In this the ninth year of Business Champions, something new has been added. In addition to honoring established companies for their success navigating what are still treacherous economic seas, we're honoring start-ups.
The metrics are a little different. Where established companies have hard data to measure things like year-over-year sales growth, start-ups are a different breed. Here we're looking at an entrepreneur with a dream and projecting how well that dream will be realized.
Clearly, it's not an exact science. But the brave souls who undertake new ventures in this time of uncertainty deserve to bask in the same glow as those who have managed to guide their companies through tough times because they are the future. They are also the most likely source of job creation, the Holy Grail for Connecticut's economic development.
So to all our six winners and the other 35 who took the challenge and ran the gauntlet that is the Business Champions process — congratulations.
All of these folks are the true Business Champions of our community and we at the Hartford Business Journal take great pride in joining the MetroHartford Alliance in celebrating the successes of the region's privately held companies. These companies are the heart and soul of our communities. They create most of the jobs; they produce many of the products and deliver many of the services we count on; they support the nonprofit endeavors that improve our communities; they are responsible for many of the innovations that reshape industry, our culture and society.
Inside this special section, you'll meet some of the best and brightest, as determined by our independent panel of judges. Nominees were judged on the basis of information they submitted covering four criteria: workforce excellence, innovation, sustainability and year over year revenue growth.
The overall winners, in size categories by revenue, are Lincoln Waste Solutions in Hartford, a small company that takes seriously its mission of saving its clients money, and S/L/A/M, the Glastonbury design-build company that keeps growing despite the economy.
The Pert Group, the rapidly expanding consulting firm that has gone global, wins in the 'workforce' category.
Propark America, the Hartford-based parking lot operator with a green thumb, is the winner in the 'sustainability' category.
NorthStar Wealth Partners LLC in West Hartford, investment advisers with a different take on what constitutes success for themselves and their customers, won in the 're-invention' category.
And Movia Robotics LLC in Hartford won in the start-up category for its creative use of robots which could someday hold the key to treating autism.
Challenging times produce heartache but they also produce game-changing innovation. We hope you'll find these corporate stories both inspirational and educational. And we look forward to celebrating your company's successes in these pages next year.
Category - Overall
Winner: Lincoln Waste Solutions, Hartford
Category – Overall
Winner: S/L/A/M Collaborative Architects and Engineers Inc., Glastonbury
Winner: Propark America, Hartford
Winner: NorthStar Wealth Partners LLC, West Hartford
Winner: The Pert Group, Farmington
Winner: Movia Robotics LLC, Hartford
Click HERE for Information about the 2011 judges.