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Fort Worth Business Press Top 100 Awards

Top 100 2018

Business Press honors business achievement

The Fort Worth Business Press recognized 14 individuals and businesses Aug. 29 at its annual Top 100 businesses in Tarrant County event at the Fort Worth Club.

The Business Press honored Rusty Reid, CEO of Higginbotham, as Top Private Company CEO of the year, Don Shisler, president and CEO of the Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County as the Top Nonprofit CEO, and gave Hillwood a special award for its 30th anniversary.

The Top 100 awards were presented by BKD CPAs & Advisors. Platinum sponsors were Imagetek and Anderson Consulting. The gold sponsor was Kimbell Art Museum. The silver sponsor was Rod Patrick Bootmakers. The bronze sponsors were UMB Bank, United Way of Tarrant County and Raider Express.

The honorees are:

Top Private Company Executive

Rusty Reid, Higginbotham

Top Nonprofit Executive

Don Shisler, Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County

Entrepreneur of the Year

Art Clapp, Nuvothera Inc.

30th Anniversary Award

Hillwood Properties

Top Women-Owned Business

Eosera Inc.

Top Minority-Owned Business

Source Building Group

Top Family-Owned Business

Raider Express Inc.

Top Manufacturing Company

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.

Top Financial Services Company

Frost Bank

Top Real Estate Company

Cassco Land Co. Inc.

Top Construction Company

Fort Construction

Top Software Company

ECi Software Solutions

Top Architecture Company

Bennett Benner Partners Architects + Planners

Top Restaurateur

Felipe Armentz

Shisler was given the award for Top Nonprofit Executive as head of the more than a century-old Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, founded in 1888 as the Bethel Mission by 10 downtown churches. The organization provides food, shelter and support services to thousands of men, women and children.

It got a fresh start and a new name – Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County – in 1909 and adopted a new motto: No creed but Christ; no law but love. It is known for its expansive work for the homeless and disenfranchised and has been lauded for innovative programs such as the Healing Shepherd Clinic that helps relieve overcrowded hospitals and, recently, the Scott Walker Women and Families Service building.

“I’m a minister,” said Shisler, to the crowd. “I’m serving the Lord Jesus Christ and I enjoy every day that I serve at Union Gospel Mission. But it’s a team effort there. It’s the board of directors, it’s my staff, it’s the volunteers and it’s the community. We all come together there at Union Gospel Mission at some capacity. It may be sending in a donation, it may be volunteering there.”

The company headed by Top Private Company Executive honoree Reid also has a long history in the city. Higginbotham was founded 70 years ago in Fort Worth by Paul C. Higginbotham. His nephew, Bill Stroud, took over in 1962 and mentored Reid from when he joined Higginbotham in 1986 until he assumed leadership in 1989.

Higginbotham provides a single-source solution for insurance and financial services. The firm brokers business insurance, employee benefits, retirement plans, executive benefits, life insurance and home/auto insurance from more than 250 regional and national carriers.

It supplements coverage with in-house risk management and benefit plan administration services that it calls Day Two Services. Higginbotham operates 29 offices in Texas and Oklahoma City, and it ranks by revenue as the nation’s 27th largest independent insurance brokerage firm, making it the largest Texas-based broker, according to Business Insurance (July 2018).

Gross billings in 2017 were $172.6 million.

Reid was unavailable for the luncheon, but Michael Parks, managing director and COO of Financial Services for Higginbotham spoke to the attendees.

“If Rusty were here he would share this award with everyone at Higginbotham,” said Parks. “He helped create a vision of what we strive to be, to be the best in Texas and we try to do that with everything we do. Back in 1989, he had the foresight to establish an employee ownership plan and that has really helped unite our employees,” he said.

To see stories on the honorees click here.

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