Honoring Outstanding Local Businesses

On May 29, the Greater Akron Chamber proudly honored four area businesses with the 2014 Excellence in Business Award at the Sheraton Akron/Cuyahoga Falls. Created by the Greater Akron Chamber’s Small Business Council in 1982, this award is presented to a company or companies that have demonstrated outstanding performance, growth, staying power and innovation, and have proven leadership in the community.

The Small Business Council promotes and represents the interests of businesses with 250 or fewer employees in Medina, Portage and Summit counties. The members of Small Business Council provide oversight and strategic counsel relative to the Excellence in Business Awards, membership and advocacy work led by the Greater Akron Chamber. Last year, we added the Emerging Business Award, which honors one company that has been in business for five years or less and has shown profits in at least the last two years.

This year’s recipients have accomplished amazing feats. Metis Construction Services helped revitalize Kent’s downtown and EnviroScience Inc. was called down from Stow to assist with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We are also honored to recognize Sequoia Financial Group LLC, which has achieved local and national attention and Nagy’s Collision Centers, a familyowned company that has expanded from one location in Northeast Ohio in 1973 to eight.

The mission of the Greater Akron Chamber is to drive economic development and prosperity for the people of the Greater Akron region. We believe that the four 2014 Excellence in Business recipients exemplify that mission. If you know of a company that demonstrates the values of this award, we encourage you to submit a nomination for the 2015 Excellence in Business Awards beginning in December.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their continued commitment and leadership to the event: Apple Growth Partners, Day Ketterer, Westfield Bank and Smart Business. On behalf of the Greater Akron Chamber, the Small Business Council and our sponsors, we hope you enjoy reading about these exceptional companies and their business accomplishments. Congratulations to the 2014 Excellence
in Business Award recipients!

Catching A Break: How Metis Construction Services Gained Prominence Helping Kent Develop

Since its inception, Metis Construction Services has grown from two employees to 25. The company, which specializes in commercial facility maintenance agreements, tenant build-outs, ground-up construction and historic restoration, has also grown its revenue by more than 14 times what it was in its first year.

The company, founded by Julie Brandle, president, and Katie Wright, vice president of human resources, was able to apply its services to the $110 million redevelopment of downtown Kent, helping to renovate the historic Franklin Hotel, and with the redevelopment of Acorn Alley II, where it now leases office space.

The 2011 project was a big reason the company was able to grow rapidly, but Metis’ consistent hard work has led to a number of referrals and repeat business. As the projects have evolved from facilities maintenance to large-scale projects, Metis has grown its staff by bringing on experienced superintendents and project managers who have worked in commercial construction.

As the company has grown, it has worked to provide a rewarding work environment for its employees, paying for their benefits, vacation, work clothing and setting up a 401(k). Metis gives back to the community in much the same way as it operates in the market, preferring housing-related community services such as Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together, for which Brandle sits on the board.

As Metis gives back, so have its employees who have volunteered on charity home building projects. The company supports these efforts by paying the employees’ wages for the time they volunteer, though many refuse the pay.