Fifteen Baltimore-area companies and one individual have been named winners of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 9th annual Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards.
The awards were presented during October 23 ceremonies honoring minority-owned and women-owned firms for business achievement and others for their efforts to strengthen minority business development. The event was held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.
The awards program is part of Bridging the Gap, a minority business development initiative of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the region’s most prominent organization of business and civic leaders.
“Maryland can only reach its full economic potential if all businesses are engaged and thriving,” said GBC President & CEO Donald C. Fry. “By honoring these motivated, successful minority and women entrepreneurs, we seek to call attention to the many more in our region and state who exemplify the kind of private-sector energy that powers our economy.”
Categories and winners of the 2012 Bridging the Gap Awards are:
Achievement by a minority or woman-owned business
• A Bright Idea, LLC, Bel Air, Md. Anita A. Brightman founded this advertising and public relations firm in 1996. Today, the firm’s clients include defense-related agencies and contractors, retailers, nonprofits and financial institutions.
• Calmi Electrical, Baltimore, Md. Since its founding in 1986 by its CEO, Calvin Mims, this electrical contracting company has evolved into a leading firm with installation projects that have included M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
• Casey Overseas Corp., Baltimore, Md. This female-owned freight-forwarding services company has thrived for 33 years in the traditionally-male dominated shipping industry.
• Data Solutions & Technology, Incorporated, Lanham, Md. Founded in 1994 by Deborah Scott Thomas, this company today provides professional technology management services to clients, which include nearly 20 federal agencies.
• Fyodor Biotechnologies, Baltimore, Md. Founded in 2008, this company focuses on development of diagnostic and biopharmaceutical products targeted to impacting the way malaria is diagnosed and managed in “frontier” overseas markets.
• Intelect Corporation, Baltimore, Md. Founded in 1995 by Rohit Patel, who was born in Zibabwe, this technology design and engineering firm is now on Fortune Magazine’s list of 100 fastest growing U.S. urban businesses.
• Marcorp, Baltimore, Md. During its 50-year history, the March family has grown this minority-owned business from a single Baltimore City location into the largest independent funeral home operator on the East Coast.
• M. Luis Construction Co., Inc., Clinton, Md. Founded in 1985, this woman-owned and minority-owned company has grown into a diverse, multi-disciplined and widely recognized road construction and maintenance firm.
• Shea Radiance, Columbia, Md. Founded in 2009 by Shola and Funlayo Alabi, this company’s proprietary shea butter-based skin and hair-care products have attracted major national distributors, including Target stores.
• Total Urgent Care, Edgewood, Md. Bruce and Theresa Lewis opened this occupational medical and urgent care center in 2004 with one walk-in patient. Customers now include Frito-Lay, Rite Aid, Bechtel and Harford County government.
• W. L. Blair Development, Baltimore, Md. Launched in 1995 by Wendy Blair to pursue opportunities as one of Baltimore’s few female urban developers, this firm’s projects now include developments in Bolton Hill and the Inner Harbor.
• Walters Relocations, Inc., Baltimore, Md. John Walters started this company in 1988 with one truck and one crew. The company now has a fleet of trucks, 35 employees and customers that include BGE, Mercy Hospital and Baltimore City government.
Majority-owned commitment to inclusive business practices
• Harkins Builders, Marriottsville, Md. Harkins Builders, an industry leader in preconstruction and construction management services, is being recognized for its commitment to nurturing the development of minority businesses in the construction field. Harkins works to guide small and minority firms through the process of doing business with large general contractors.
Partnership and strategic alliance
• Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake and Baltimore City Community College, Baltimore, Md. Goodwill partners with BCCC to provide students life-skills training and to connect students who have completed the college’s workforce training to minority and majority-owned employers in Baltimore.
• Sally MacConnell, vice president for facilities, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Md. MacConnell is being recognized for her work as vice president for facilities at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Health System, where she has championed minority-owned and women-owned business participation in major contracting projects. Her efforts have helped Hopkins achieve a game-changing shift in the way it does business in the community and provide a roadmap for other large organizations to improve economic inclusion efforts.
Bridging the Gap awards were selected from nominations submitted by businesses, civic organizations, employees, customers, elected officials and government agencies.
See photos of the event on the GBC’s Facebook page.