The Clermont County Chamber of Commerce is holding the first Women’s Business Awards in June.
The chamber got about 30 nominations for the awards and a committee evaluated each nomination based on the criteria for each of the three categories: Business Woman of the Year, Woman Owned Business of the Year and Young Professional of the Year, said Cyn Macke, director of member services.
A woman who has shown leadership skills, workplace excellence, a sustainable business and more qualifies for the Woman Owned Business of the Year award, Macke said.
“This was a woman-owned business that has given back to the community, has demonstrated growth, innovation, strength,” Macke said.
The women below are finalists for the Woman Owned Business award.
Natalie Fiscus, president of Fiscus Trucking and Excavating, Inc, feels her company’s greatest competitive advantage is the ability to be diverse in the construction industry, she said in her responses to the chamber.
Her company’s workplace excellence involves safety training, the small benefits package that includes an individual retirement account and respect shown for all employees.
“As president, I wouldn’t ask anything from our employees that I wouldn’t do myself,” Fiscus said.
Fiscus has worked to make sure her company is sustainable. When the economy moved to a wrecking/demolition market, Fiscus was aggressive in that market.
In addition, Fiscus Transport, the trucking division of the company, started in the commercial and industrial aggregate market three years ago, Fiscus said.
She has also completed the Women Business Enterprise certificate and got the company’s Disadvantage Business Enterprise. The business is also listed as a qualified trade contractor by the state, Fiscus said.
Fiscus is involved in the Chamber of Commerce. She and her company support and contribute to the Clermont County Fair, CASA for Kids, Clermont Senior Services, Rotary Club- Cincinnati Eastside, Building Blocks for Kids and CP Inspires Organizations.
SimplyFresh’s competitive advantage is being an eco-friendly dry cleaner, said owner Tina Hare in her responses to the chamber. While traditional dry cleaners use perchloroethylene as the main cleaning solvent, SimplyFresh never uses perc.
“In an industry not known for being environmentally conscious, SimplyFresh continues to lead the way with many environmentally green initiatives,” Hare said.
This focus is also why SimplyFresh is a sustainable business. Hare feels her company is ready to take on a higher demand as eco-friendly services increase.
Hare provides flexible part-time positions for her employees. Employees are also cross-trained and encouraged to take leadership responsibilities, Hare said, which she feels is the reason for her workplace excellence.
SimplyFresh donates services at gratis or discounted costs to many non-profit organizations, local schools and municipalities, Hare said.
Slice of Stainless, a metal service center, is different from the national metal service industry because customers have direct access to small quantity prototype run material, said owner Robin Tackett in her responses to the chamber.
“The service we provide is unlike any other in our industry,” Tackett said. Her three-year strategic plan includes doubling the company’s business, a goal Tackett is confident the company will meet.
Slice of Stainless is a sustainable business because of positive customer experiences, timely and accurate delivery and high quality standards, Tackett said. In addition, Tackett plans to expand the warehouse by the end of 2015, allowing the business the ability to expand its product line and be more efficient.
Because Slice of Stainless has been so successful, the business have been able to hire more employees, pay 100 percent of employee benefits and provide a flexible working environment, Tackett said.
Employees volunteer and make monetary donations to the PTO, After Prom, Civil Air Patrol, Lone Survivor Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, ProKids, Hospice of Cincinnati, World Vision, K-Love Radio, Needy Kids of Clermont County, American Heart Association and many more, Tackett said.
In addition, Slice of Stainless has annual blood drives and many employees are involved in the animal welfare community. Tackett started her own non-profit, Smith’s Pit STOP, which promotes free spay/neuter for pit bulls.
State Farm Insurance stands out from other insurance companies because agents take the time to get to know their clients, said owner Alison Taylor in her responses to the chamber.
“Our goal is to continue creating a strong foundation so that our customers know us and trust us. That will allow us to build on who we are and what we have to offer,” Taylor said.
The business is sustainable because of the relationships the agents build, Taylor feels.
State Farm is an excellent place to work because there are multiple opportunities to grow in the organization and the group all works together, Taylor said.
State Farm delivers goodies for Teacher Appreciation and is involved in the Teen Driver Safety Program, Taylor said.
Taylor is involved in the West Clermont Education Foundation Board and the Cincinnati Eastside Rotary Charter.
CTTS Inc., an eLearning and technology company co-owned by Patti Fraley and Kathy McConnell, maintain workplace excellence with a dynamic work environment, they said in their responses to the chamber.
In addition, they offer a flexible schedule and a Wellness Program, Fraley and McConnell said.
CTTS has a competitive advantage because Fraley and McConnell are always looking to grow and are focused on finding solutions.
“We are always looking into the future for a better process, technology or a new service niche to fill,” Fraley and McConnell said.
Because of that, CTTS leadership is very aware of patterns of technology, which makes the business sustainable, Fraley and McConnell said.
CTTS is involved with communities across the United States and in Haiti when the company is asked to create media productions to recognize volunteers, projects and organizations, Fraley and McConnell said