In this economic climate, it was no surprise that the business community was hungry for something to celebrate Tuesday night.
The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce honored five area businesses for everything from their performance, growth and practices to community service projects.
“The quality of business here is good,” said Tom Kern, the chamber’s new president and CEO. “It’s great the chamber has the opportunity to recognize them.”
The event at the Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Drive, also featured a reception and mixer for local businesses.
The five winners by category at the annual Excellence in Commerce Awards were:
l Golf USA, 3220 Iowa, in the retail category. Master of ceremonies Phil Bradley lauded store co-owner Kyle Taylor for the project to collect more than 2,500 golf clubs for military personnel. Kyle and Jamy Taylor opened the store in November 1995.
l CEK Insurance, 1011 Westdale Road, in the service category. Partner and shareholder Al Hack took the hardware, but he recognized the insurance firm’s employees that serve about 5,000 individuals and families in Kansas and Missouri, plus 3,000 businesses.
“They’re the ones that earn this award. I just get to stand up here and accept,” he said.
l Health Care Access Clinic, 1920 Moodie Road, in the nonprofit category. The charitable health clinic is on pace to serve 18,000 patients this year as it celebrates its 20th year in operation. “Our nurses make our clinic what it is today,” Executive Director Nikki King said.
l MartinLogan Ltd., 2101 Del., in the manufacturing and distribution category. The company started in 1983 in Lawrence, and dozens of employees here still handcraft the high-end audio speakers. Now the company’s reputation and business reach around the world.
“It’s the only speaker company in the entire world that has a fan club with a Web site for the speaker,” Bradley said.
l Minuteman Press, 501 Gateway Drive., in the small business category. Owner Dee Bisel said her printing company prides itself on its efforts toward more sustainable and green printing.
“It’s humbling (to be recognized) because we have so many outstanding small businesses in town,” Bisel said.