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Chamber Celebrates 2013 Business Awards Recipients, Nominees

                 Prince William Chamber Business Awards Honor Innovation, Service

Prince William, Virginia – The Prince William Chamber of Commerce honored the nominees and recipients of its Business Awards last evening at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. Winners of the 2013 Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards, who each receive a $1,000 check to continue their work, were also announced. Nominees included businesses large and small from a variety of industries, showcasing the diverse organizations that blend to make Prince William a national leader for job creation and economic growth.  Northern Virginia Community College was the Presenting Sponsor of the event. Alex Orfinger, Publisher of the Washington Business Journal, returned as master of ceremonies.
“We are proud to honor and celebrate our membership, those business and community leaders who truly represent the best of Prince William,” Chamber President and CEO Rob Clapper
While the types and sizes of the nearly 70 nominated businesses varied greatly, community service was a common thread. Each of the nominees regularly stepped outside of their organization to make a difference in the community they serve.
“Let me encourage each and everyone of you to see what you have in the Prince William Chamber and support it with your time, talents and treasure,” said Patty Baisden, Vice President of QMT Windchimes and Gift & Garden, USA, the Speaker Sponsor for the event. “We are each an integral part of a vibrant community and each have a responsibility to contribute for the greater good.”
Orfinger discussed the “intersection of the not-for-profit community and business community,” and the importance of giving back. He said that in selecting a cause to support, businesses should look for the “triple yes.” It should be good for the company’s bottom line, good for the community and good for the staff. “It is important to not leave our heart at the door,” said Orfinger. “Care for the less fortunate in our community. Strive to be the model for an engaged corporate citizen.”
Cardinal Bank sponsored the Agnes L. Colgan Awards.  Additional sponsors included Comcast, Washington Business Journal, Prince William Times, First Virginia Community Bank, Whitlock Wealth Management, City of Manassas, NOVEC and Dewberry. Kathy Strauss of ImageWerks captured the evening in photos. Pictures from the 2013 Business Awards will be available at, and a full list of nominees and sponsors can be found in the events section of Following are descriptions of each recipient, as they were announced during the 2013 Prince William Chamber of Commerce Business Awards:

