Governor Evers presents awards to top minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned businesses

MADISON, WI. Oct.  24, 2019 – Eight Wisconsin businesses received top honors in the 2019 MARKETPLACE Governor’s Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding businesses owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans.

The awards were presented by Governor Tony Evers and Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), on Thursday, Oct. 24, at MARKETPLACE 2019, the Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development, which was held at the Potawatomi Hotel & Conference Center in Milwaukee.

“To meet the challenges ahead of us, we must recognize how important inclusion, equity, and diversity are to a strong economy,” Governor Evers said. “These awards showcase the important contributions that minority-owned, women-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses make to our communities every day and how they are an important part of building an economy that works for all of us.”

The MARKETPLACE Outstanding Business Awards recognize Wisconsin businesses that show overall business excellence in sales growth, product innovation, employment and management. Those awards have two categories, one for businesses with more than 25 employees and one for small businesses with 25 or fewer employees. The Rising Star Awards recognizes the achievements of businesses operating less than five years that have demonstrated strong growth potential.

All winners are Wisconsin-based companies certified as being minority-owned (MBE), woman-owned (WBE) or service-disabled veteran (SDVB) business enterprises.

The 2019 Outstanding Business award winners are:

Large Business

  • WBE: Coakley Brothers and Brothers Interiors – Milwaukee
  • MBE: Greenfire Management – Milwaukee
  • (There was no SDVB winner in this category.)

Small Business

  • MBE: PeroDigm Design Studio LLC – Cambridge
  • WBE: Red Shoes Inc. – Appleton
  • SDVB: Nagel Architects LLC – Elm Grove

Rising Star

  • MBE: LEDSENS LLC dba Safelumin – Oconomowoc
  • WBE: Genesis Health Consulting LLC – Milwaukee
  • SDVB: Saving Ourselves LLC – Milwaukee

Governor Evers presented the 2019 Legacy Award to JCP Construction in recognition of a decade of outstanding perseverance and business accomplishments as a family-owned, minority-owned general contractor. He praised the company for helping to transform the industry’s culture and impacting the community by contributing to Milwaukee’s neighborhood wealth creation and Wisconsin’s economy.

The governor also presented the 2019 Hall of Fame Award to Vanguard Computers Inc. The MARKETPLACE Sponsor Hall of Fame was established to honor companies that have exhibited their commitment to minority-, woman- and veteran-owned business development through perennial MARKETPLACE sponsorships.

WEDC received more than 150 nominations for the various awards this year. In all, 25 companies were named as finalists in August.

More than 800 people registered for MARKETPLACE 2019 and the Wisconsin Small Business Academy, a companion event for new businesses and entrepreneurs. The event also included a Contracting Academy to help small businesses understand how to win government contracts.