Heather Ochalek of Music Showcase received the award in the 16-Plus Employees Category at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business Excellence Awards. Also pictured are finalist Bradley Herremans of Suncoast Community Health Centers and presenters Dan Raulerson and Rick Lewis.

Above Photo: Heather Ochalek of Music Showcase received the award in the 16-Plus Employees Category at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business Excellence Awards. Also pictured are finalist Bradley Herremans of Suncoast Community Health Centers and presenters Dan Raulerson and Rick Lewis.

A group of outstanding local businesses received recognition from the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) last month when the group announced its Business Excellence Award Winners at the 2018 Annual Awards Dinner.

Winners were chosen from 18 finalists in six categories: Women-Owned Business, Emerging Business, Non-Profit or Government Agency, Business with 1-5 Employees, Business with 6-15 Employees and Business with 16-Plus Employees.

“The mission of the Annual Business Excellence Awards was to inspire Greater Brandon area businesses to seek excellence in all that they do by recognizing GBCC members that have exhibited excellence during the previous year,” said Chamber President and CEO Rick Lewis. “Our mission as a civic organization is to foster success for our members and the community.”

To be eligible for the award, businesses are nominated in one of the six categories and then submit an application to the chamber. Those applications are forwarded to SCORE Tampa, a non-profit association dedicated to helping small businesses achieve their goals through mentoring, which then evaluated the applications, interviewed the applicants and determined three finalists and a winner in each category.

According to Lewis, the businesses were evaluated on their commitment to good business practices, including a mission statement and good use of technology, exhibition of innovative business techniques and leadership capabilities and activity in the chamber and other business and community organizations, including volunteer commitments and charitable contributions.

“Businesses members join chambers to seek excellence,” said Lewis. “Whether it is through growth, professional development, leadership development, legislative advocacy, members join to make a positive difference. We are passionate about supporting the pursuit of excellence by business.”

Ingrid Hooglander of Brandon Legal Group won the award for Women-Owned Business, Livy O’s catering Company won for business with 1-5 employees, Doan Solutions was the winner in the 6-15 Employees category and Music Showcase won for 16-Plus Employees. MerchatSide Marketing Group brought home the award for Emerging Business and LLT Academy was the winner in the Non-Profit or Government Agency category.

“Winning the award means a great deal on a of couple levels,” said Heather Ochalek of Music Showcase who has been a member of the chamber for 22 years. “First, it’s a great accolade for the employees to see that their efforts are being recognized outside of the company as our team works to deliver the best experience and customer service possible. Second, it’s very humbling and quite an honor to know that the Brandon area still considers us a strong company in business, as well as someone who gives back to the community. After achieving this goal, we have now been challenged to raise the bar and continue to develop, transform and grow.”

Two hundred and twenty five people attended the event, held at ARISE Assembly of God in Brandon, where food was provided by Cater Tampa and beverages were served by Catering by the Family. The GBCC has been hosting the awards since 1982 when Dick Stowers with Stowers Funeral Home was the winner.

For information, call the chamber at 689-1221 or visit www.bradonchamber.com.