Behind the Scenes Business of the Year: Empire Event Rentals

Mary Finnigan wears many hats. One of these is working alongside her family at Empire Event Rentals, owned by her son Patrick. Another “hat” is that of Past Chair of the Prince William Chamber. She understands the logistical needs and budget constraints of the organization. On several occasions, Empire has donated tables, chairs and linens for Chamber events. Mary also frequently volunteers her to time to help Chamber events director,Andrea Whaley, with event preparation, including table set-up and clean-up. Empire Event Rentals also donates to the Chamber’s Silent Auction each year, an event that helps to raise funds for the Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards, which are named for Mary’s mother, herself a noted philanthropist.
Behind the Scenes Individual of the Year: Gerry Peters, ActionCOACH of Old Town Manassas
You may recognize Gerry as the “Chamber Champion” of our Membership Madness campaign, when he personally recruited six new members. However, no contest is needed to motivate this retired Navy Lieutenant Colonel. Gerry regularly mentors new members, getting them engaged in the Chamber.  He also makes renewal calls, reengaging existing members. Recently, he worked with our membership team to develop and facilitate a “5 Ways to Grow Your Business” seminar that introduces businesses to the benefits of Chamber membership. This has been phenomenally successfully, with an 80 % new member conversion rate. Additionally, Gerry is an active participant in the Chamber’s Veterans Council and Business Growth Committee, and was one of the first presenters for thePrinceWilliamBusinessAcademy.
Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Health & Human Services: Volunteer Prince William
Through its website, weekly newspaper column and other outreach efforts, Volunteer Prince William last year connected 42,500 volunteers with not-for-profits in our community—the hours donated are valued at over $20.4 million. The organization also provided 45,400 individuals with disaster preparedness education and saved the court system thousands of dollars by managing the community service of 1,657 people. In addition to serving as a lifeline for other community groups, Volunteer Prince William runs a number of its own initiatives, including  “Meals on Wheels,” taking veterans to medical appointments, volunteer management training courses and Un-Trim-A-Tree, which last year collected holiday gifts for more than 7,500 children in need.
Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Arts & Education: Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
The 225 members of the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. take a whole-person approach to bolstering the self-esteem, etiquette and leadership skills of youth. The chapter’s Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy exposes girls age 11-14 to plays, museums and elegant dinners, while also providing math and science related field trips and computer training. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Oratorical encourages students in grades six to twelve to develop their public speaking skills while sustaining Dr. King’s spirit of optimism and public service. They also developed the Martin Luther King Community Choir to perform during the oratorical program. Meanwhile, at Spotlight on Youth, scholarships are awarded based on academics, community service and performance in the arts. This December, the chapter’s Arts & Letters Committee held a book signing event that enabled local, rising talents to share their work, as well as featuring signings by established authors.
Community Outreach: Heltzel Mortgage
Founded in 1965, Heltzel Mortgage is one of the oldest mortgage banking firms inVirginia. A small business, Heltzel maximized technology, and was featured in “Nations Business Magazine” for developing one of the first online mortgage application platforms. However, it is their community commitment that truly sets Heltzel apart.  Just look to the 18 years worth of SERVE Bowl-a-Thon tee shirts collected by staff, or the Heltzel logo proudly displayed on youth sports team jerseys throughout Prince William.  Over the decades, Heltzel leadership and staff have provided thousands of volunteer hours and continuous financial support to organizations such as SERVE, CASA and the American Diabetes Association.  Said company President Rob Heltzel, “We believe that in order to survive 47 years in operation that we must give back to those we serve.” Your dedication to our community is inspiring. Thank you, and congratulations on earning the Community Outreach Award.
Business of  the Year – Up to 5 Employees: Gaeltek, LLC | Technology Solutions
Gaeltek, LLC | Technology Solutions is revolutionary in both its business practices and information technology knowledge. The company’s founders Amanda and Andrew Harper are identified as being among the top 150 IT experts in the world. Gaeltek listen and respond to the needs of their client, using their extensive experience to enable clients to profit from the strategic use of technology. Said one customer, “It’s said that a good vendor will actually make you money. That’s Gaeltek.” The company also offers a money back guarantee; rarely heard of in the industry. Another innovation is in Gaeltek’s pricing models. Typically, when there is a tech problem, IT companies fix it, charging for the time.  When starting their company nine years ago, Amanda and Andrew decided it would serve businesses better to offer an easy-to-budget-for, fixed price based on the number of the computers.  Gaeltek received recognition as one of the Top 40 IT providers inNorth Americafor this. Now, with the proliferation of devices, is again evolving, now charging companies per user, versus per smart phone, tablet and computer. Additionally, Amanda and Andrew are believers in giving back—advising others in their industry, sponsoring and planning events for the Prince William Chamber and supporting groups such as Rotary, Red Cross and No Greater Sacrifice. Amanda serves on the planning commission for the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks & Recreation. Andrew is also on the ITT Tech Program Advisory Committee, helping to build a more prepared workforce.
Business of the Year – 6-15 Employees: SCS Integrated Support Solutions
