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Business Awards
Bowie Business Recognition Awards
Seventh Annual Bowie Business Recognition Awards were presented Wednesday May 14, 2014 at a breakfast ceremony held at the Comfort Inn in Bowie, Maryland. These awards are presented jointly by the City of Bowie and the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce as part of a month long celebration of may as Business Appreciation Month in our City.

Honorees were presented with acknowledgements from Senator Peters, Delegates Holmes, Hubbard and Valentino-Smith; County Council Member Turner; and a joint plaque from the City and Chamber. As an added bonus each awardee received a certificate for one free airplane flying lesson from long time Bowie business –Freeway Airport.

Incubator Business of the Year
This award is for a growth oriented professional service firm or technology company in Bowie, with existing clients, who is a member of the Bowie Business Innovation Center (Bowie BIC) program and whose business has demonstrated a commitment to increasing company revenues & hiring employees.

2014 Honoree: Sage Services Group, LLC
Award presented to: Sonya Hopson (Founder)

‘Sage Services Group LLC is the stand-out Bowie Business Innovation Center client of the year in terms of business planning & organization, marketing, contract procurement and job generation – exceeding all expectations for company growth and expansion.’

Sage is an innovative, woman-owned consulting firm that develops and delivers workforce re-entry programs. Sage also assists government agencies & non-profit organizations that implement these types of programs, by providing strategic planning, fund development, project management and programmatic assessment

Sage joined the Bowie Business Innovation Center (Bowie BIC) in June 2013. Current Sage clients include NASA-Goddard, Prince Georges’ County Public Schools, ManTech International, Calvert County Detention Center, Prince George’s Community College, HCG Family Life Center Foundation and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

SAGE Founder Sonya Hopson had a 20-year career in the fields of nuclear and mechanical engineering before she started her company in 2010 at her kitchen table in Bowie. Hopson understood that engineering takes facts and situations as they exist, determines how the pieces fit, and creates a solution plan that effectively incorporates the pieces. She applied this “engineering approach” from her first career to her new work with Sage clients--with significant results.

Entrepreneur of the Year
This award is for the Bowie business entrepreneur who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and tenacity in managing all facets of business to include growth in profit and employee numbers coupled with such factors as degree of innovation, development of a creative and ingenious product or service, exceptional selling techniques, and extent of expansion into local markets.

2014 Honoree:  Cynthia Esparza Crockett and Mark Crockett

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI), is a leading provider of building operations and maintenance, mechanical contracting and HVAC services to government and commercial clients, has been selected to receive the distinguished 2013 Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award. The Top 100 MBE® Award is given to enterprising women and minority entrepreneurs that fuel the region’s economy through their innovation, sacrifices, and dedication. These business owners, Cynthia and Mark Crockett, are living their dreams and making significant contributions to their clients, professions, industries and communities.

In just the past year CFSI was named to Engineering News-Record’s 2013 top 600 specialty contractors list, the Washington Business Journal’s list of top ten mechanical contractors and the top 25 women-owned businesses list, as well as the Inc. Magazine 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America.

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc., a woman-owned mechanical contractor, delivers building operations and maintenance, mechanical contracting, and heating and air conditioning services to commercial and government clients. CFSI’s preventive maintenance programs, encompassing mechanical, electrical, energy management and HVAC services, help business owners, property managers, and data center /IT managers to reduce energy costs, extend equipment life, maintain tenant comfort, and decrease downtime. 

Small Business of the Year
This award is for a Bowie-based small business that has demonstrated the qualities that make for a prosperous and growing organization in Bowie.

2014 Honoree:  Simple Pleasures Ice Café 
Award presented to:  Terri and Rodney Russell

‘Simple Pleasures Ice Café provides high quality, local, organic products, has created jobs for local residents, and is established in Old Town Bowie.’

Simple Pleasures Ice Café, a family owned business, manufactures homemade ice cream daily on the premises and serves delicious cakes, pies, cookies, torts, and pastries that are prepared onsite. Simple Pleasures Ice Cafe is a family owned business serving the Maryland, Virginia, and District Columbia metropolitan area for twelve years. The present establishment opened in October 2000 and evolved from a previous ice cream business in Florida in 1992 that featured mobile ice cream carts. The dining-in and carry-out restaurant was conceptualized after the Russell’s moved to Northwest Germany with their family where Terri and Rodney worked in an ice cream cafe and learned how to prepare European ice cream recipes and sundaes.

