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June 5, 2009

Small Business of the Year Award Winners Announced

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce today honored three outstanding small businesses and one non-profit organization during its annual Small Business of the Year Awards Luncheon at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel. The awards program is designed to recognize the dedication, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by small businesses in Maryland.

This year’s winners are:

Small Business of the Year - 1-10 Employees
Global Design Interactive is a full-service marketing communications firm that specializes in interactive multimedia. After working for two large corporations, President & CEO Joe Weaver decided to take a chance and launch a business based on his the creative passion from his childhood and the information technology skills he gained in the corporate world. Today, Global Design Interactive is helping its clients reach new boundaries for how their brands are realized. The company combines creative talents, technological expertise and passion to produce high-impact results for its clients. Since its founding in 1995 Global Design Interactive has been growing at a steady pace and has attained major fortune 500 commercial, federal, state, and non-profit clients in a wide-range of industries.

Small Business of the Year - 11-50 Employees
Savage River Lodge has been providing its visitors with quiet, relaxing getaways, outdoor activities, pampering, and fine wine and dining in the mountains of Garrett County since its founding in 1999. The lodge focuses on its environmental impact and holds environmental sustainability as a goal and worked cooperatively with the Department of Natural Resources to give the general public access to a formerly inaccessible piece of State Forest. The Lodge has grown to become an annual $1.2 million enterprise, employing 20 to 30 people seasonally. The Lodge partners with local farmers and producers to provide its guests with the best produce, meats and cheeses, while supporting the local economy.

Small Business of the Year - 51-200 Employees
Savantage Solutions has succeeded in winning federal contracts, in direct competition with global giants such as Oracle and SAP. Consequently, their products and services touch the lives of millions of Americans, originating from their humble Rockville headquarters. The company offers its clients a full range of services including program management and services, information system requirements and design, financial management software, database management, and IT services and support. The company has generated consistent business growth and profits. A woman-owned business and a Maryland Minority Business Enterprise, Savantage Solutions prides itself on its diverse workforce and promotes responsible corporate citizenship and community participation.

Partner in Business Award
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland partner with the business community in a number of ways to enable interaction between the girl scouts and prominent women business leaders. One example is its Women’s Leadership Forum, where prominent business women share their experiences and insights on effective leadership and management. Another example is the cookie program. This program gives girl scouts an opportunity to be CEO of their own small business. During Cookie College, at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, the girl scouts learn goal-setting, marketing, management and negotiation skills.

Nominees for the awards program must be a member of the state or a local chamber of commerce, have a permanent business location with employee(s) in Maryland, and have been in operation for a minimum of two years. The judging panel for the awards program was comprised of representatives of Maryland’s business media, including the Gazette of Politics & Business, Baltimore SmartCEO Magazine, Baltimore Business Journal, and The Daily Record. Criteria upon which the nominees were judged included performance, growth, innovation, creativity, competitiveness, community involvement and more.

This was the awards program’s eighth year. Previous winners include impactHR, Choptank Transport, MEDEX Global Group, Maryland Works, Howard Bank, Advance Business Systems, Strategic Management Partners, HarVest Bank of Maryland, and many others.

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