SCS Integrated Support Solutions is the result of collaboration between Mark Shaaber, a retired Army officer with a Masters in computer resources and information management and James Combs, a business owner with 20 years of experience in the office furniture field. Since forming in 2008, the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business has become has been awarded multi-million dollar federal government contracts. Additionally, a reputation for solving client problems rather than “hard selling” has helped SCS to grow its commercial client base. SCS offers clients the ability to bundle a range of office solutions into one contract, and can help them to meet LEED Platinum requirements. Mark is a familiar face to those in Leadership Prince William and Prince William Chamber, offering his expertise and leadership skills to our community in a variety of venues. He is the driving force behind the Chamber’s Veteran’s Council, is active in our Government Contracting Committee and was a key player in the Salute to the Armed Forces event, as well as supporting community organizations such as the Americans in Wartime Museum.
Business of the Year – 16-34 Employees: Consumer Construction, Inc.
Prince William-based roofing company Consumer Construction, Inc. (CCI) fosters long-term trust among customers. CCI has established its reputation as a business of honesty & integrity, and is an 8-time Angie’s List award winner and offers the longest warranty in the industry.  Most of the 10,000 customers served in its 28 years of business have come from repeat business and referrals. The company is as committed to the community as it is to its customers. In addition to membership in the Prince William Chamber, CCI representatives serve on the regional CertainTeed advisory board, which establishes best practices. A longtime sponsor of the Haymarket Police Department, CCI also donates roofing materials and labor to various charitable endeavors.
Business of the Year – 35+ Employees: Employment Enterprises, Inc.
Employment Enterprises is a shining example of a strong woman-owned business able to weather changing times. Co-founded as a staffing firm in 1980 by the mother-daughter team of Lovey Hammel and Jana Yeates, this national company has earned a 95% client retention rate and has a number accolades, including “Top Diversity-Owned Business Nationwide.” Lovey uses her position as a successful entrepreneur to inspire and educate others. She has developed scholarship opportunities for families that struggle with rising tuition costs and worked with BARN to help young mothers break out of the poverty cycle. This permeates the company culture, with Employment Enterprises staff regularly sharing their expertise through blogs and seminars. Leaders in the business community, Lovey and Jana are both Past Chairs of the Prince William Chamber, and Lovey is currently the Chair of the Fairfax Chamber.
New Business of the Year: Monza
Monzais both innovative and inviting. Boasting the first on-tap wine system in the Prince William area, the restaurant also keeps things fresh by often featuring local ingredients. It has been featured in industry trade publications as an early adapter in the “two restaurants/one kitchen” concept, offering different dining experiences from shared resources. Quickly becoming a community hot spot, the restaurant has added dining space to meet growing demand.Monzaleadership played a significant role in the creation of the Historic Manassas Restaurant Alliance, and is active in the Prince William Chamber, Old Town Business Association and other civic groups. Their outreach also includes donating funds to the Wounded Warriors and public safety departments, as well as giving food to a number of area charities.
Home-Based Business of the Year: Q Integrative Healthcare LLC Consulting and Services
Q Integrative Healthcare, LLC Consulting and Services owner Angela McConnell is driven to make positive change, professionally and personally. Going beyond the traditional doctor’s office, she takes a person-centered approach to health by incorporating nutrition fitness, stress management and patient education for clients. Angela is an expert in identifying gaps in healthcare, as well as educating businesses on how to leverage their resources and capabilities to improve their bottom line. Angela’s volunteerism is extensive. Through the Prince William Chamber, she is the Chair of the Health & Wellness Council and a Co-Chair and co-founder of the Veterans Council. She is active in the Government Affairs Committee, with a focus on healthcare and veteran-related issues.  Other groups she lends her time and talents to include the Veterans Hiring Campaign and the Action Communities for Health, Innovation & Environmental Change (ACHIEVE).
Innovative Partnership–Private Sector: Transurban/95 Express Lanes
Transurban is the future operator of the 95 Express Lanes, a landmark public-private partnership with theCommonwealthofVirginia. This innovative partnership allowsVirginiato leverage private investment to allocate funding to other key transportation projects. The Express Lanes are expected to support nearly 12,600 jobs—2,600 in Prince William—and generate $1.54 billion in economic activity. It will be one of the most technologically advanced roads in the nation, with rates adjusting to promote optimum traffic flow. Transurban is active in the communities it serves, and is a Founding Trustee and Vision Partner of the Prince William Chamber. The company also supports a number of not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, residents who live along the project corridor can use small grant awards to implement local projects or benefit from newly planted trees from Transurban’s “1,000 Trees in 1,000 Days” program.
Innovative Partnership–Public Sector: City of Manassas/Manassas City Public Schools Joint CIP Process
The City of Manassas’ Joint CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) Process Between City and Schools marks a new era for the City, creating a mechanism to address the facility needs of both organizations for the next five years and beyond. It brought together all stakeholders—government, schools and citizens—in determining future needs and funding requirements.
As a result, the City ofManassaswas selected as a winner of the 2013 Award for Excellence in Local Government by theAlliancefor Innovation in Government. The award is given to  “local governments that have shown their dedication to…implementing creative business processes, and those who have improved the civic health of their community.” The plan includes a new public safety training center, improvements toOsbournHigh Schooland removal of a fire station inOldTown.

The winners of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce 2013 Business Awards. The ceremony, sponsored by Northern Virginia Community College, was held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. Photo credit to Kathy Strauss, ImageWerks.
Washington Business Journal Publisher Alex Orfinger MCs the Prince William Business Awards
“I am really proud of the success that the Prince William Chamber has found,” said Alex Orfinger, Washington Business Journal publisher, during the 2013 Business Awards. Photo credit Kathy Strauss, ImageWerks.