Hamilton County Development Company (HCDC) is pleased to announce the 2013 Business Development Award winners for their outstanding contributions to growing jobs, businesses, and communities. The formal presentation of the awards took place at noon on January 15, 2014 at the Cooper Creek Event Center, in Blue Ash, OH. Radio Host Jim Scott emceed the luncheon that celebrates business and community partners in HCDC’s three program areas: Business Loans, Entrepreneurial Incubation (Hamilton County Business Center) and Economic Development.
The following individuals and local companies were recognized for their exceptional contributions to expanding businesses, creating jobs, and contributing to the overall economic health and development in our communities.
Tenant of the Year: RiskAware, Stephanie Hughes Ph.D.
Dr. Stephanie Hughes wears many professional hats. She is an Associate Professor of Management at Northern Kentucky University, a Risk Researcher, a Corporate Consultant, and a former CIA agent! Dr. Hughes is also a successful entrepreneur whose company, RiskAware, is being honored as Tenant of the Year by the Hamilton County Business Center. Despite a tough marketplace, RiskAware remains strategically focused and has seen revenue grow by 20% over the past 12 months. Dr. Hughes has also seen her staff grow; she added a fourth member to her team and their product is continuing to gain traction. RiskAware’s quality product, growing market share, passionate entrepreneurial leadership, and willingness to be coached are the reasons RiskAware is being honored as HCDC’s 2013 Tenant of the Year.
Lending Advocate of the Year: Micha Meyer, Merchants Bank & Trust
Every year, HCDC honors an individual for their continued support of HCDC’s Business Loan Programs, particularly the SBA 504 Loan Program, which helps grow local businesses, jobs, and communities. Micha Meyer, a Vice President and Branch Manager of Merchants Bank & Trust, partnered with HCDC on commercial real estate projects that totaled nearly $6 million. Ms. Meyer has proven to be one of the best proponents of the SBA 504 Program, using it to finance three (3) Day Care facilities. Combined, her projects have helped create and retain 104 local jobs- earning her the title of HCDC’s 2013 Lending Advocate of the Year.
Lender of the Year: Merchants Bank & Trust
It may come as no surprise that HCDC’s top lending advocate is employed by HCDC’s top lender. Out of 30 loans financed by HCDC, Merchants Bank was the top lending partner with five (5) SBA 504 Loan Projects. These loans totaled nearly $10 million and contributed to 17% of HCDC’s 2013 portfolio. Thanks to the partnership with Merchants Bank, 126 jobs will be created or retained in the communities of Colerain and Green Township in Hamilton County, and Union, Kentucky.
Ronald Schallick Economic Development Award: Hydro Systems Company
The Ron Schallick Award goes to a company who embodies economic development and strengthens our local communities through investment and job creation. This year, Hydro Systems Company has met and exceeded expectations. Based in the Village of Newtown, Hydro Systems is known as the world’s leading manufacturer of chemical dispensing systems. HCDC honors Hydro Systems Company because of its consistent growth and its investment in a new facility on Round Bottom Road that brought with it much needed jobs to our area. When HCDC first worked with Hydro System’s in 1992, they had 43 employees. Hydro has now grown to more than 200 full time employees.
Borrower of the Year: Q Laboratories, Inc.
Many of HCDC’s partner companies have similar origin stories; it starts out in an entrepreneur’s basement . Q Laboratories is no exception. Q Labs was founded in 1966 by Herbert Quinn (that’s where the Q comes from) in his home where he mainly tested water. The company is now considered one of the finest, privately-owned testing laboratories in the world. In 2010, Q Laboratories, Inc. opened up a new 9000 sq. ft. addition to its historic South Fairmont building with the help of an SBA 504 Loan. Reporting that they expected to preserve 27 jobs and add an additional eight (8) jobs with the expansion, Q Labs surpassed expectations and recently reported the addition of 41 new jobs in our area!