On April 30th, 2015, the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce got down to bacon and business at the annual Business Awards Breakfast at the Forsyth Conference Center. The event, which featured BB&T Bank as the title sponsor and Digitel as its patron sponsor, cast a spotlight on outstanding Cumming and Forsyth County businesses of all sizes. Members of the Chamber nominated over 60 businesses for the honor!
The awards committee reviewed applications from all 60 businesses and then narrowed the applicants to 9 finalists. The awards committee visited all 9 businesses, and then talked to the owners and their employees. From these interviews and visits, the committee selected the top three businesses, one in each size category. The committee’s criteria factors included the length of time the business had been operating in Forsyth County; the number of employees; the sales and percentage growth for the past 3 years; and how each business gave back to their community.
The 9 Finalists were:
· Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More
· Bluegrass Materials Company
· BrightLight Systems, Inc.
· Dream Dinners
· Express Employment Professionals
· Georgia Tree Company
· My Forsyth Magazine
· Telecommunications Technical Services, Inc.
· Tents! Tents! Tents!
The Top 3 Award Winners:
1-5 Employees: Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More
Owners: Sandi and Tim Campbell
Businesses of this size make up the backbone of the community. Big Frog Custom T-Shirts and More has been in operation in the area for 6 years, and employs 5 people. Big Frog has a strong small team environment. Tim Campbell transformed the business when he bought it, and has offered a wider variety of services each year. Big Frog gives back to the Forsyth County school system by donating award t-shirts into the schools. They also work with other nonprofits and running clubs. Their business has grown and seen major improvement in the past 3 years!
6-20 Employees: Express Employment Professionals
Owner: Rodney Moore; Professional Recruiter, Ashley Perkins
Express Employment Professionals has been finding jobs for Forsyth County residents since 2000. When the awards committee first walked in the door, all 8 employees greeted them at the door and welcomed the group to their office; when the committee left, 2 men were coming in to fill out paperwork and all 8 employees still ALL got up and greeted these men. The committee saw from the beginning that Express Employment Professionals “walk the talk,” and this dedication to customer service is pervasive to both employees and customers. They’re involved with the community, and care about their employees; management worked with top employees to go through changes in healthcare and put together a plan for all of the employees
21+ Employees: Telecommunications Technical Services
Keith Marshall, President and Chief Executive Officer
Telecommunications Technical Services has been in business in Forsyth County for over 6 years, and has 75 employees. Its growth has been phenomenal over the last 5 years, and now they are working with large companies like Sprint and tMobile, putting up antennas all across the southeast and keeping the region connected. Their community projects include an annual ping-pong tournament to raise money for Cumming and Forsyth county charities. The atmosphere at TTS is what really stood out to the awards committee—their business is based on family values, and was in the beginning a family-owned business that started out of a garage! The company will grow into a larger facility in the next few months.
Jason Mock, Director of Small Businesses for the Chamber and the leader of the awards committee, says “It’s exciting to have 9 strong finalists for the running in this year's awards. The committee got to go see what they go through on a day-to-day basis in Forsyth County. Businesses like these 9 finalists are the backbone, employing hundreds of people in our community, and then giving back to the community on top of that. Many times businesses don't get the recognition. It's tough to start a business, especially a small business. There may not be a lot of folks to lean on. When you're a small company, starting out, there are lots of unanswered questions, and seeing these companies survive is so gratifying and good for the well-being of Forsyth County."
Congratulations to all our nominees and finalists! Your business makes the Cumming and Forsyth County area such a vital and exciting place to live in Georgia.