Their mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality homemade ice cream, desserts, and other menu items, in a clean, comfortable, relaxing environment, and to deliver exceptional customer service to our patrons.

Community Service Award
This award is for the Bowie or vicinity business that has demonstrated throughout the year a strong record of involvement in the Bowie community.

2014 Honoree: The Bowie Baysox
Award presented to:   Brian Shallcross, General Manager

For assisting the City of Bowie with National Night Out, 5th Grade Poster Contest, Special Olympics and the Bowie Police Explorer’s Program 5K Family Fun Run. Also provides access to their parking lot for vital training.’

The Baysox organization has assisted the City of Bowie Police Department by hosting and participating in the Department’s first National Night Out event. The Club has donated baseball tickets to the Bowie Police 5th Grade Poster Contest and assisted with raising funds for the Bowie Police Explorers Program by planning and hosting a 5K Family Fun Run and a portion of proceeds were donated to the Bowie Police Explorers Program. The Bowie Police Department conducts EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations) training to its officers and the Baysox assisted by granting the Department access to their parking lots to conduct this vital training. Lastly, the Baysox has partnered with the Bowie Police Department, Special Olympics and the Bowie Chamber of Commerce to host its first annual Softball game. This game will continue the Mission of the Special Olympics, which is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports. The participants range from eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy. They participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

The Bowie Baysox support and donations help support community partnership and development and is a model for other local businesses.

Green Business of the Year
This award is for a company with a Bowie presence who has demonstrated their commitment to environmentally sustainable practices such as energy and water savings, recycling, renewable energy, reduced chemicals or packaging, or employee carpooling/telework.

2014 Honoree:  Bowie Town Center
Award presented to:  Steven Andrews, Area Mall Manager

‘Bowie Town Center, and its owner the Simon Property Group, is a leader in green initiatives, providing the first NRG eVgo Freedom station in Prince George’s County. They also practice single stream recycling at all service courts and have replaced all parking lot lights with LED bulbs.’
Bowie Town Center is laser focused on the sustainably minded shopper, according to the report, investing in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. They are also testing and implementing, company wide, innovative energy efficiency and waste management processes in an effort to attract successful retailers to its malls with the lure of lower operating costs.
Bowie Town Center uses a Simon developed national signage program to communicate and remind tenants of recycling practices in place. The doors leading to the loading area have a "Know Where to Throw" sign and each compactor has clean, simple to understand signs for their respective recycling or trash use. Compactor signs are on the front and at the load-in area. All signage is bi-lingual.

Business of the Year
This award is for a Bowie company that has demonstrated high-level accomplishments that serve as a benchmark for other businesses, including financial success, visible community involvement, professional employee work environment, and excellence in customer satisfaction, strategic planning, and business development.

2014 Honoree: Inovalon, Inc.
Award presented to:   
Dr. Keith Dunleavy, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board

 Inovalon’s innovation, growth & employment is unmatched in this area. It was founded in 1998 and moved to Bowie in 2008. Inovalon is Bowie’s largest private sector employer. They’ve grown from 550 locally and 1,300 worldwide to 700 local and over 3,000 worldwide.

Inovalon is a healthcare technology company that combines advanced data analytics with highly targeted interventions to achieve meaningful impact in clinical and quality outcomes, utilization and financial performance across the healthcare landscape.

Inovalon's move to the Bowie Corporate Center also signifies its commitment to environmental health and “going green” as a company. The Bowie Corporate Center is one of Prince George's County's first “Gold” level green-certified buildings, meeting one of the highest standards for the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Since its origins, Inovalon has been committed to Corporate Philanthropy programs and takes great pride in its support of programs that focus on the development of youth and the arts, the provision of shelter and care for those in need. Inovalon continued this initiative in 2013 with the support of 18 worthy causes throughout the year.

In 2013, Inovalon provided charitable giving through financial support to many including these organizations:

• Bowie Health Center: Sponsorship in support of health screenings, consultation services and demonstrations for leading an active lifestyle.
• National MS Society, Maryland Chapter: Mobilizing people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.

Also recognized were this year’s winners of the Bowie State University Idea Competition: Kevin Mack, Stanley Morgan and Kristy Williams. The Bowie State University Idea Competition was held for the first time this spring and is a business plan competition for students. Ideas were evaluated by a panel of judges in three areas – Idea, Problem or Opportunity; how it was addressed; and SWOT analysis. Each honoree received a cash award and will be considered for a space in the Bowie Business Innovation Center. Each will also have the opportunity to participate in regional and national business plan competitions to further enhance and launch their businesses.