By Carolyn B. Reinmiller
Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce
The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Small Business Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 6 at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa at 11 a.m. This year’s theme is “Curiouser and Curiouser, The Expectation and Convention of Small Business” (yes – from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). If you think about it, the theme could not be more apropos.
Alice’s story is one of a young girl growing up. You remember the story. Depending on what Alice eats or drinks, one minute she is small; the next she is large, but somehow she never seems to be the right size to get where she wants to go. She is constantly confronted by the question of personal identity but is confused about how to answer the question. Finally throwing caution to the wind, Alice takes seemingly deadly risks in an effort to find logic and meaning in a world gone mad. (Cheshire Cat to Alice, “we’re all mad here.”) “Curiouser and Couriouser!” is Alice’s way of describing surroundings that expand beyond expectation and convention. It is inevitable that the future will come, but Alice never knows what lies behind the curtain or through the door.
The correlation between small business (or any business, for that matter) and Alice’s story is undeniable. Do we “drink from the bottle” of economic forecasts and grow bigger? Or do we “eat the cake” of financial predictions and stay the same or shrink our business? Can we answer the question of who we are with a clear mission of how to serve our customers and clients? More importantly, in a world “gone mad” with technological advancements, economic globalization and other numerous changes, are we ready for a future which includes self-driven cars, the digital connection of the world and artificial intelligence so smart robots can run hotels?
Curiouser and curiouser
There is no place in business for complacency, especially now. It is a business killer unless we are “curiouser and curiouser” about the internal and external factors that do and will affect our businesses now and in the future. No business – big, small, long-time businesses or startups – can afford to think they are immune to these factors. Warren Buffet in talking about his successor stated that person will need one other particular strength: “…….the ability to fight off the ABCs of business decay, which are arrogance, bureaucracy and complacency. When these corporate cancers metastasize, even the strongest of companies can falter.”
Last year at the Small Business Awards Luncheon, the chamber recognized eight businesses which display extraordinary abilities in their categories.
Community Impact Award
Renaissance Institute of Music
The mission of the Renaissance Institute of Music, a nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, is to promote the growth and development of community youth through the study, practice and performance of music. In doing so, children become ambassadors of peace, hope and understanding.
Best Marketing Practices Award
Comet Creative is a full-service design and marketing firm offering clients branding, design, digital and marketing strategy solutions. The company chose their 30th anniversary to completely rebrand all their marketing material.
Excellence in Professional Services Award
Arbor Scientia is an award-winning, internationally recognized medical communications company which has worked with physicians, scientists and executives from seventy countries. Arbor Scientia’s mission is to improve patient care by educating physicians about new medications and treatment practices.
Employee Development Award
The California Fruit Wine Company
Practicing a “Social Value Enterprise” business model, The California Fruit Wine Company is democratically run by the employees for the benefit of society. The entire workforce takes part in major decision making about company issues. Everyone has the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution even if it falls outside of their normal duties.
Woman-Owned Business Award
Women Wealth Management
Rita Famulare’s philosophy from the beginning of Famulare Jewelry was to become her customers’ jeweler for life by providing a full service jewelry experience and by selling quality fine jewelry at a fair price with excellent customer service. The store has grown every year since it first opened 18 years ago.
Catherine Magana, managing partner of WWM Financial/Savvy Women Wealth Management, empowers and inspires women by teaching them the basics of money management. She has helped hundreds of women move beyond the basics of stocks and bonds to the issues of what truly drives them.
Workplace MVP Award
Green Dragon Tavern and Museum
Kate Wells first excelled in guest relations at Green Dragon Tavern and Museum. She later pursued a newly created opportunity to support business operations and community initiatives and now serves as the “concept to execution” backbone for the Green Dragon’s community outreach programs as well as operations manager.
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
By installing 1400 solar panels, a Recycling and Composting Center, and a state-of-the-art phase change material (PCM), The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is able to save approximately $165,000 in costs a year, the equivalent of 825,000 meals.
New Small Business of the Year Award
Hanscom Alexeev & McDaniel, LLP
Hanscom Alexeev & McDaniel, LLP is a combination of the individual law practices of Eric Hanscom, Ryan Alexeev and Ian McDaniel. The firm specializes in Intellectual Property law, Business and Corporate law, Estate Planning and Trust Administration and Immigration law.
Think about nominating businesses you know well. Or nominate your own business. After all, it is the business you know best.