By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Last week during industry appreciation week, several businesses were recognized by the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce for their achievements.
A new category, Entrepreneur of the Year, was added this year to the industry awards event held by the chamber on Sept. 20 at the Indian River State College Richardson Center.
The award was given to True Colors Salon and Spa, which has grown from seven employees in 2008 to 16 employees in 2011. The salon and spa has experienced 40 percent annual growth for the past three years and the owners are looking to grow even more.
Helene Caseltine, economic development director for the chamber, said the awards presentation was quite exciting and every seat was filled.
The new category received many nominations and the decision was hard to make, she said.
"We have a lot of very small businesses here in Indian River County. There are some really innovated people in our county. The nominations were all extremely impressive," she said.
NetBoss Technologies, Seacoast National Bank and Vero Insurance were all recognized as companies of the year, in the large-, medium- and small-size company categories.
"The awards event is an important part of the chamber's business retention program," said Bill Penney, chamber chairman, in a press release.
"We show our appreciation to those businesses that have made a positive impact in our community during the past year, whether through architectural enhancements or by way of community involvement and economic impact," he said.
The Sebastian-based software company, NetBoss Technologies, is an up-and-coming company with more than 50 employees managing telecommunications networks for companies in 60 counties.
Their influence and successes actually drew another company, U.K.-based SMI Telecoms, to open a location in Indian River County, as well, Ms. Caseltine said.
NetBoss recently established technology scholarship programs at Sebastian River and Vero Beach high schools and have awarded $10,000 since 2011, according to a press release.
For middle-size businesses with 25-50 employees, Seacoast National Bank took the accolades. The bank was established in the county more than 20 years ago and employs 45 residents. This past year, the company donated $44,000 to local nonprofits and its employees had 100 percent participation in the United Way campaign.
Seacoast is known in the community for offering continuing education seminars for professionals and hosting special events regularly.
Vero Insurance was recognized as small-size Business of the Year. The company began more than half a century ago with two employees and has expanded to 22 employees with an average wage of $50,000. The company, as a whole, has contributed more than $20,000 per year to local charities, including the Education Foundation.
Other awards were also given by the chamber. To read about them, visit the chamber's website.
For more Indian River County Chamber of Commerce news, visit www.indianriverchamber.com.