Winners of the first annual Business Excellence Awards (the BEAs) presented by University Place (formerly University Mall) were announced at last week at the Center for the Dramatic Art.
The winners for the Business Excellence Awards are:
▪ New Business of the Year: Green Beagle Lodge, 6805 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill
The Green Beagle Lodge opened in June of 2014 following a multi-year zoning, planning, design and build effort. This new pet resort is on 15 wooded acres and offers deluxe accommodations with special features including a waterpark with fountains and a pool. greenbeaglelodge.com
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▪ Innovation Award: Communigift, 333 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill
Founded by three then-sophomores at UNC, Communigift.com is an online platform that allows users to adopt and sponsor disadvantaged families. CommuniGift launched a pilot test in 2014, working with one of the largest and most respected Salvation Army divisions, Salvation Army of Southern California, as well as Delaware State Social Services and several other partners.
▪ Community Impact: Student Health Action Coalition, 037 MacNider Hall, Chapel Hill
The Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) has been serving the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community for 50 years. SHAC has been operating weekly medical and dental clinics, as well as a series of targeted outreach initiatives. This past year, SHAC made major improvements to the wellness and preventative care services they provide to the community with Bridge to Care and Classroom 2 Community.
▪ University Born Business: ABAN 118 E. Main St. #206, Carrboro
ABAN’s model of social enterprise empowerment focuses on learning experiences that create income earning opportunities for marginalized young women in Ghana. Their goal is to help each woman find her inner strength and provide opportunities for her to lift herself and her child out of poverty. ABAN offers each woman a supportive environment of personal and professional development, as well as, means to create a sustainable value chain for environmentally conscious social entrepreneurship in her community.
Micro-Enterprise of the Year (0-5 employees): Community Empowerment Fund, 108 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill
Begun as a student program at the Campus Y in 2009, Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is an ambitious and innovative nonprofit that supports the alleviation of poverty in Orange and Durham counties by pairing two volunteer advocates with each of their members for personalized assistance. CEF provides savings accounts, financial education, and other support services to homeless and near-homeless individuals. But as the UNC Law School says it, “what really distinguishes CEF is its model: creating and fostering relationships that lead to personal, lasting change.” Recently, CEF received the 2014 Peace Prize from the NC Peace Corps Association for promoting cross-cultural understanding and a “helping others help themselves” approach.
Mid-Size Business of the Year (6-50 employees) presented by Bank of North Carolina: Al’s Burger Shack, 516 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Al Bowers opened Al’s Burger Shack in 2013. A small footprint restaurant, with seating for only about 10 people inside and 30 outside, Al has maximized the space and his opportunities for growth. Establishing a strong catering business, Al is combining signature burgers with house-made southern sides to delight wedding parties and business functions across the Triangle. In 2014, Al noticed an opening in the breakfast market in downtown Chapel Hill and now for all three meals of the day, the Shack starts with the finest ingredients and then combines them to make delicious burgers that stand out from the crowd.
Large Business of the Year (51+ employees) presented by SunTrust: Summit Engineering and Design Services, 504 Meadowland Dr., Hillsborough
Summit has performed professional engineering services on an array of projects in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Community, including 300 East Main Development in downtown Carrboro, the Dual Language Learning Center on Laurels Way, the Boys & Girls Club, Shortbread Lofts, Morgan Creek Greenway Trail phases, UNC Chapel Hill Bell Tower and Kenan Stadium and recently won accolades for the Hillsborough River Walk. A full-service firm, Summit often works with clients from the beginning of a project up until the very end, thereby delivering quality projects on time, within budget and just as the clients expect. summitde.net
Non-Profit of the Year presented by Triangle Community Foundation: Compass Center for Women and Families, 210 Henderson St., Chapel Hill
Through their efforts to streamline services and increase their capacity in Orange County, the Compass Center for Women and Families was able to serve 979 victims of domestic violence in 2014. The non-profit strives towards its mission to prevent domestic violence and increase self-sufficiency through direct client services including career, legal and financial advisement, as well as promote awareness of the many resources available to victims through social media, community outreach and volunteer training.
Business Woman of the Year: Kim Calandra-Carrboro Community Acupuncture, 204 W. Main St., Carrboro
Kim Calandra created a sustainable grass roots model of health care providing affordable acupuncture through her business Carrboro Community Acupuncture. Within in one year of running the business, Kim provided over 1000 acupuncture treatments. With the success of her community acupuncture practice, Kim is able to concurrently run Care in Carrboro where she specializes in the treatment of PTSD for survivors of rape and serve in leadership positions advisory boards.
Young Professional of the Year: Daniel Eller- Eller Capital Partners, 204 W. Main St., Carrboro
In a short period of time, Daniel Eller, president and CEO of Eller Capital Partners, has built a Chapel Hill based company that is one of the most active and fasting growing multifamily investment firms in the Southeast. In addition, Eller Capital has launched a “first-of-its-kind” housing initiative for local public employees, ensuring that they are able to work and live in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. A member of University Presbyterian and the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club, Daniel and his local employees have helped raise over $20,000 in the last year for Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, SECU Family House of Chapel Hill, UNC-Chapel Hill Scholarship Endowment Fund, TABLE, Toys for Tots, Aging in Place Fund of Orange County and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The Chapel Hill News’ People’s Choice Awards were also announced. The winners, voted on by readers of the Chapel Hill News, are:
Best Medical Practice: Chapel Hill Pediatrics
Best Dentist: The Happy Tooth
Best Real Estate: Domicile Realty
Best Hotel: Residence Inn by Marriott
Best Special Event Venue: The Carolina Inn
Best Family Outing: Maple View Farm
Best Consignment/Consignment Shop: PTA Thrift Shop
Best Customer Service: Chick-Fil-A at University Place
Best Restaurant: Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
Best Automotive: Auto Logic
Best Retail: La Boutique Lane
Best Services: Orangetheory Fitness
The BEAs are sponsored by University Place, Triangle Community Foundation, SunTrust, Bank of North Carolina, The News & Observer, The Chapel Hill News, Curtis Media Group, Town of Carrboro, Aveda Institute, and the UNC Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Launch, and 1789 Venture Lab. At the BEAs ceremony, presenting sponsor and Chapel Hill landmark University Mall announced their new name University Place and unveiled their new logo.