Applause Business of the Year Award
The Applause – Business of the Year award is presented to a business based on their success in growth and stability, commitment to quality, creative and unique solutions to challenges, entrepreneurial spirit and overall contribution to the community
The Business of the Year Award for a small to medium business was presented to Old Town Design Group, which was born out of a desire to build unique homes within walking distance to Carmel’s amenities in the Arts & Design District. Building quality homes in outstanding locations is the primary driver of the business and has enabled them to emerge out of the recent recession as one of the market leaders in the home building industry. The company builds more than 60 homes per year while now expanding into mixed use developments. As a result of the company’s philanthropic mission, to provide housing in the developing world, a $3,000 contribution for every home built goes towards building homes for impoverished families in Central America.
Tom Wood Automotive Group was honored with the Business of the Year Award for a large business. Founded in 1967 with a single Pontiac store and a handful of employees, today the group includes 17 dealerships representing 14 separate automotive brands and 1,100 employees in four states. They have evolved their business to provide an exceptional customer experience to every guest, which has been accomplished by intently focusing on their teammates. The group has a long history of community support through Tom Wood Cares, in which a portion of each car sale is donated to local and national organizations including Riley Children’s Foundation, American Cancer Society and Starfish Initiative among others.
Young Professional of the Year Award
The Young Professional of the Year Award recognizes a business person between the ages of 21 and 40 who has demonstrated leadership and passion for making a difference in their community based on leadership, mentorship, community involvement and entrepreneurship.
Elliott Somers, Citizens State Bank, received the Young Professional of the Year award. As a leader, Elliott is active in Fishers Rotary Club and, as co-chair of the OneZone Young Professionals, assisted in merging the Carmel and Fishers YP groups earlier this year. He has served as a mentor for the Hamilton Southeastern High School Academy of Finance and on the steering committee of the annual PastaBowl, a friendly competition among area high schools to fill the shelves at food pantries in the community.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to recipients in both Carmel and Fishers in recognition of a lifetime of commitment to business in these communities.
The Harold Kaiser Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2011 to honor individuals whose commitment to the business community and the chamber extends beyond a few years. Alan Potasnik, this year’s honoree from Carmel and owner of online solution company Point Betsie Internetwork, has given immeasurably of his time and talent to his community. In his role as a member of the Carmel City Council, he oversaw the construction of City Hall and Police Department. He was part of the work team on the 1991 Comprehensive Plan for Carmel and currently serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals and was a past member of Plan Commission, Carmel Rotary and past-president of the Carmel-Clay Republicans.
Gary Reynolds, president of longtime Fishers business Reynolds Farm Equipment, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Fishers. Gary and his family support the community in which they do business in many ways, the most visible being the annual Christmas light display and sponsorship of the Balloon Voyage at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, where he serves on the board of directors. Legacy Fund of Hamilton County recently honored Gary, along with the Reynolds family and the company, with their Living Legacy Award for philanthropic contributions to Fishers and Hamilton County.
MV2 – Most Valuable Volunteer
The chamber’s Most Valuable Volunteer award, established to celebrate and recognize outstanding volunteer contributions by an individual who also works full-time, was presented to Thomas Branum, Jr. of AXA Advisors.
As a charter member of Fishers Rotary, Thomas serves his community by volunteering his skills and talents in ways that will improve the quality of life of others both here and internationally. He has served the club for more than 23 years, twice as president and recently as District Governor for Central Indiana. As Project Leader of the Water Is Life initiative, he led a team of Rotarians and civic leaders to raise funds to bring safe drinking water to villages in Sierra Leone in western Africa. This year, he launched a hunger initiative and regional food drive to fight hunger in 28 counties.
Look Awards – Renovation & New Construction
Nominees for both Look awards for Renovation and New Construction, both in Carmel and Fishers, were judged on the quality of work, appropriateness of the construction to its surroundings and the contribution of the project to the overall look of the community.
The Look Award for Renovation – Carmel was presented to The Range Pet Lodge for their renovation of the former Lotus Garden restaurant that had stood vacant since its closing in the 1990s. The newly-opened business offers training, grooming, doggie day care and boarding services.
The Look Award for Renovation – Fishers was presented to Jarden Home Brands for the redesign of the former Sony DADC Americas building on 121st Street. The space now incorporates natural light and supports innovation and the innovative people who work there.
The Look Award for New Construction – Carmel was given to St. Vincent Carmel Women’s Center & Hospital Connector, a collaborative effort between St. Vincemt and Duke Realty. Close to US 31, the building features a full-service café, health boutique and outdoor classroom with quick access to key hospital areas.
The Look Award for New Construction – Fishers went to The Depot at Nickel Plate, a premium mixed-use development set in the heart of the emerging downtown. The building provides an upscale blend of residential luxury apartments and street-front retail in a walkable, urban environment.
The Green Award recognizes an organization, company or association that is solving environmental challenges using innovative and green practices or by setting up creative partnerships to enhance the environment.
This year’s award was presented to Meyer Najem Construction for their headquarters building located in Fishers’ Nickel Plate District. Sustainable elements in the design of the building will reduce negative environmental impacts, while decreasing operating costs and improving the health and productivity of employees.
Award sponsors are Bose McKinney & Evans, LLP; Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream; E. F. Marburger Fine Flooring; enVista; First Internet Bank; The Kaiser Real Estate Companies; The National Bank of Indianapolis; Pedcor Companies; RealAmerica Development; Vine & Branch, Inc.
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OneZone (formerly Carmel and Fishers chambers of commerce) serves the business community as a commerce connector, strong voice, significant presence and business advocate in an ever-changing workplace. With OneZone, businesses get an organization that reaches across municipal boundaries - just the way business does - to deliver more impact and more opportunities more efficiently. As the organization resulting from the merger of the Carmel and Fishers chambers, OneZone offers the advantages of two organizations - expanded member benefits, events, impact, access and more - for the cost of one membership.