Large Company of the Year – Bennett Medical Services
Bennett Medical was started by owner and president Doug Bennett in 1994 on Keystone Ave in Reno. Today, it is a multi-million dollar company with 115 employees across eight branches.
One of the largest home medical equipment companies in the state, Bennett Medical Services in 2003 began an expansion plan that brought the company’s goal for quality health care into southern and rural Nevada. In 2010, the company expanded to Idaho; in 20ll, Colorado. Bennett will open two California branches in 2012.
Runner-up: Jimmy Beans Wool, Laura Zander, Owner/CEO
Medium Company of the Year – PK Electrical
PK Electrical, Inc., under principal Karen Purcell, added 18 new clients and one new employee in 2011, improved staff qualifications when three staff members passed the LEED exam and one passed the ICC commercial inspector exam, and grew revenue 18 percent. The company has plans to open a second office in the next 12 to 18 months.
In 2011, Purcell also wrote and published a book and launched a nonprofit, STEMspire, to encourage young women to go into science, technology, engineering and math careers. Her goal is to help young women take advantage of rewarding career opportunities in STEM fields.
Runner-up: Itronics Inc, John Whitney, Founder/CEO/president
Small Company of the Year – SunScience Corporation
Richard Kelsey, SunScience president, and partner James Parker formed a solar panel company that’s talking tomatoes. Ripe, red tomatoes.
The company uses a solar panel structure with an upper layer that gathers solar energy in three dimensions. The result of the 3D design is a boost in typical watts generated. Add to the panels a network of sensors and data crunching systems, and they’ve got a system that can extend the growing season for greenhouse farmers.
Their system has resulted in red-ripe tomatoes on the vine in January at their DoubleTree Ranch research facility in Lovelock.
In addition to providing the farm solar energy, the SunScience system monitors and controls both air and soil temperature and moisture.
Runner-up: Lakeshore Paddleboard Co., Mike Tessier, Co-owner
Best New Entrepreneur of the Year – MerchantsXL
MerchantsXL opened its doors in February 2011 under president and owner Cole Bevel. The company takes and innovative approach to transaction processing hardware and software to provide businesses with the best possible price to complete their transactions, and does it with an emphasis on customer service.
MerchantsXL now has more than 200 clients, including The Chamber, WIN, California Closets National, Artown, Junior League of Reno, Reno Bighorns and the Reno Aces.
MerchantsXL donates a portion of its profits to charities that are proactive in the improvement of the community. It has created a nonprofit and community benefit program with nonprofit partner NP Catalyst that is specifically designed to pass cost savings back into the community.
Runner-up: Campo, Mark Estee, Chef-owner