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Winners Honored at 9th Business Excellence Awards

Thirteen businesspeople were honored Thursday night at the New Hampshire Business Review’s ninth annual Business Excellence Awards, which recognize the efforts and achievements owners and operators of companies with 100 employees or fewer.

More than 300 people attended the Oct. 27 event, which was held at the Radisson in Manchester.

NHBR also announced two inductees into the Business Excellence Hall of Fame, which singles out people whose entire careers have been marked by a consistent and impressive record of accomplishments, both in their chosen fields, in their communities, and across the state and beyond. These honorees were selected by a separate panel of judges.

The 2011 Hall of Fame inductees were Howard Brodsky, co-founder of CCA Global Partners, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States and one of the largest cooperatives in the world, and the Singer Family, owner of Merchants Automotive Group, a multifaceted, $200 million auto company, including a long-term fleet leasing division that is one of the largest in the Northeast.

“Each of the businesspeople who receive these honors has a different story to tell,” said Sharron McCarthy, president of McLean Communications and publisher of NHBR. “But what they have in common is determination, industriousness and the ability to come up with innovative solutions that have allowed their businesses to survive and thrive, regardless of economic conditions, and a commitment to serving their communities.”

Jeff Feingold, editor of NHBR, said, “We would like to salute all of the nominees, the people who nominated them and the winners themselves for their contributions toward making New Hampshire a great place to do business.”

Emcee was Erin Fehlau, WMUR’s weekday morning and noon news anchor. A portion of the proceeds from the evening benefited Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, which advocates for New Hampshire children in the state’s court system in cases of neglect and abuse.

The winners of the 2011 NHBR Business Excellences Awards were:

Excellence in Business Services — Guy Sylvester, Absolute Resource Associates, Portsmouth
Excellence in Construction (tie) — Jerry Kingwill, Cobb Hill Construction, Concord; Jason Foster, Foster’s Professional Painting Plus LLC, Claremont
Excellence in Financial Services — Michael L’Ecuyer, Bellwether Community Credit Union, Manchester
Excellence in Health Care — Paula Gagne, Regency Nursing Care, Manchester
Excellence in Hospitality — Emeran Langmaid, A&E Custom Coffee Roastery, Amherst
Excellence in Media & Marketing — Erik Dodier, PixelMEDIA Inc., Portsmouth
Excellence in Nonprofits — Brian Young, Nashua Center for the Multiply Handicapped
Excellence in Professional Services — Thomas Brueckner, Senior Financial Resources Inc., Nashua
Excellence in Real Estate — Dick Anagnost, Anagnost Investments Inc., Manchester
Excellence in Retail (tie) — Sy Mahfuz, Persian Rug Galleries, Nashua; Lynda Nelson, Quest Martial Arts Academy, Barrington
Excellence in Technology — Cheryl Gamst, CCS New England, Nashua

The judges for the 2011 NHBR Business Excellence Awards were:

Chris Bernard, vice president, business banking relationship manager, Citizens Bank
Steve Boucher, communications manager, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
Mary Collins, state director, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center
Bob Esau, executive vice president of Wealth Management, Laconia Savings Bank
Greta Johansson, New Hampshire district director, U.S. Small Business Administration
Patrick F. McDermott, economic and community development manager, Public Service of New Hampshire
Dr. Russ Ouellette, managing partner, Sojourn Partners, Bedford
Michele Petersen, vice president of operations, abi Innovation Hub, Manchester
Joe Reilly, cofounder and president, Centrix Bank
Chip Underhill, executive director of public relations and external affairs, Pinkerton Academy, Derry
Sponsors of the event were FairPoint Communications, Laconia Savings Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, J Maze Design, Public Service of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Merrimack Street Volvo, WGIR-AM 610 and New Hampshire Public Television.

On behalf of all of us at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, thanks to our friends at the New Hampshire Business Review for a great awards celebration and congratulation to the winners and nominees!!

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