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The mark of a good entrepreneur is being able to succeed in the face of adversity. This year, we recognize those who did just that. The winners of the Small Business Awards will be announced at the 12th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, hosted by General Motors, May 9-12, at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort and will be featured in an upcoming issue of BE.
Emerging Company of the Year NOMINEES
This award recognizes businesses that have poised themselves for growth by carving out a special business niche or by adopting creative marketing techniques.
ICR Construction Services
TYPE OF BUSINESS Construction
CEO/PRESIDENT Malcolm Briggs
LOCATION Bridgeton, MO
Changing careers is never easy. After spending years as a sportscaster Malcolm Briggs yearned for something more. He relied on his previous construction experience when establishing the plan for ICR Construction, a construction company that builds properties throughout Missouri. Startup costs totaled $30,000.
Now in its sixth year, the company amassed $15 million in revenues last year and projects $17 million for 2007.
Recent ICR projects include the development of two Walgreen’s stores, three National City Bank locations, and renovations on the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
This year, Briggs, 44, plans to expand the business to include residential construction. And he still finds time to enjoy his other love: “I’m the voice of the Rams.”
TYPE OF BUSINESS Manufacturing
CEO/PRESIDENT Beth Williams
Beth Williams never expected to be running a company with 36 full-time employees and $12 million in revenues. The 40-year-old stepped up to the challenge after her father, Archie Williams, who founded Roxbury Technology, died in 2002. Williams admits she was nervous about following in his footsteps. “I knew nothing about toner,” Williams recounts of the company, which specializes in toner cartridge remanufacturing.
Boosted by a partnership with Staples, the company has managed to thrive. Roxbury’s cartridges are compatible with those of Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, and Canon.
Currently, the company lists Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston as regular clients. Williams plans to “grow our core business by 15% to 20% and solidify our growth strategy and diversification plan.”
TYPE OF BUSINESS Delivery Services
COO/PRESIDENT Terry Reyes FOUNDER Rick Reyes
LOCATION New York City
Rick Reyes is, in his own words, a modern-day success story. While in college, he responded to an ad for a driver for a delivery company. Over time, Reyes fell in love with the business and sought entrepreneurial options of his own. He started ITS seven years ago as the sole employee. Now Reyes, 38, is part of a husband-and-wife team that employs 48 employees. His wife, Terry, “keeps him in line.”
ITS has found a niche by shipping fragile and hazardous materials, domestically and internationally.
Among the companies that have utilized ITS’ services are Wachovia, ABC News, Sony Music, Island Def Jam, and Major League Baseball. ITS Express brought in revenues of $6 million last year. Reyes expects $7.2 million in 2007.
Business Innovator Of The Year NOMINEES
This award recognizes companies that have set trends and broken new ground in a particular industry.
Tabula Digita Inc.
TYPE OF BUSINESS Technology
CEO/PRESIDENT Ntiedo Etuk
LOCATION New York