By Mary Moore, Founder and CEO, The Cook’s Warehouse
For 29 years, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) has celebrated business and entrepreneurship in our region at the annual Business Person of the Year Awards Luncheon. Partnering again this year with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the June event brought together more than 450 attendees and highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit of 15 metro Atlanta businesses. Atlanta’s key industry clusters were well represented at this year’s awards luncheon, ranging from mobile and biomedical devices to manufacturing and supply chain.
The Business Person of the Year (BPOTY) award recognizes a winner in each of three categories: early-stage entrepreneur (one to three years in business); emerging entrepreneur (three to seven years in business) and experienced entrepreneur (seven or more years in business).
The winners by category are:
- Early-Stage Entrepreneur (1-3 years) – Anna Ruth Williams, CEO and Founder, AR|PR LLC
- Emerging Entrepreneur (3-7 years) – Rahim Charania, CEO, American Fueling Systems
- Experienced Entrepreneur (7+ years ) – Tom DiGregorio, President & Owner, AquaGuard Foundation Solutions
This year Arnie Silverman, president, Silverman Construction Program Management (Silverman CPM), was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for all of his hard work and dedication. Silverman CPM was founded 20 years ago to assist nonprofit organizations in metro Atlanta. Silverman CPM has been an invisible partner in numerous developments throughout the region, contributing useful information to enable construction projects in metro Atlanta. One of their most recent projects includes the development of Ponce City Market, which consists of a two-million square foot adaptive reuse of the historic Sears Roebuck & Co. building positioned on the Atlanta Beltline.
The Startups to Watch category showcases a unique group of entrepreneurs that were developed by students at our local universities. Although these companies are in their early stages of business, their unique and innovative ideas already have a positive effect on metro Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This year we recognized four “Startups to Watch”:
- Advent Innovations, LLC – Regan Durkin, CEO; University of Georgia
- Micron Biomedical – Mark Prausnitz, Co-Founder; Georgia Tech
- Sparketh – Dwayne Walker, CEO; Kennesaw State University
- U4gotUrBaby– Pulkit Bhatnagar, Co-Founder; Georgia State University
Congratulations to all the winners!
Watch the videos of all the BPOTY finalist: