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    May 22, 2017
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  
    CONTACT: Nicholas Johnson
    (919) 357-9989

    May 22, 2017            
    Chamber ANNOUNCES WINNERS for the 2017 Business Excellence Awards
    Chapel Hill, NC – On Friday, May 19, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the third annual Business Excellence Awards (the BEAs) presented by Wells Fargo. This red-carpet affair was held at the UNC Center for the Dramatic Art, home of PlayMakers Repertory Company, with over 300 in attendance.
    The winners for the Business Excellence Awards are:
    Micro-Enterprise of the Year (0-5 employees) presented by Coastal Credit Union: stevenraymiller.com
    Mid-Size Business of the Year (6-50 employees) presented by BNC Bank: Sofia’s Boutique
    Large Business of the Year (51+ employees): TSI Healthcare
    Non-Profit of the Year presented by the Partnership for a Sustainable Community: Extraordinary Ventures
    New Business of the Year
    presented by CertaPro Painters of Durham-Chapel Hill: Morinaga America Foods
    University Born Business presented by the UNC-Chapel Hill: MedServe
    Innovation Award presented by Fidelity Investments: RelyMD
    Community Impact: Strowd Roses, Inc.
    Business Woman of the Year presented by
    Tri-County Women in Business:
    Barbara Jessie-Black, PTA Thrift Shop
    CHYP Young Professional of the Year: Antonio McBroom, Ben & Jerry’s
    The WCHL/Chapelboro.com People’s Choice Awards were also announced.  The winners are:
    Best Animal Services: The Animal Hospital of Carrboro and Green Beagle Lodge
    Best Customer Service: Trader Joe’s
    Best Drinks: The Crunkleton
    Best Eats: Al’s Burger Shack
    Best Health & Wellness: UNC Wellness Centers
    Best Locally Grown/Made: Maple View Farm
    Best Happy Home: Carrboro Plumbing
    Best Helping Hands: 100 Women Who Give a Hoot
    Best Medical Services: UNC Hospitals
    Best Overnight Hospitality: The Carolina Inn
    Best Professional Services: Auto Logic
    Best Real Estate: Weaver Street Realty
    Best Shopping: Cameron’s
    Best Special Events Venue: The Carolina Inn
    Best Wheels: Chapel Hill Tire

    Photos of the event will be posted to flickr.com/carolinachamber. Credit Alicia Stemper Photography. 
    The Chapel Hill-Carrboro (NC) Chamber of Commerce is a business leadership organization serving the greater Chapel Hill, NC community.  The Chamber serves and supports the business interests of its more than 1,200 members and helps create a sustainable community where they can thrive.                       
    Full citations for the winners below.
    Micro-Enterprise of the Year:
    stevenraymiller.com, stevenraymiller.com
    Steven Ray Miller has been a visible member of the Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham communities for decades. As an artist and picture framer, Steven is determined to share his art with the world. His “wearable art” and “Y’all Means EVERYONE!” bumper stickers continue to bring him closer to that goal. He also creates original art and lithographs for local charities. As a strong proponent of economic development in Orange County, Steven co-founded the Chapel Hill Leads Group, which has been meeting every Wednesday for 19 years. Steven Ray Miller has been a lighthouse for entrepreneurs in the area who need a business support group to vet ideas, network with others, and get inspired. Congratulations to stevenraymiller.com, the 2017 Micro-Enterprise Business of the Year.
    Mid-Size Business of the Year
    Sofia’s Boutique, sofiasboutique.us
    Much more than a specialty fashion store offering beautiful clothing, shoes, and accessories, Sofia’s Boutique is a curated collection of quality items as unique as each of their customers. Sophia’s is dedicated to providing Carrboro with high-quality clothes that speak to people’s values and to collaborating with other local businesses. When Sofia’s Boutique first opened its doors in the historic Carr Mill Mall in 2003, triangle women loved the personalized service in a relaxed environment. Since then, Sofia’s has grown by leaps and bounds, but the “Sofia’s experience” has remained consistent. Congratulations to Sophia’s Boutique, the 2017 Mid-Size Business of the Year.
    Large Business of the Year
    TSI Healthcare, tsihealthcare.com
    TSI Healthcare delivers products and services designed to improve patient care through technology. Their award-winning software solutions empower physicians to improve the lives of their patients daily. In an era of automated customer service systems and outsourced call centers, TSI Healthcare puts the focus where it should be—on the “human element.” All 57,000+ incoming calls and 63,000+ support cases last year were triaged by a live person. And yet, their amazing staff still somehow finds time to support the Triangle Community by volunteering with local charities, engaging with student interns, and serving on the board for our Chamber of Commerce. TSI Healthcare ensures that its clients do more than survive; they GROW. Congratulations to TSI Healthcare, the 2017 Large Business of the Year.
    Non-Profit of the Year
    Extraordinary Ventures, extraordinaryventures.org
    Social entrepreneurship is a powerful force for doing good in Chapel Hill and beyond. For the past 10 years, Extraordinary Ventures has demonstrated this to be true everyday. Their relentless dedication to employment for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities is truly extraordinary. The creation of jobs for more than 60 young adults with developmental disabilities not only provides a sense of pride and independence for these individuals, but also serves the community at large through six different local businesses. Instead of focusing on increasing profits, Extraordinary Ventures measures success by providing excellent products and services that are worthy of a reasonable price. However, for Extraordinary Ventures, the real product is creating successful employees. Congratulations to Extraordinary Ventures, the 2017 Non-Profit of the Year.
    New Business of the Year
    Morinaga America Foods, morinaga-america.com
    When we think of Japanese candy, a small farm in western Orange County is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. But this is exactly where Morinaga America Foods got its start in the U.S. After experiencing explosive retail demand for their HI-CHEW brand, Morinaga met their first challenge, later skyrocketing into a multi-million dollar project with 90 employees and multiple vendors across the nation. Behind the scenes, team members have demonstrated unparalleled commitment, moving their entire families from Japan to the Tar Heel community, overcoming cultural and language barriers, and finding innovative solutions to adverse events, such as the unexpected damage to a storage tank that could have delayed production. Congratulations to Morinaga America Foods, the 2017 New Business of the Year.
    University-Born Business of the Year
    MedServe, med-serve.org
    The founders of MedServe envision a future where all medical students start their careers in primary care serving “medically underserved” communities. Driven by data and delivery research, conducted by co-founder Anne Steptoe, MedServe is on a mission to connect the Triangle’s medical education community with the transformational work being done in the local health care system. With a team of 12 student fellows spread across both Duke and UNC, MedServe has helped provide care to over 15,000 North Carolinians in their first six months of service. It’s a small wonder they were named one of the most inspiring startups by Atlantic Magazine’s Renewal Project. Congratulations to MedServe, the 2017 University Born Business of the Year.
    Innovation Award
    RelyMD, relymd.com
    Have you ever spent hours waiting in the emergency room only to find out that your medical need could have been handled at home or with a quick visit to your primary care physician during regular business hours? RelyMD wants to put an end to those wasted hours and dollars. Now, using RelyMD, patients can speak with a doctor via mobile app, web browser, or phone call. The idea for RelyMD was born when one of our physicians received a phone call about his young niece, who had cut her hand. Using their smartphones, the doctor examined the wound and talked his sister through cleaning and dressing it. RelyMD’s customer satisfaction speaks for itself: 99% of patients would recommend RelyMD to a friend. Congratulations to RelyMD, recipient of the 2017 Innovation Award.
    Community Impact Award

    Strowd Roses, Inc., strowdroses.org
    Since its inception in 2001, Strowd Roses, Inc. has been a pillar of the community. As the only charitable foundation specifically devoted to serving Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Strowd Roses helps local people address local needs. Strowd Roses, Inc. has donated more than $5.1 million dollars in grants to nonprofits that nurture our community’s most vulnerable populations by providing food, shelter, health care, education, and access to the arts. Additionally, the tranquil rose garden supported by Strowd Roses serves as one of only a handful of free outdoor event venues in our community. The tireless efforts of Strowd Roses’ volunteer board of community members have benefited hundreds of nonprofits and our community at large. Congratulations to Strowd Roses, Inc., recipient of the 2017 Community Impact Award.
    CHYP Young Professional of the Year
    Antonio McBroom
    Antonio McBroom is a leader in business and in character. Mindful of his roots and responsibility to help those who paved his way, Antonio gives back. As a Morehead-Cain Foundation alumnus, Antonio tithes a portion of his income every month and is highly involved with the scholarship program. As a top Ben & Jerry’s franchise owner, he was awarded Mentor of the Year and hires foster teenagers to work in his scoop shops. As if being an ice cream mogul weren’t enough, Antonio also teaches 6th Grade math. While Antonio always wanted to teach, he also knew teaching wouldn’t cover his responsibilities to his family. Thanks to his efforts, his grandmother’s house now has a full bathroom and is heated with gas. Congratulations to Antonio McBroom, the 2017 CHYP Young Professional of the Year.
    Business Woman of the Year

    Barbara Jessie-Black
    Barbara Jessie-Black forged a path that many didn’t think was possible for the PTA Thrift Shop. Using her business acumen, she modernized operations and brought her vision to life through the launch of Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s first youth-serving non-profit collaborative focused on education. It takes more than a dream and a good heart (though Barbara has both) to gain the support of the community and find the resources to make those dreams come true. Barbara is an extraordinary executive, who has taken the PTA Thrift Shop to the next level. She is also never shy about sharing her success with other women leaders, for instance, by putting them into positions of influence on her board. Congratulations to Barbara Jessie-Black, the 2017 Business Woman of the Year

    Nicholas Johnson, Communication & Program Manager
    (919) 967-7075