‘Best of Centennial’ honors local businesses

Posted 10/18/09

How does a businesswoman whose store opened little more than a year ago get named Entrepreneur of the Year? “By staying in business. Always …

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‘Best of Centennial’ honors local businesses


How does a businesswoman whose store opened little more than a year ago get named Entrepreneur of the Year?

“By staying in business. Always thinking. By coming up with new ideas. Promote, promote, promote,” said Jackie Rebideau, the self-describe “head cheese” at Fromage to Yours, a cheese specialty store that opened at the Willow Creek Shopping Center in August 2008.

Rebideau’s was one of nine local businesses honored Oct. 15 at the 2009 Best of Centennial awards — a ceremony to promote city businesses and encourage residents to shop locally.

More than 200 business leaders attended the second annual awards banquet, which was held at Embassy Suites Denver Tech Center in Centennial.

The Citizens’ Choice award went to Alpha Bicycle Company on South Yosemite Street. The 30-year-old business was honored for its customer service and charity work.

“To me, Citizen’s Choice is the most gratifying, award,” said general manager Adam Rachubinski. “It shows that the hard work we put in day-in day-out and what we do for the community is really appreciated.”

A number of larger businesses were also recognized, including Alberta Development Partners, which received Project of the Year - Retail.

“It was a public-private partnership,” Alberta principal Bryan McFarland told the audience. “I think we really set the bar on this project. … We’re proud of the final result.”

The other winners:

Company of the Year — Large Business: SEAKR Engineering, the world’s leading supplier of alternative data storage media for spacecraft memory systems. Parts manufactured by SEAKR were installed in the Hubble telescope. SEAKR currently employs 220 people.

Company of the Year — Small Business: Best Practices Systems provides e-billing and print billing for large and small companies. Due to cutting-edge technology, the firm says it is virtually impossible for credit-card information to be stolen from within or outside the company, which employs 34 people.

Office Project of the Year: Centennial Station is the most recent collaboration for the U.S. General Services Administration, Harwood & Associates, the Weitz Company and Gensler. Environmental LEED guidelines were followed during construction.

Flavor of the Year: Diego Zhang’s Burger Café’s handcrafted, gourmet mini-burgers “offer authentic and globally inspired flavors.” A second Centennial store recently opened at Streets at Southglenn.

Environmental Stewardship : The Centennial Youth Commission presented this award to Energy Environmental Corp., which specializes in the design and installation of integrated renewable energy systems for residential buildings. They incorporate technologies in solar, wind, geothermal and renewable energy for heating, cooling and on-site power generation.

Special awards included the Mayor’s Award of Excellence, which went to Glenn Jones, CEO of Jones International.

Jones was honored for extending the reach of technology by bringing cable television to American homes and by fusing education with the Internet.

In 1993, the entrepreneur founded Jones International University, an educational institution that completely lives in cyberspace.

“His success lifted the barriers of education for millions, not only in this country but across the world,” Mayor Randy Pye said in his presentation of the award.

Pye, himself, was feted for his contributions to the city, especially in the area of economic development. The term-limited mayor, who will step down in January, received a Special Recognition award.

“I’ve always said, the soul of our community is our citizens,” Pye said. “The true lifeblood of a city is our businesses. You’re the ones who really bring the energy to the city.”


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