by Robert Powell
The five winners of the Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards range from a seafood company on the Eastern Shore to a café in the Shenandoah Valley.
The awards, presented by the Initiative for Business in Society at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, recognize companies that have overcome significant economic obstacles to grow and create jobs in their communities.
The winners are:
Agriculture: Ballard Fish & Oyster Co. Inc., Cheriton
A fifth-generation seafood business now run by Chad Ballard III, Ballard Fish & Oyster Co., is the nation’s leading provider of farm-raised, hard-shell clams, producing more than 75 million annually. With more than 170 workers, the company also is one of Northampton County’s largest employers.
Manufacturing: Service Center Metals, Prince George
Founded by former Reynolds Metals Co. executives R. Scott Kelley, R. Randolph “Randy” Weis and Lloyd S. “Chip” Dollins Jr. SCM has the second-largest market share in its industry and employs 120 workers. Its extruded products include rod, bar, pipe, angles, channels, I-beams and custom shapes.
Retail: A Bowl of Good Café Inc., Harrisonburg
Facing higher rent in their first location, the owners of A Bowl of Good Café, Katrina Didot and Rachael Rose, had to start over in a new site and risk losing customers. Continuing to follow its goal of providing “slow food, served fast,” the new site succeeded, and now a second café is being planned. A Bowl of Good Café supports many local charities and has raised more than $4,000 in 2011 for Haiti relief efforts.
Services: ODUrent.com, Norfolk
In 1999, Thanos Polizos began buying and renovating multifamily properties in Norfolk’s Lamberts Point and Highland Park neighborhoods near Old Dominion University. Today his company has more than 100 properties valued at $25 million and 500 student tenants. ODUrent.com has a 99 percent occupancy rate and is the largest off-campus housing provider for university students.
Chairman’s Award: Hubbard Peanut Co. Inc., Sedley
Begun in 1954, Hubbard Peanut Co. has endured many setbacks, including a fire that destroyed a part of its facility, the closure of the local paper mill and challenges beyond its control in the peanut industry. The founders’ daughter, Lynne Rabil, manages the company. Company owners and managers lead many civic organizations and helped form a JROTC program at Franklin High School.
The other finalists were:
- EXCEL Management Services Inc., Richmond
- Griffith Lumber Co., Woolwine
- Office Plus Business Centre, Danville
- Silver Gallery, Waynesboro
- Stuart Land & Cattle Co. of VA, Rosedale
- Sunset Digital Communications Inc., Duffield
Now it its third year, the Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards were begun by Gregory B. Fairchild, who holds the E. Tayer Bigelow Research Chair at Darden.
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