Nine Baltimore-area companies and one individual have been named as winners of the 8th Annual Greater Baltimore Committee Bridging the Gap Awards.
The awards were presented during November 17 ceremonies honoring minority-owned and women-owned firms for achievement and others for their efforts to strengthen minority business development. The event was held at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center 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.
“In order for Maryland’s business community to reach its full potential, all businesses must be engaged and thriving,” says GBC President & CEO Donald C. Fry, “These motivated, successful minority and women entrepreneurs and partners exemplify the kind of private-sector achievement that drives our economy.”
Categories and winners of the 2011 Bridging the Gap Awards are:
Achievement by a minority- or woman-owned business:
- Audacious Inquiry. This innovative management and technology consulting firm specializes in health care information systems. Since its founding in 2004, the Catonsville-based company has grown to 22 employees and has been included in Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing private U.S. companies.
- Beacon Associates, Inc. In less than 10 years, Beacon Associates founder Carol Koffinke has achieved success in the male-dominated federal contracting sector. This Bel Air-based organizational development and performance consultant firm employs 200 and is among the Wall Street Journal’s top 20 fastest growing woman-led firms in North America.
- BEMO Corporation. Seizing opportunity amid a “Green Revolution,” BEMO performs home energy audits to BGE customers, delivering energy-saving value to customers and to BGE. In its second year, BEMO’s 25 employees are servicing $2 million in contracts.
- C. Jones Trucking LLC. This 25-employee Aberdeen-based firm offers a broad range of services including trucking, project management, construction management and asphalt manufacturing. It currently is Maryland’s only MBE-certified asphalt manufacturer. The firm received a 2011 Contractor of the Year Award from the Maryland Washington Minority Contractors’ Association.
- Harris-Kupfer Architects. Founded in 2004, this full-service Baltimore-based architectural firm specializes in health care architecture and serves clients including the University of Maryland Medical System and assisted living facilities.
- Integrity Title & Escrow Company. Since its founding 12 years ago this Owings Mills-based firm has grown into one of Maryland’s leading title firms and the top-ranked woman-owned title company in the state.
Majority-owned business commitment to inclusive business practices:
- University of Maryland Medical System. UMMS has emerged as an industry leader in developing a successful and strategic approach to furthering the expansion of minority and women-owned business opportunities. The system has generated as much as 42 percent MWBE participation in major construction projects and has increased MBWE supply purchases by more than 50 percent within the last fiscal year.
Key partnership or strategic alliance:
- The Cordish Companies and Commercial Interiors. The Cordish Companies have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to minority participation on projects that have MBE goals, as well as projects that don’t. In both instances, Cordish has made minority-owned Commercial Interiors, based in Hanover, Maryland, a valued construction management partner on high-profile projects, demonstrating the high value and positive impact on minority business development to be derived through partnerships between majority-owned and minority-owned companies.
- Stanley Tucker, president & CEO, Meridian Management Group. For more than 30 years, Stanley Tucker has been on the front lines of minority business development, helping minority entrepreneurs overcome one of their greatest obstacles – gaining access to capital to allow them to pursue their business visions. His advocacy on behalf of minority-owned business development is legendary and, over the years, he has provided professional asset management and financing services to hundreds of small and emerging minority-owned firms in Maryland.
Nominations were submitted by businesses, civic organizations, employees, customers, elected officials and government agencies. Award winners were selected from among 26 finalists. (Full list of finalists.)