The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Small Business Awards Ceremony drew its largest crowd ever Thursday night at the National Conference Center.
Top winners were the Evergreen Sportsplex, as Small Business of the Year; and Krista Woods of GloveStix, who was named Entrepreneur of the Year.
The Evergreen Sportsplex, located just south of Leesburg, won the Innovative Business of the Year award in 2016. It is the only complex in the U.S. with four FFIA-certified turf fields, but it is more than a youth sports complex. The 44-acre campus includes a team-building adventure course and zip line, a restaurant, and a wellness center. The most recent addition is the FC Bercelona’s soccer school.
But the mission of the company and its employees isn’t to groom the next big American soccer star.
“We provide youth programing to develop character and leadership for kids who live in our community,” Managing Director Chris Bourassa said. “Those guys are committed to that mission and they do that every day.”
Since inventing GlovStix two years ago to combat the smell of her son’s sports equipment, Woods already has been featured nationally, including an appearance on NBC’s Today Show. Loudouners will get to hear more about her story Sunday night during a nationally televised episode of Shark Tank, when she’ll be making a bid to secure more capital for her business.
“Every single one of you out there who are entrepreneurs, who challenge themselves every day and who work you butt off, this award is not just for me, but It’s for all of you,” Woods said. “Because I know those days that are so hard and it is so challenging and there are days when you want to quit. And I also know the upside and the reward and the happiness when something amazing happens.
Other winners were:
Innovative Business of the Year: Automotive Quality Solutions.
Health & Wellness Business of the Year: Deidra Bird Kokel, DDS
Tourism & Entertainment Business of the Year: Smokehouse Live
Service Business of the Year: Morgan Orthodontics.
Retail Business of the Year: KBF by Audi Contractors
Home-based Business of the Year: Organizing Mentors
Nonprofit Organization of the Year: Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.
Rural Business of the Year: Old Ox Brewery.
People’s Choice Award: Mr. Appliance of Leesburg and Martinsburg.
During the event, the Chamber also unveiled a new logo that will be featured as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary throughout 2018.