SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
This award is presented to the small business owner whose efforts and/or entrepreneurial pursuits exemplify the passion and commitment needed to overcome adversity as well as attain success.
Noble Strategy L.L.C.
Type of business: Construction management and consulting
President/CEO: William S. Parrish Jr.
Location: South Orange, NJ
With more than 20 years of construction experience, William S. Parrish Jr., 42, and his company, Noble Strategy, have provided construction management and consulting to municipalities, agencies, institutions, and corporations since 2002. With revenues at more than $2.3 million for 2008, the 28-employee firm projects 2009 revenues to increase about 30% because of several construction projects in the works, including one tied to the Freedom Tower project in New York City at One World Trade Center.
The Phillips Co. Inc.
Type of business: Machining, assembly, subassembly, warehousing, distribution
Owner/CEO: Valerie Phillips
Location: Columbus, IN
Ready to strike out on her own after 25 years in the engine manufacturing industry, Valerie Phillips, 50, purchased the company her dad, Sam, had started with a partner, and renamed it The Phillips Co. in 2006. By September 2007 the company acquired Maximum Spindle Utilization Inc., an established manufacturing facility in Edinburgh, Indiana. Revenues at the 25-person firm nearly tripled from $2.8 million in 2007 to approximately $6 million in 2008. The company manufactures products for diesel engines, small lawn equipment, semi trucks, and construction equipment.
Buzz Marketing Group
Type of business: Market research
Founder/CEO: Tina Wells
Location: Voorhees, NJ
Buzz Marketing Group helps companies learn how to reach one of the few groups that still have disposable incomeâ€”teens. And at the center of it all is 29-year-old Tina Wells. Since 1996, the Voorhees, NJ-based market research company focuses on the interests and needs of youth ages 6 to 24 and has assisted clients in crafting effective marketing strategies and campaigns related to beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment. With clients that include PBS and the Girl Scouts of the USA, revenues totaled $4 million in 2008. This month, the first installment of Wellsâ€™ four-book deal with HarperCollins Childrenâ€™s Books introduces the world to Mackenzie Blue, a character Wells created.
â€”Benice Atufunwa & Tennille M. Robinson