Eastern Michigan University (EMU) held its third annual 2016 Business of the Year Awards luncheon today. The annual program, which stemmed from the then-known Ethos Week, has morphed into an annual awards program to recognize “the best parts of capitalism” and social responsibility, according to Michael Tidwell, Dean, College of Business (COB).
COB students planned, coordinated and selected winners from various categories representing a cross-section of businesses from across the Detroit region and state. Students evaluated numerous businesses and selected 27 finalists from across nine categories with students announcing the 9 winners in front of several hundred business, university and community leaders.
“Selecting the finalists and winners helps students develop important analytical skills,” said Tidwell. “The students evaluate them based on business strategy, financial performance and other key success factors.”
The keynote address was given by EMU alumn, Soviet Union-native and entrepreneur, Aleksandra Efimova, Founder & CEO, Russian Pointe. Starting in her EMU dorm room with one product in 1998, Russian Pointe is now an 18-year old business focused on providing dancing products to dancers and dance studios across the globe. She encouraged students not to give up and to “think outside the box”. Additionally, Efimova said, “…failure is not an option,,,” and have a sense of “…what you want out of life…”
Based on her entrepreneurial experiences, she encouraged students to envision the future, focus on execution and surround yourself with a strong team.
This year’s 2016 Business of the Year categories, winners and other nominees are:
- Accounting: Winner: Plante Moran. Other nominees: Doeren Mayhew, Rehmann Group
- Alumni-Owned Businesses: Winner: Bearclaw Coffee. Other nominees: Article One, Chelsea Milling Company (Jiffy Mix)
- Financial Services: Winner: Quicken Loans. Other nominees: Bank of Ann Arbor, United Shore
- Human Resources: Winner: Ford Motor Company. Other nominees: Kellogg’s, Stryker
- Information Systems: Winner: Google. Other nominees: Altair, Compuware
- Marketing: Winner: Brogan & Partners. Other nominees: Doner, The Mars Agency
- Social Enterprises: Winner: Food Gatherers. Other nominees: Growing Hope, SOS Community Services
- Supply Chain: Winner: Ford Motor Company. Other nominees: IDV Solutions, Ryder
- Start-Up: Winner: AccelerateKID. Other nominees: Banza, ContentOro.