Fredericksburg Chamber Presents First “We Mean Business” Awards

The awards highlight the hard work, drive and resilience of local business owners, leaders and employees who have made their organizations successful through collaboration, innovation, technology and customer service .

Better cooperation
Cort Smith of SmithWorx Office Furniture and David Fraser of Fraser Wood Elements met at a Chamber event earlier this year. As they began discussing their businesses with each other, they realized that they had an overlap in their business models and similar currencies in business; customer service and attention to detail. A few weeks after the meeting, Smith presented Fraser and his team with a custom conference table project, and Fraser jumped at the chance to help Smith and the SmithWorx team.

The companies complement each other and when Frasher is in his business opportunities advising on natural wood design elements, he refers them to SmithWorx if there is a need for office furniture and vice versa. Smith and Fraser plan to continue partnering and hope that other businesses in the region will learn from the success of their partnership.

MC Morris, assistant director of tourism at Fredericksburg Economic Development & Tourism, presented the award for best collaboration.

The most innovative
Ristorante Renato has incorporated innovation into its business model to ensure it can continue to serve its customers and keep its staff working during the pandemic. At the start of the pandemic, like many local restaurants, the struggle to maintain business was real.

Still, they got creative and turned their parking lot into a sidewalk cafe with lights, umbrellas, and greenery to continue the service and maintain an atmosphere people would enjoy.

As the months warmed, they offered unique opportunities for guests to hang out and dine with them while staying socially distant. Next month, Ristorante Renato will install a permanent awning for its outdoor dining area that is weather-savvy and extends when it rains or the sun just hits.

The best of technology
Third Eye View Corp. More businesses are beginning to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT) – physical objects with sensors, processing capability, software and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems via the Internet or other network communications. The Internet of Things has been considered a misnomer because machines do not need to be connected to the public Internet. They only need to be connected to a network and be individually addressable.

Third Eye View delivers IoT security/cybersecurity, helping organizations gain greater competitive advantage in the marketplace and improve operational efficiency.

Kevin Marshall, business development manager in Spotsylvania’s economic development department, presented the award for best technology.

Benevolence in business (a local business with an exceptional brand, good reputation and broad community outreach)

Hilldrup has been in the Fredericksburg area for nearly 120 years and giving back is inherent in the business. The organization’s internal committee, Hilldrup Cares, is exploring community partnership opportunities. It also has the Hilldrup Move-Up Fund, which was established in 2019 and was developed to empower individuals and their families who need a “push” for a more favorable situation.

By providing a stepping stone to a brighter future, fund recipients can feel empowered and hopeful for creating further positive changes in their lives for the well-being of themselves and their families. With support from the Community Foundation and local nonprofit partners, the Hilldrup Move-Up Fund specifically helps people in housing need who may not have the resources to address pressing issues.

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