Business Review announces winners of 2010 Deals of the Year awards
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.comAnnArbor.com’s Business Review announced the winners of its 2010 “Deals of the Year” awards at its 6th annual gala Friday night.
The event, held at Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center, featured top awards presented to Zingerman’s Family of Businesses as Company of the Year and Jeff Williams, ex-CEO of HandyLab, as Executive of the Year.
A crowd of 400 people attended the presentation, the area’s largest black-tie business event. Among the attendees was Rick Snyder, Michigan’s governor-elect and Business Review’s 2005 Executive of the Year.
Company of the Year: Zingerman’s Family of Businesses
Ann Arbor’s iconic deli grew into a family of 8 businesses in 2009 and now is poised for still more growth: Zingerman’s received approvals to build a multi-million dollar expansion of its Detroit Street deli complex that will add 10,430-square-feet of new construction to the Kerrytown property and further cement the business’s place in Ann Arbor.
Executive of the Year: Jeff Williams
As CEO of HandyLab, Williams helped the company develop its technology to the point where New Jersey-based giant Becton, Dickinson and Co. paid $275 million to acquire HandyLab in late 2009.
It was the Ann Arbor region’s second largest acquisition of the last decade, trailing only Esperion Therapeutics’ $1.4 billion sale to Pfizer in 2004.
BD is closing the local facility, but Williams is moving on as CEO of another local company: Accuri Cytometers.
Commercial Real Estate:Masco Cabinetry
The former Flint Ink headquarters in Ann Arbor Township had been listed for sale for years until the multi-billion-dollar Masco Inc. saw the potential to use the showcase building for a division headquarters. Now the nation’s leading cabinet brands - including Merillat and KraftMaid, - will be based in the Ann Arbor region. Masco Cabinetry, after months of customizing the building and the property, is moving existing employees from Ohio and Adrian, and also plans new hires, with the goal of having 450 people working the 150,000-square-foot building within 5 years.
Construction & Development: North Quad/University of Michigan
The first new dormitory on U-M’s campus in decades, North Quad replaced the former Frieze Building on South State Street. The $175 million, 360,000-square-foot structure houses 450 students and classroom space, crating a defining building on the western edge of Central Campus. The construction also effectively extended South State, giving a boost to the property owners and businesses located along the corridor. At the same time, North Quad preserved the historic faÃ§ade of the small Carnegie Library that had been on the site for more than 100 years.
Health Care: NanoBio
The University of Michigan biotechnology spinoff is adding 4 laboratories and office space to fuel the expansion of its nanotechnology-based drug treatments. The expansion comes after NanoBio struck a major licensing deal with pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, which agreed to pay NanoBio up to $40 million for the right to market NanoBio’s cold sore treatment. NanoBio, which is led by global nanotechnology expert and CEO Jim Baker, will use the funding to continue hiring scientists to help develop its other drug technologies.
Nonprofit: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce
The business advocacy groups for the two communities had long operated separately, despite embracing similar missions - and even member overlap. Yet leadership of each group recognized a unique opportunity to set a regional example of cooperation and collaboration by initiating a merger. The deal came as the groups faced challenging budgets, but the true impact comes from erasing the ‘invisible line’ drawn for decades along US-23.
Research: Domino’s Pizza
The Ann Arbor Township-based international chain spent more than 18 months researching and testing a new pizza recipe. Domino’s launched an innovative marketing campaign to promote the overhaul of its centerpiece product, and customers and franchisees embraced it. The new recipe, guided by former CEO David Brandon and new CEO Patrick Doyle, helped same-store sales rise 14.3 percent in the critical first quarter after the recipe was introduced. In an extremely competitive industry, that’s supreme.
Retail: Underground Printing
Co-owners Ryan Gregg and Rishi Narayan lived in the University of Michigan’s West Quad when they decided to start a t-shirt production business. The $8.5 million operation is growing fast, in part due to the team’s other strategy: Opening retail collegiate team apparel stores in select markets. With stores in 8 states, their primary market remains Ann Arbor. Over the past year Underground Printing expanding a store on South University, opened one on Main Street and bought the iconic Moe Sports Shop near the Diag.
Technology: Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
The fund, led by Ann Arbor-based investor Chris Rizik, raised $50 million from corporate partners to provide cash to venture capital firms with a focus on Michigan technology investments. The group, formed in cooperation with Business Leaders for Michigan, is relying exclusively on private funding to help boost Michigan entrepreneurs. Local firms that have already received funding include Ann Arbor-based Arboretum Ventures and RPM
Also presented on Friday night were the 2010 FastTrack awards, given annually to the area's growing companies that fit the criteria set by Ann Arbor SPARK.
For the 2010 FastTrack recipients, companies were required to have revenue of at least $100,000 in 2006, and average growth of 20 percent for the following three years. To qualify, companies reported 2009 revenues greater than 2008 revenues.
Four-year winner: ForeSee Results.