Recognizing excellence in Region’s thriving business community
Each spring the magazine is honored to shine a light on many of the outstanding businesses in our Region with our Best of Business awards. Too often we only notice what isn’t working or what could be better in our Region. It is important to be self-aware and strive for continual improvement, but it also is important to take stock of where we are and how far we have come. As a resident, customer and taxpayer, I am grateful for our business community in the Region, many areas of the country are not as fortunate.
This year our readers selected 110 businesses in 52 categories operating in Northwest and Northcentral Indiana for recognition as best businesses. We congratulate the winners and congratulate the Region for its thriving business community because, as Steve Kring from Horizon Bank says in this issue, “Local businesses are the fabric of our communities—if we serve them to the best of our abilities, our communities will grow and prosper as well.”
I am a nerd for business ideas and plans. It is so bad that my daughter hesitates to mention a product/service she likes because, before she can stop me, we are discussing ideal customers, market size, and I am keying in cost-of-goods estimates into a pro forma income statement on my phone. I share this story for two reasons: 1) So you will pity my daughter, the poor thing, and 2) To give you a sense of how excited I am to read this issue’s Best of Business awards article where we cover the breadth of local business in one article.
Each year I am surprised and encouraged by the quality and variety of businesses that our readers recognized. I hope you can take time to dig in and review this year’s list. Hopefully, your company or one of your partners is on the list—if not consider reaching out and creating a partnership with one of this year’s honorees. The list includes new names I want to research further, names that may be worth a new look, and names that have been around for years and are leaders in our business community.
I ask myself, how did these companies become leaders in the Region? What lessons can we learn from them and apply in our own businesses? Several key business concepts recur in the quotes and comments from the business leaders we interviewed, which include: adapt, positive culture, realizing their dreams, passion, strong relationships, reliable partner, happy and engaged employees, innovation and agility to name a few. Most of us should use these concepts in our businesses but implementing them is a challenge. It is inspiring to read others who excel in their fields and earn our readers’ recognition in part by implementing these simple yet powerful business concepts. If they can do it with a little dedication, so can we!
Our theme this issue is recognizing excellence. Our articles showcase people and companies that demonstrate excellence in business, in planning, in construction, in philanthropy and the arts. For our upcoming June issue, our theme returns to NWI Forum’s Ignite the Region strategic plan with articles highlighting business development and marketing, one of the plan’s five pillars for economic development.
Thank you for reading!