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February 15, 2011
Chamber Announces Stars Over Ocala Business Award Winners
By: Carlos E. Medina
The Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner and awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Ocala Civic Theatre with a pep rally theme hearkening back to the 1950s.
The pep rally theme was both a celebration of the continued perseverance of the business community during economic tough times, as well as motivation to keep working toward success.
The ceremony included the official installation of the chamber’s new board chairman, Dave Fechtman, who takes over from John Hunt.
The evening also featured the Stars Over Ocala Business Awards, which recognized local business and community leaders.
The new business of the year award went to Telecom Services Bureau, which has seen a furious expansion since it was founded with five employees in 2009.
Founded by Joseph Fernandez, the company now employs more than 250 people. The company offers a number of services to other business, including accounting, taxes and marketing on a outsourced basis.
“All of the credit goes to the employees and management staff. Its been a great year,” Fernandez said. “We have 250 associates now and in the next year or two we hope to grow to 500 associates. Our main objective in Ocala and Belleview is to provide as many jobs as we can to help with our economy.”
The Hotel Development and Management Group was named minority business of the year; Hospice of Marion County was the non-profit business of the year; Lockeed Martin won the Walt Driggers Environmentalist of the year award; Jennifer Harmon of Hospice was named the business advocate of the year; John Sotomayor was named journalist of the year; Nancy Porter, Ocala’s Lady Jeweler, was cited as humanitarian of the year; and Rolando Sosa of Architecture Studio was named small business person of the year.
Business of the year honors went to Home Instead Senior Care and the Nebula Award was presented to the Ocala City Council.