Celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit is a tradition at the NWI Small Business Development Center. Every year, region entrepreneurs and advocates are recognized for the imprint they have left on the small business community.
Through the E-Day Awards, the NWI SBDC has the opportunity to spotlight those who are strengthening the economy through their determination, hard work, community involvement and dedication to growth and innovation.
Nominations for the 2010 Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards are now being accepted through August 2.
Categories include Small Business Person of the Year, Entrepreneurial Success, Small Business Advocate of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Minority Small Business Person of the Year and Women in Business Champion of the Year. Additional award and criteria details and the E-Day nominations packet are available at www.nwisbdc.org.
The winners are chosen by the awards selection committee comprised of individuals from the banking, accounting, legal, business and economic development communities. Finalists are selected based on a ranking of compiled scores.
The event is an opportunity for community and business leaders to get together and recognize the winners' accomplishments.
“E-Day provides a specialized arena to commend the honorees' efforts and inspire and push them toward future achievements,” said Todd Dickard, NWI SBDC business advisor and E-Day committee member. “Dedicating time to observe the winners' successes holds even more weight as we continue to face the current economic climate.”
Security Industries Inc. President Danny Jones, the 2009 Small Business Person of the Year, accepted the award in honor of his father at last year's event.
“The E-Day luncheon was a wonderful event. We had a table full of enthusiastic employees hoping to win, and supportive of other nominees as well. I was very proud to accept the award in honor of my father, 80 years old, who was in attendance with my younger brother,” Jones said. “My dad's work ethic and simple philosophy are my real model in this business. He ran a very small fence company for many years and always believed in honesty and integrity above all. Big business or small, there's a lesson there for anyone.”
Jones said his experience has continued since accepting the award.
“My/our experience overall has been wonderful throughout this entire year. I'm constantly running into someone with a friendly comment regarding the award, or a kind mention of a news article seen,” Jones said. “Sometimes it's just haven't I seen you in the paper? What a conversation starter. We have a great group of people here, and they deserve all the praise for any success we may have achieved — especially in these trying economic times.”
Jones believes the award is a great motivator for future generations.
“I think it's wonderful to recognize a company that's striving for excellence and setting themselves apart from the competition,” Jones said. “Honoring entrepreneurs is a great way of saying 'Look what you can do, if you step out, make the best of an opportunity and work real hard. Let that be a challenge to the next person or generation looking to find their own way in the business world.”
2010 honorees will be recognized Tuesday Oct. 19 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza. Tim Smithe of Walter E. Smithe furniture stores will be the guest speaker.