Dane County Small Business Award Winners Announced

This year, the winners were from a diverse range of businesses, with differing challenges and goals, but they shared the limelight at the Dane County awards program on June 18th. I had the honor of introducing them to the audience, in my role as emcee of the event, and now it is my honor to also introduce them to you!

This is a good time to mention that this is an annual award, and you can be part of the next celebration in June 2011 by nominating a company (self-nominations accepted) for consideration. Everything begins with a nomination…

Architecture Network, Inc. — Madison
Arlan Kay, Architect/President
The company provides architecture & consulting services, specializing in existing and historical buildings. About 50% of the work is commercial, 50% single-family residential. It has been an active player in the revitalization of Downtown Madison, and downtowns of surrounding communities — including the Fess Hotel, Cardinal Bar, and Quivey’s Grove. The company maintained staffing levels and salaries during the recession, and even paid a small bonus to all employees in 2009.

Degnan Design Builders, Inc. — DeForest
Abe Degnan, President
The firm is a full-service design/build resident construction company providing remodeling and new home construction within a 50-mile radius. The business has been transferred from father to son, and has won 13 awards since 2004 for design/build remodeling projects. One validation is that clients have waited up to one year to begin construction because they valued the level of workmanship this builder would bring to their projects.

Gaylord Catering Services, Inc — Madison
David A. Chamberlain, President/Owner
The company is an off-premise caterer for many types of functions including breakfasts, lunches and dinners. In business 47 years, it is the oldest caterer in Madison and has catered thousands of events, many of them beyond Dane County. The menus were first geared toward farmers, then they incorporated senior citizen events, and then athletics; now the client base is very diverse. It’s best year was 2008; it’s worst was 2009.

Natural Resources Consulting, Inc. — Cottage Grove
Scott Storlid, President
The firm provides private sector and governmental clients with a full range of technical natural resource services, project support, and regulatory consultation on environmental and natural resource issues. It has become, since its inception in 1998, one of the largest and most diverse environmental consulting firms in the Midwest, with national clients. It has been ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in Wisconsin by Inc. Magazine for the last three years.

Neider & Boucher, S.C. — Madison
George R. Kamperschoer, Managing Partner/President
This law firm has a long history of serving the business law needs of small, closely-held businesses. This year it celebrates its 15th anniversary, and it deals with issues such as governance and ownership or control matters, employment law, contract and agreement law, tax planning, business litigation, and helping clients with business ownership success planning and exit strategies. Therefore, they also offer individuals a full range of estate planning and tax planning expertise.

New Self Renewal Center — Madison
Suzanne M. Grundahl, Owner
The business offers fitness classes and personal training, spa services, and has a cafe area and childcare. It offers both private space for adults and a separate, safe place for children staffed by experienced childcare workers. In 2010, they have 113 members (compared with 80 this time last year), and staff prides themselves of providing a place where parents (especially moms) can take better care of themselves without feeling guilty about the time spent to do so.

The Employer Group — Verona
Angie M. Heim, President
The company processes payrolls, creates employee benefit programs, helps managers hire and fire employees, and covers all of a company’s HR needs. The business was purchased from the founder by a key employee, and has grown from 4 employees (15 years ago) to a staff of 15 today — who provide services to almost 60 businesses . The Employer Group’s clients, collectively, employ 2,700 people and have revenues of over $75 million, so the HR functions are critical to their performance.

PercipEnz Technologies, Inc. — Madison
Srini Kalluri, President/CEO
The firm develops and markets enterprise-class clinical and translational research management software. It’s flagship product, OnCore, is the nation’s most widely adopted clinical research platform among academic research organizations and cancer centers. In it’s 10-year corporate history, the company has never lost an existing customer. 2009 was the most difficult year, and mid-year, salaries and benefits were affected, but no one was let go; within six months, all returned to normal, and then the year closed as a banner year for the firm.

Menzel Enterprises, Inc. (dba/Prairie Land Towing) — Sun Prairie
Jeanne Menzel, President
The business provides towing, lockouts, jump starts, tire changes, car hauling, etc., with locations in Sun Prairie and New Berlin. This is a family business. Tragically, the husband died in 1993 and the wife and young sons worked 24/7 to keep the business afloat. After an acquisition of another business in 2002, and another in 2007, the adjustments of having so many more employees was a challenge, and meeting expanded customer needs meant even more commitment — and success.

Urban Construction Administration, Inc. — Madison
DeAngelo Jackson, President
This firm is in the building construction industry as a subcontractor specializing in masonry and carpentry. It completed two projects in 2009 selected as top projects in the state — fire station #12 and the Greater Urban League of Madison. It also did three buildings in Allied Drive. In 2008, it worked on a major project nominated as the top project — UW Towers. The company has grown from three to 15 employees since 2007.

2010 Small Business Advocate: Frank Staniszewski
President – November 1985 to Present of Madison Development Corporation – Madison, Wisconsin
As President of MDC, Frank Staniszewski supervises a staff of 10 and directs all business lending, business assistance, real estate development and housing management programs. He provided service to over 400 small businesses with financing and/or financial management assistance and oversees portfolio of over $5 million of direct loans, and management of 250 units of housing for lower income residents.
He established a pioneering “Venture Debt” Fund for the purpose of making high risk loans to early stage technology businesses in Dane County, and obtained the commitment of over $4 million of private funding with the confidence of local financial institutions and the development corporation subsidiary of MG&E. He then established the privately-funded Dane County Development Company Inc., to make smaller direct loans to Dane County businesses, and was instrumental in founding the Dane Fund, a financial intermediary bringing local social investors together with non-profits seeking capital for housing or social service projects.

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