.
Goudy’s company mission is to provide superior termite and pest control services with honor and integrity. Among the company’s community service are supporting Project Teach, Just for Girls, Police Athletic League, and Manatee Young Professionals.
Tami Goudy serves as a member of the Bradenton Noise Abatement Board, and is a past member of the Citizens Advisory Council for the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization. She is also founder and president of the West Bradenton Neighborhood Watch Program.
“We work hard to embrace the full spectrum of the business/community partnership,” Veritas! Pest Management said in its application.
The winner in the $700,000 to $2 million revenue category, Home Helpers of Bradenton, is four years old and is owned by Jonathan Marsh. The company has three full-time employees and 50 part-time staff.
Home Helpers provides caregiving services to seniors and others with disabilities. Services include homemaker and companion care, personal care and medical alert services.
“I always remind our staff of why we are doing what we are doing, As you can imagine this is not an easy business. Day in and day out, we are providing services for community members that have dire circumstances, many of whom who can afford it as well as many who cannot. The type of work we do isn’t very glamorous and can be very difficult, both physically and emotionally,” Marsh said in his award application.
U.S. Tent Rental & Linens by the Sea won in the category of more than $2 million in annual revenue.
In business for 18 years, U.S. Tent started with one truck and one tent, and now has 47 full-time staff and 51 part-time. That first year, the company reported revenues of $250,000. In 2018, it closed the year with $7.8 million.
“At U.S. Tent Rental Inc., we truly hold to the value that the quality of our equipment is exceeded only by the value of our service,” owner Brian Boyle said.
“If asked to list the three things that helped us become so successful over the last 18 years it would be people, passion and product,” Boyle said in his application.
Turning Points won in the non-profit category for its work on providing services to help prevent and end homelessness in Manatee County.
“Our role is that of a collaborator/facilitator, working with clients, volunteers, and partnering with agencies/groups to address the needs of the 33 percent of Manatee County residents that are living paycheck to paycheck as well as the 11 percent living in poverty,” the award application said.
Accepting the award for Turning Points were Mark DeHaan, president, and Adell Erozer, executive director.
Finalists in the awards this year included:
- Under $200,000 category: Key 2 Life Training, Society Bytes Radio, Sokos Social, Spark Growth, and Vet Care Express Animal Ambulance.
- $200,000-$700,000: A.L.L. About Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Chapman Insurance, Crystal Clean Green Cleaning, and Sherrill Wealth Management.
- $700,000-$2 million: Blue Door Spa & Salon, The Center for Skin Wellness, Clark Financial Partners, Esposito Law Group, Luhrsen Goldberg, and Prosser Painting.
- More than $2 million: Fawley Bryant Architecture, Flooring America of Bradenton, Manatee Printers, Meadows Family Dentistry, Palm Printing, and Ramos Center for Interventional & Functional Pain Medicine.
- Non-profit category: ArtCenter Manatee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, The Center of Anna Maria Island, HOPE Family Services, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, SOLVE Maternity Homes, and United Way Suncoast.