Annual Business Development Awards



While the local business outlook has ebbed and flowed the past several years, there are businesses that are growing and providing excellent service in Greater Cincinnati.  The Hamilton County Development Company (HCDC) honored several of these businesses and entrepreneurs at the Annual Business Development Awards on May 31.  The awards recognized area businesses and lenders who have worked with HCDC to promote growth and bring new jobs to the region.

The award winners ranged from international and local companies to lenders. While the companies honored come from a wide range, they each demonstrated that it is possible to be successful and to play an important part in our community.

The ceremony was held at the Hamilton County Business Center (HCBC), the region’s premier incubator for forming and emerging businesses. Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann and HCBC Board Chair James Rolfes presented this year’s awards.

“While we have decreased the County budget by $80 million in recent years, we have increased our investment in Economic Development,” said Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann. “I am optimistic there will be growth in our future.”

The following awards recognized businesses and lenders:

Larry Albice Entrepreneurial AwardTillie Hidalgo Lima, Best Upon Request
Ronald Schallick Economic Development AwardUSUI International Corporation
Borrower of the YearJoe Rhodenbaugh, Kutol Products
Lender of the YearFirst Financial Bank
Bankers of the YearLou DeBlasio, First Financial Bank 
Ed Wood, NB&T
HCBC Tenant of the YearLookout Advisors

“Even though we continue to face a challenging economic climate at times, there are business success stories in our region,” said HCDC President David Main.  “These businesses represent the kind of success their peers are striving to achieve.”


The Larry Albice Entrepreneurial Award recognizes an entrepreneur who successfully headed a business and has given back to the community.  This year’s winner is Tillie Hidalgo Lima with Best Upon Request.  Tillie started at Best Upon Request in 1996 had has served as president since 1999.  She added the CEO title in 2003.

Lima has served on the United Way Board of Directors, The YWCA Board, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Women Excel Executive Advisory Council, and several other community boards and councils.

USUI received the Ronald Schallick Economic Development Award for 2011. USUI develops and produces heavy engine cooling and diesel fuel delivery systems, and recently located its new facility in Sharonville.

Lookout Advisors is HCBC’s Tenant of the Year.  Lookout Advisors is a customer experience management and technology consulting firm.  Lookout Advisors is dedicated to providing deep expertise to users, providers and investors of customer experience, contact center, self service, CRM and related solutions and services.  Lookout Advisors has nearly doubled its employment and revenue in the 24 months they have been in the program.

For a sample of press coverage click here.

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