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Thursday, May 05, 2011

2011 First Choice Business Award Winners Announced

Chesterfield County Announces 2011 First Choice Business Award Winners at Annual Celebrate Chesterfield Business! Event

(Chesterfield County) – Each year Chesterfield County honors local companies that contribute to the county’s economy and its citizens through the annual First Choice Business Awards. This year’s award winners were announced at the annual Celebrate Chesterfield Business! event held on May 3, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Koger Conference Center.

The Innovation Impact Award winner was ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center. ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center is the gold standard for health and wellness facilities. Their mission is to change lives and they are committed to serving people of all ages and fitness levels. ACAC’s physician referred exercise program, PREP, is groundbreaking in the health and fitness industry in that it unites the medical community, fitness professionals and residents towards a common goal of increasing physical activity & improving health among the citizens of Chesterfield County.

Priority Automotive was the winner of the Employee Impact Award. Priority Automotive group opened in the Richmond market in 2004. Since then, they have grown and Priority knows their success is because of their employees. They try to find new ways in which to show their employees how much they value them. The President of the company, Dennis Ellmer, attends monthly “birthday & anniversary luncheons.” The company hosts employees & their families to the circus each year to show their appreciation. Other events include beach parties and the annual Christmas party. Also, employees are able to participate in the company’s profit sharing program.

The Environmental Stewardship Award is designed to recognize a Chesterfield County business which has successfully displayed their efforts in being a responsible protector of the environment. This year’s winner was Ironbridge Sports Park and they were established in 2007. Some of their activities this past year included recycling paper, equipment oil, cooking oil, batteries and ink cartridges. They have donated family activity packets for fundraising events to over 400 organizations, donated 1,000 free park passes to each Chesterfield County public school and hosted Chesterfield County’s Anti-Litter Program Volunteer Celebration. They take pride in their facility by using earth friendly cleaning products and doing regular litter pick up.

This year’s winner of the Community Impact Award was Hoover & Strong. Hoover & Strong has a strong company commitment both on a corporate and individual level to community service. The company has supported numerous local organizations, donating $60,000 dollars this past year to groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association, MDA of Richmond and the American Red Cross just to name a few. Their employees have given generously to CHASM Thanksgiving basket program, sponsored four families during the Christmas holiday and collect money each year for the “Hoover Gift”. This year’s Hoover Gift was donated to the Richmond Food Bank. It is Hoover & Strong “family” philosophy to give back to the community.

The 2011 First Choice Business of the Year was awarded to Austin Brockenbrough & Associates. This award is designed to recognize a Chesterfield County business, which has been a leader in terms of overall impact to the County.

Austin Brockenbrough & Associates (AB) is a multi-disciplined consulting engineering firm. They recently completed their expansion into new offices in the Boulders Office Park in Chesterfield County.

AB has a long history of providing high quality services to Chesterfield County working on such projects as the Reams Gordon Library plan and Eastern Midlothian Streetscape project.

To confirm their commitment to environmental stewardship, Brockenbrough took a “green” whole-building approach to their office up fit and earned the first ever Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Commercial Interiors certification (LEED CI) in the Greater Richmond Metropolitan area.

The company’s commitment to giving back to the community is exemplary. They have provided assistance to several county projects such as the new dugouts at Thomas Dale High School and mentoring students in the LC Bird Pre-engineering specialty center.

AB is a true example of commitment to community and has had a profound positive impact on Chesterfield County.

“Existing business is the heart beat of economic development. Their sustainability and growth are paramount to Chesterfield County’s continued stability and strength. We are very proud to recognize our 2011 Business Award winners,” said Chesterfield County Administrator James J. L. Stegmaier.

“Congratulations to all of our 2011 First Choice Business Awards winners. This Board is dedicated to economic development as a priority and is committed to creating a business climate that is conducive to growth,” said Art Warren, Chairman of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors will recognize all the First Choice Business Award winners at their June 15, 2011 meeting.

For more information on this year’s Celebrate Chesterfield Business! contact Tina Shreve at (804) 318-8550, or email at