Four Tarrant County enterprises were recognized as outstanding businesses by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Jan. 24 during the 2019 Forte Awards Night.
One of the four will be announced as the 2019 Grand Forte Small Business of the Year during Mayor Betsy Price’s State of the City luncheon Feb. 19 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The category winners are:
• Emerging Business (up to three years): 6th Ave Homes, a one-stop shop for buying, selling, design and renovation of homes.
• Manufacturing/Distribution: Silver Creek Materials, a leader in recycling, compost, mining and organic products.st, mining and organic products industry leader
• Consumer/Retail: Tribe Alive, a sustainable fashion brand employing more than 150 people in underdeveloped areas in five countries.
• Professional Services: Elements of Architecture, a full-service commercial architectural firm.
“Small businesses are a key indicator of a region’s economic health,” said Jarred Howard, senior vice president of the Chamber’s Small Business & Entrepreneur Pillar. “The Forte Awards gives us a platform to showcase and promote some of the incredible work they do.”
Mayor Betsy Price spoke to the crowd at the 4-Eleven, the venue on South Main where the event was held.”No one realizes the labor you put into that – except each and every one of you,” she said. “With your success you’re creating this great culture of innovation and creativity.”
For the first time, the competition – formerly called Small Business of the Year – was categorized by industry and not the number of employees.
How the judges measured success remained the same: business growth and performance, sound business strategies and practices, customer service strategies, business challenges, unique and innovative approaches, and community involvement.
The award was renamed Forte as a play on the city’s name as well as recognizing a person’s strong suit, talent and skill. The Forte Awards Night, held at the 4-Eleven, was a celebration devoted to honoring the category winners.
The 12 finalists were judged on their written applications and site visits by business owners and professionals who are members of the Chamber, and undergraduate students from TCU’s Neeley School of Business.
All are entrpreneurship majors or heavily involved with the entrepreneurship program and Institute at TCU.
The Grand Forte recipient was decided by a blue-ribbon committee of Chamber past chairs.
Bank of Texas was Presenting Sponsor of the competition and event. Other sponsors included CliftonLarsonAllen, TCU Neeley School of Business, Wells Fargo, WeWork and media sponsor, Fort Worth Business Press.
– FWBP Staff
More on the Forte Award Winners
Emerging Business: 6th Ave Homes
Jamey Ice & Jimmy Williams, Founders
6th Ave Homes knows clients value originality and deserve the perfect house, a home that feels like them; they need to buy the right house and also renovate and design it to make it their own. The traditional model – find an agent, a design agency and a contractor – couldn’t get it all done. 6th Ave Homes is a “one-stop shop” for buying, selling, design and renovation. It has a team of agents, guides, designers and contractors, to make the process simple and easy.
Manufacturing / Distribution: Silver Creek Materials
Robert Dow, Owner
Silver Creek Materials offers competitive prices, fast, professional services, and high-quality products that have made the company a recycling, compost, mining and organic products industry leader. The company diverts thousands of tons of compostable products away from landfills annually. What started in 1983 as a sand and gravel quarry now includes multiple product lines and services, including topsoil, mulch, fertilizer, soil mixes and the top producing surface mine in the region. Everything that enters Silver Creek Materials’ gates is recycled.
Consumer / Retail: Tribe Alive
Carly Burson, Founder & CEO
Tribe Alive is “an ethical fashion brand focused on moving the industry toward a more sustainable approach while educating and employing artisan men and women. Tribe Alive was born from Carly’s decision to utilize her years of experience in the fashion industry as a platform to alleviate poverty. In four years, Tribe Alive has grown from employing four female makers in Honduras to supporting eight artisan design cooperatives in five countries.
Professional Services: Elements of Architecture Inc.
Debbie Fulwiler, President
Elements of Architecture Inc. is a full-service commercial architectural firm formed in 1996 with a focus on architectural services in the telecommunications/data center industry. With an unwavering focus on client service and quick response, Elements of Architecture has expanded its client base to include higher education, municipal, retail and industrial sectors. Elements has received multiple awards for being one of Tarrant County’s largest women-owned business and one of Tarrant County’s largest architectural firms.