The 2016 Night of Laughter & Business Award winners are….
May 20, 2016
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Leah Sparks @ Southern Girl Coffee
Leah Sparks, 25, is the Owner, Roaster and Barista at Southern Girl Coffee in Oxford, a small batch coffee shop and roasting company. This small business began as a hobby for Leah, who wanted to stay home and spend time with her ‘Paw Paw’ who had been diagnosed with cancer. As of now, Leah is the only employee at SGC, and this young entrepreneur has already invested her savings into buildings in downtown Oxford and a mobile coffee trailer for community events.
Non-Profit of the Year
YMCA of Calhoun County
In 1940, a group of New York businessmen saw the need for a YMCA in Anniston to be used by the 27th Division trainees at Fort McClellan, and in 1952, the YMCA moved to its current location on West 14th. Since then, the YMCA also expanded to include the 80 acre Camp Hamilton and the Oxford Y. The Y continues to be an association of men, women and children joining together to nurture the potential of kids, by promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.
Emerging Small Businesses of the Year
For more than 15 years, the “Kitchins” building sat vacant in downtown Anniston, but in 2014, after only five months from concept to completion, Calhoun Pickers, driven by Arminda Robertson, came to be. Since then, Calhoun Pickers has become largest indoor market in the region and home for more than 180 vendors, selling antiques, furniture, unique crafts, jewelry and art.
Sustaining Small Businesses of the Year
The Surgery Center
The Surgery Center opened in May of 2000 with 18 employees and 5 anesthesia providers, and now, they have 65 employees and 7 anesthesia providers. The facility started with around 200 patients each month and has now grown to over 9,000 patients each year. This facility and their employees are focused on customer service, and with constant technological advances in medicine, more and more surgical procedures are being performed safely and efficiently in outpatient surgery facilities, allowing patients to go home the same day of the procedure.
Innovative Small Businesses of the Year
Pediatrics Plus, PC
Since 2010, Pediatrics Plus, PC, has been providing pediatric primary care from birth to 19 years of age. Chase Thomas was the first Nurse Practitioner in the state to open a pediatric practice. With 18 employees currently, they’re already building a 5000 square foot addition for a total of 10,000 square feet, while growing at a rate of 100+ new patients per month. They also utilize 21st century technologies to provide office contact 24/7 and utilizes and onsite accredited Clinical Laboratory to perform tests to make health assessments, diagnosis and prescribe treatment.
Lifetime Achievement Small Business of 2016
K.L. Brown Funeral Home & Memory Chapel
Koven has been a licensed funeral director since 1970. K.L. Brown Funeral Home came into existence in 1978 when Koven L. (K.L.) Brown purchased Roebuck-Greenlawn Mortuary. It continues to operate as a locally owned, family operated business. In 1994, a crematory was built to enhance offerings to families that choose cremation. An electrical fire destroyed the crematory in 2001 and a cremation center was built to further enhance facilities for families that choose cremation.
Small Business Advocate of 2016
Northeast Alabama Entrepreneurial System
The Northeast Alabama Entrepreneurial System, more commonly called the Entrepreneurial Center, is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation business incubator, created as a result of broad community collaboration in 1998. An Economic Development Administration grant provided the funds for construction of the facility. The Center is a 40,000 square foot mixed use facility that serves start-up service companies and light manufacturing businesses. The Entrepreneurial Center is also home to Anniston’s Chapter of SCORE, service core of retired executives, a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide.