Tag Archives: Spirit of Enterprise Awards

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists named

Arizona is still recovering from the Great Recession, and many local businesses are playing a key role in the comeback. Today, some of the state’s best companies are being recognized as finalists for the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The prestigious awards recognize firms for creating jobs, boosting our economy and delivering great customer service. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as fast-growing businesses, such as Infusionsoft.

“We look for Arizona businesses that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” explains Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We also want to see innovation, a positive internal culture, and an impact on both our economy and our local community.”

The 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists are:

• Clean Air Cab (Mesa) – a family-owned, eco-friendly cab fleet with consistent 100-percent annual growth and a Happy Ride consumer guarantee, sourcing more than 83 percent of its business needs from local providers and donating to local charities, including the ONE Community Foundation for advancing the rights of the LGBT community.
• Endless Entertainment (Tempe) – an events production and consulting company started by a college entrepreneur at ASU that has been lauded by Inc. magazine, has a strong customer-service focus, and has worked with a range of clients from San Diego Comic-Con and the X Games to the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Target and Zappos.
• Ersland Touch Landscape (Phoenix) – a state-of-the-art landscape maintenance company with more than 30 years of experience, a complete customer “feedback log,” an Adopt a Highway commitment, work with nonprofits, and more than 400 residences and 20 homeowner associations as clients.
• India Plaza/The Dhaba (Tempe) – a small, minority-owned one-stop shop for all things Indian, including an award-winning restaurant, a marketplace and an education center, with a low staff turnover rate, a no-questions-asked return policy, and vegetarian, gluten-free and environmental initiatives.
• IO (Phoenix) – a firm focused on data-center technology, services and solutions that are defined by software, instead of physical locations, with more than 650 global clients, including Goldman Sachs and LexisNexis, as well as two patents and a focus on energy efficiency.
• I-ology (Scottsdale) – a woman-owned technology company offering Web design and related services that features close client relationships, heavy community involvement, and no management hierarchy, where all employees have the chance to participate in revenue sharing, stock options, flexible schedules and industry events.
• The James Agency (Scottsdale) – a boutique, full-service advertising and public relations agency specializing in high-end brands, which was started by a 25 year old and now boasts flexible work schedules, no outsourcing, annual pro bono clients and last year’s revenue of more than $2 million.
• Kitchell (Phoenix) – a 100-percent employee-owned commercial builder, developer and program manager launched 65 years ago, which now has more than 850 employees, international operations, innovations like virtual construction, an internal leadership program, significant charitable contributions, and a focus on safety, work quality and customer satisfaction.
• Melrose Pharmacy (Phoenix) – an independent pharmacy that offers fast, personalized service, contributions to the March of Dimes and other charities, and involvement in community issues, as well as achieving business goals of $2.7 million in sales by its third year in business and a 119-percent increase in net income so far this year.
• Potter’s House Apothecary (Peoria) – a pharmacy specializing in compounding, with its own continuous-quality-improvement program and patient seminars, which reached its three-year business plan projections in just 18 months and became one of fewer than 15 Arizona pharmacies with accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.

The finalists from the W. P. Carey School for the Student Entrepreneurship Award are:

• Anthony Gonzales/Force Impact Technologies – Gonzales, who just graduated with his MBA, has made headlines as a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year competition with his grant-winning, ongoing development of FITGuard, a mouthguard designed to indicate when an athlete should be removed from a game for possible head injuries/concussions, as well as a matching smartphone application that can provide results to a diagnosing physician.
• Paige Corbett/PetSitnStay – Corbett was working as a kennel assistant and attending business school, when she came up with the idea to start an online service to connect pet owners with pet sitters and in-home care options as an alternative to less personal commercial boarding facilities.

Winners will be announced at a luncheon Friday, Nov. 21 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Hundreds of business and community leaders attend the annual event. Also, new this year, an entrepreneurship workshop will be held right before the awards luncheon. There, top W. P. Carey School faculty members will talk about what tools and techniques you can use to advance your business.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to attend, call (480) 965-0474, e-mail wpcentrepreneurship@asu.edu, or visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu/spirit.

The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses, as well as the Sun Devil Igniter Challenge to help fund student businesses. The center also offers companies a chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while allowing students to get hands-on business experience. It is a gateway to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

LAWLOGIX GROUP LLC

Spirit of Enterprise winner: LawLogix Group

LawLogix Group earned the Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona this year at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

In 2000, LawLogix co-founder Brian Taylor was sitting at a Burger King near the consulate in Nogales, Mexico, waiting for a new U.S. visa to be approved. His own immigration experience was time consuming and frustrating, and he knew there had to be a better way for immigrants to share their case information with attorneys.

So LawLogix – a software company focused on creating the easiest-to-use and most secure immigration case management and I-9 compliance software available – was born. Brian and his co-founder Dan Siciliano, a law professor at Stanford, set out to develop a service that would automate what is otherwise a time-, labor-, and paper-intensive hiring and visa application process.

Today, LawLogix software and services are used by more than 155,000 organizations and 4.2 million foreign nationals worldwide. The company’s success  is based on five core principles:

  1. Empower the client. When developing their first product, LawLogix bucked the trend of client-hosted software, giving clients more freedom with a Software as a Service (SaaS) business model.
  2. Innovate by listening. LawLogix listens to customers to better understand their needs, and then develops software to solve their pain points.
  3. Listen to the marketplace. When the new I-9 and E-Verify laws were introduced, LawLogix developed an entirely new SaaS product to make I-9 compliance easy for companies.
  4. Invest in employees’ career growth. LawLogix provides specialized ongoing education and training for its employees and promotes from within.
  5. Lead the way. Through webinars and speaking engagements, LawLogix offers its lessons learned and expertise to the immigration services community.

Name of business: LawLogix Group, LLC

Nature of business: I-9, E-Verify, and immigration case management software

Address: 3111 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, Arizona 85012

Web: LawLogix.com

Founded: 2000

Number of employees: 52

DAPHENE'S HEAD COVERS

Spirit of Enterprise winner: Daphne’s Headcovers

Daphne’s Headcovers earned the The Spirit of Enterprise Overcoming Adversity Award this year at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

When Jane Spicer was 10 years old she told her mother that she wanted a sailboat. Her mother told her she had to earn the money for it. Jane did: she sewed a bagful of stuffed toys to sell to friends and neighbors. At the Park & Swap she made $200, and has been hooked on entrepreneurship ever since.

“When I was 16, a customer suggested that I make animal golf club covers. It was really hard to break into that market, but my mom, Daphne, told me: Be tenacious.” Jane taught herself how to get past the attendants and assistants at golf resorts to get to the buyers. It worked: sales grew 400 percent in one quarter, her animal headcovers becoming the best selling item in golf after Tiger Woods started using one.

Not that it was always easy: When the recession hit in early 2008, Jane said that she was paralyzed with fear. “I stopped taking a salary. I sold everything at home that wasn’t nailed down. But I never missed payroll and I didn’t lay off a single key employee. By 2011 we were profitable again.”

Jane and her company do a lot to give back to the community that, as Jane put it, built Daphne’s Headcovers. The company sells a special Weimaraner headcover and donates a portion of the proceeds to Gabriel’s Angels, which provides pet therapy to abused and at-risk kids. They also partner with charities globally to help make a difference and now Jane allows budding entrepreneurs to use her facility and equipment.

Through all of the ups and downs, Jane has lived out the directive her mother gave her, to be tenacious, and Daphne’s core value as well: to do good while doing well.

Name of business: Daphne’s Headcovers

Nature of business: Manufacturer of animal/novelty golf club covers

Address: 337 W. Melinda Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85027

Web: DaphnesHeadcovers.com

Founded: 1978

Number of employees: 19

GLOBALMED

Spirit of Enterprise winner: GlobalMed

GlobalMed earned the U.S. Bank Emerging Entrepreneur Award this year at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

In 2002, when Joel Barthelemy started the business that would become GlobalMed, he made imaging equipment for quality assurance in the semiconductor industry. “We did about $1 million a year in sales,” Joel recounted. “Just enough to keep the doors open.”

The company’s very fortuitous move into telemedicine came at the suggestion of a Tulane University pathologist. Joel took his advice and in April, 2005, GlobalMed delivered its first system: cameras and software for the first remote pathology consult, at Tulane.

Today, GlobalMed continues to develop the software and manufacture the equipment that makes telemedicine possible. “To date, we have installed well over 2,000 telemedicine systems in 55 countries,” Joel explained. “We provide patients with access to healthcare wherever there’s an internet connection.” He added, “We’re changing the healthcare system in the U.S. and globally.”

A story illustrates that fact quite poignantly: a woman in Minnesota was fishing with her kids and grandkids when she had a stroke. They rushed her to the community hospital, but it didn’t have the resources to meet her needs. So she was taken via air ambulance to the nearest stroke specialist, but by then she already had permanent paralysis and dementia.

In contrast, when the mayor of rural Copper Queen, Arizona had a stroke and was similarly rushed to the community hospital (which also didn’t have an in-house stroke specialist, but did have a GlobalMed system) he was seen within minutes by a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. The mayor has fully recovered.

Name of business: GlobalMed

Nature of business: Develops and manufactures healthcare IT systems

Address: 15020 N. 74th Street Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

Web: GlobalMed.com

Founded: 2002

Number of employees: 107

TOTAL TRANSIT

Spirit of Enterprise winner: Total Transit

Total Transit earned the The Spirit of Enterprise Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award this year at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

When Total Transit CEO Craig Hughes bought a small airport cab company in 1984, he had only ridden in a cab twice, never in Phoenix. Needless to say, he had to learn on his feet, and learn quickly.

He did, and today Total Transit is a cab company unlike any other. For starters, the company manages both public and private transportation services, including Discount Cab, express route and paratransit service for Valley Metro, and service for many of the largest Medicaid and Medicare providers in the region. It’s a model Total Transit hopes to see spread. “We are truly committed to integrating and managing public and private transportation services in a new way. Our goal is to create the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible transportation network possible.”

One of Total Transit’s competitive differentiators is its transportation management system. “We have seven IT developers writing the software that keeps us competitive.” In the public arena, where governments are trying to do more with less, “efficient design, effective integration, and responsible management” are critical to maximizing taxpayers’ investments.

In an environment in which many transportation services companies are struggling, Total Transit has flourished, growing 25-35 percent annually over the last few years and set to grow more than 40 percent this year. That growth comes in part from the company’s commitment to its strategic plans, and in part from its stand-out customer service. “Phoenix is a unique market because customers choose who to call. People call us specifically because they know our high standards.”

Name of business: Total Transit, Inc.

Nature of business: Transportation services

Address: 4600 W. Camelback Rd. Glendale, AZ 85301

Web: TotalTransit.com

Founded: 1984

Number of employees: 300

 

180 DEGREES AUOTOMOTIVE

Spirit of Enterprise winner: 180 Degrees Automotive

180 Degrees Automotive earned the Hahnco Companies Special Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award this year at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University’s prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

When Sarah “Bogi” Lateiner decided to open her own auto repair shop, she “had no business plan, no money.” What Bogi did have was a passion and a talent for fixing cars and taking care of people.

With a focus on women and minorities – customers who have traditionally been neglected or exploited by the auto repair industry and feel particularly intimidated by it – 180 Degrees Automotive grew rapidly, doubling each year after the first. “I was booked out two weeks in advance, but I knew that growth was not sustainable, that I was succeeding despite myself,” Bogi explained.

So she decided to learn how to be a business owner. “You name it, I did it – business books, training conferences, success coaches – but I didn’t like what I was learning. It was all about focusing on financials, structure, systems. I was scared that it would take away my passion and creativity.”

