2021 AWARDS

BE RECOGNIZED FOR YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND IMPACT

IF THERE’S ONE THING WE’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT, IT’S

Recognizing people and organizations doing great things

The 2021 EntreCon® Awards presented by Cox Business is meant to recognize the achievements and economic impact leaders and businesses have on a community.

The categories aim to honor businesses at every stage in their life cycle, from start-ups to large corporations.

From those who have championed the cause to those who have turned adversity into success in another chapter of their lives, these awards will honor small, medium and large business owners.

Applications for the 2021 awards are being accepted now through Oct. 1 at 5:00 p.m. CST.

The winners will be honored at a special ceremony during the week of EntreCon®.

AWARDS SPONSOR, COX BUSINESS

Cox Business is a proud supporter of innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. We believe that investing in these enterprises and helping them grow is important to the future of our community.

EntreCon® provides invaluable insights for local business leaders to develop and grow, and Cox Business is honored to be an active partner in that growth.

Emerging Business of the Year

This award is open to businesses who started in the last two years and have had success introducing their product or service. Businesses recognized in this category are run by great leadership, show a promising vision for the future, and have created a mission statement that aligns with their core values.

Runner Up:

  • Grayson Bay Oyster Co.
  • Glow Paddle

Winner:

  • Rising Minds Learning

Micro-Business of the Year

This award is open to businesses who have less than ten employees and operate efficiently with a small team while positively impacting the local economy. Businesses considered for this award can clearly explain what makes their product or service unique, how they measure success and what opportunities they provide their employees.

Runner Up:

  • Ride More Bicycles
  • Sisters of Hope Corporation

Winner:

  • East Hill Pizza
  • Elite Orthodontics

Small Business of the Year

This award is open to businesses that have less than 50 employees that focus on employee inclusion, community involvement, and innovation in their business practices. Businesses considered for this award can clearly explain what makes their product or service unique, how they measure success, and what opportunities they provide their employees.

Runner Up:

  • Arco Marine
  • Schmidt’s Music

Winner:

  • Bear General Contractors

Medium/Large Business of the Year

This award is open to businesses that have more than 50 employees that have been able adaptable to change over the past year, have displayed economic growth, and provide opportunities for their employees to improve their skills in an ever-changing environment.

Runner Up:

  • Baptist Health Care
  • ESA South, Inc.

Winner:

  • Children’s Home Society

Employer of the Year

This award is for businesses with an outstanding and supportive work environment with a focus on great training programs, an understanding of work-life balance, and career progression. Employers recognized in this category inspire and motivate their growing, diverse staff with equal opportunity programs.

Runner Up:

  • Children’s Home Society
  • Gulf Coast Kid’s House

Winner:

  • Baptist Health Care
  • Levin Rinke Realty

Entrepreneur of the Year

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has a creative product or service that solves a problem in the marketplace. They are highly ambitious, serve as community leaders, and work to improve the quality of life for others through either employment or serving others.

Runner Up:

  • Brian Arnold
  • Ke’Andre Beasley

Winner:

  • Larry Kuhn

Non-Profit of the Year

This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that shows dedication for improving the quality of life in the community through volunteering, partnerships, or fundraising. Winners will be able to share how they have effectively used these skills to further their mission and improve the community.

Runner Up:

  • Epps Christian Center
  • Pensacola Little Theater
  • Escambia County Healthy Start Coalition

Winner:

  • Pensacola Humane Society

Minority-Owned Business of the Year

This award recognizes a minority-owned small business that has attained outstanding business achievement while showing social responsibility, creativity, and leadership; all to improve and grow the community.

Runner Up:

  • Nail Company Wholesale Supply
  • Signature Event Lounge
  • Wade Cakes and Weddings

Winner:

  • Something Old Savage

Female-Owned Business of the Year

This award recognizes a women-owned small business that has attained outstanding business achievement while showing social responsibility, creativity, and leadership; all to improve and grow the community.

Runner Up:

  • Vivid Bridge Studios
  • GBSI

Winner:

  • East Hill Pizza

Veteran-Owned Business of the Year

This award recognizes a veteran-owned small business that has attained outstanding business achievement while showing social responsibility, creativity, and leadership; all to improve and grow the community.

Runner Up:

  • Running Wild
  • ESA South, Inc.

Winner:

  • Hixardt Technologies, Inc.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

This award recognizes a small business owner who has successfully launched and grown their business before the age of 30. This person demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit by applying business knowledge, growth potential and success in the operation of their business. They also prove to be a great example to other young individuals.

Runner Up:

  • Mariah Morrison

Winner:

  • Felicia D. Rabb
  • Kyle McGee

Smart Business of the year

This award recognizes a business that has used advanced or cutting-edge technology to advance their business or make a difference in their industry in response to challenges due to COVID-19.

Runner Up:

  • Bear General Contractors
  • Snap Soccer

Winner:

  • GBSI

Excellence in mentorship award

This award recognizes a person who has dedicated themselves to helping others through mentoring. Their level of experience affords them the ability to have a significant impact on the professional development and career advancement of those they mentor.  

Winner:

  • Julie Sheppard

 

The John Myslak Award for Servant Leadership

This award is given to a leader who enriches the lives of others, builds better organizations, and ultimately helps create a more just and caring world. That is what our friend and colleague John Myslak did in our community, and we honor his memory by recognizing others who live their lives as fully as he did.

Winner:

  • Lisa Long Lyter

 

Community Vibrancy Award

So many of our communities, organizations, small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals are doing amazing things to create vibrancy. They have all shown us they are resourceful and creative as they work to make our communities better. Please help us celebrate these winners:

 

Community Vibrancy Award Winners:

  • Levin Papantonio Rafferty
  • AUPHA, Washington, DC
  • James J. Reeves (AMR at Pensacola, Inc.)
  • One Acadiana, Lafayette, LA
  • Gulf Coast Diplomacy
  • Girl Scout Troop 10441, Conover, NC
  • Junior League of Pensacola
  • Sandra Donaldson (Community Health Northwest Florida)
  • Cy-Fair Fire Department, Cypress, TX
  • Willie Kirkland, Jr. (For the Child, Inc.)
  • Monte Anderson (Options Real Estate Investments, Inc.), Duncanville, TX
  • Notions Restaurant, Hickory, NC
  • Palatka, FL
  • Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, Springfield, IL
  • City of Stillwater, OK
  • Freedom Investment Group, Knoxville, TN
  • Education Foundation of Putnam County, Inc.

Awards Form Submission

If you would like your business to be recognized, please download and fill out the attached form. Once downloaded, upload it to the “File Upload” form.

Community Vibrancy Award
Form Submission

If you would like to be recognized for the Community Vibrancy Award, please download and fill out the attached form. Once downloaded, upload it to the “File Upload” form.