Despite her fears, Bogi stuck with it and has discovered that focusing on the numbers and the systems behind her business actually allows her more time to do the things she’s really passionate about. That includes moving 180 Degrees Automotive into a new building, which she owns, teaching car care classes, and co-hosting a national all-women car repair TV show.

The lasting success of 180 Degrees Automotive doesn’t come from the fact that the company focuses on serving women, or the fact that most of its mechanics and service advisors are women. “Being women in this industry may help to bring people in the door, but that’s not what keeps them here,” Bogi explained. “We still have to provide excellent service and go above and beyond to earn, and keep, the trust of our customers.”

Name of business: 180 Degrees Automotive, Inc.

Nature of business: Automotive repair

Address: 545 W. Mariposa St. Phoenix, AZ 85013

Web: 180auto.com

Founded: 2006

Number of employees: 6

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Top Arizona Businesses Win Spirit of Enterprise Awards

As Americans talk about how to improve our economy, we keep hearing how small businesses and entrepreneurs have to lead the way in the recovery. Today, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University honored five of the state’s best businesses for creating jobs, contributing to charities and introducing innovation. They’re this year’s winners of the prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

“What is striking about this year’s group of finalists and winners is that these entrepreneurs have chosen incredibly difficult industries and excelled where others have failed,” says Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They are recognized today because of their hard work, dedication to the community, and great entrepreneurial stories.”

Hundreds of Valley business and community leaders attended today’s awards luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, where the winners were announced. The finalists’ impressive and often emotional stories were shown on video, as the firms were recognized for ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship.

The 16th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award winners are:

180 Degrees Automotive – The Hahnco Companies Special Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award. This woman-owned, full-service auto repair center caters especially to women and minorities. The company has moved to bigger locations four times in six years, provides free car classes to women, hosts an art exhibit, gives free rides home, and leaves a gift in each car with each visit. It also makes a notable commitment to “green” business practices and community causes.

Daphne’s Headcovers – The Spirit of Enterprise Overcoming Adversity Award. This novelty golf-club cover business was started when the owner was just 16 years old, and it had to address major growth issues when business shot up 400 percent in just one quarter. Daphne’s now serves fine resorts and golf shops in 75 countries, despite the recession that’s hit the golf industry hard. The company has covers in the bags of more than 200 touring pro golfers and offers customers a lifetime guarantee to repair or replace its products for free.

GlobalMed – U.S. Bank Emerging Entrepreneur Award. This booming company offers telemedicine solutions like innovative cameras, medical devices and software, so health practitioners can provide care to remote patients via telecommunications or satellite. GlobalMed made Inc. Magazine’s 2012 list of the nation’s 500 fastest-growing private companies. It also made large donations to charity, including the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program, the Strike Out Child Abuse Walk and the Migrant Clinicians Network.

LawLogix Group – Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. This fast-growing provider of immigration, I-9 and E-Verify software boasts a 96.9-percent client-retention rate, low 3-percent employee turnover, and more than 155,000 organizations as customers, including Fortune 500 companies. The minority-owned business also has a nonprofit practice that offers tools to hundreds of nonprofit and community-based organizations, so they can provide some of the same information as expensive immigration law firms.

Total Transit – The Spirit of Enterprise Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award. This comprehensive mobility management company runs the Discount Cab brand throughout Arizona. Total Transit has the largest fleet of environmentally friendly Prius cabs in North America and also provides innovative Dial-a-Ride services for Valley Metro and many large Medicaid and Medicare providers. It also introduced a Free Ride Back program to keep drunk drivers off our roads, by offering paying customers a free ride back to their car the next day. The company donates to the community through its charitable Total Transit Foundation.

The other Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists this year were CyberMark International, Hard Dollar, NJOY Electronic Cigarettes, Optimal Performance Training and Real Property Management East Valley.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. One key program, Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP), matches teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students with Valley companies to help tackle real-world challenges and opportunities. Companies can also use the center to access other ASU business resources.

The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities. For more information, visit www.spiritofenterprise.org.