The Stevie Awards Blog

PR Award Winner APRA Porter Novelli Tackles Obesity for Nestlé

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 @ 02:59 PM

APRA Porter Novelli of Sofia, Bulgaria has won the Stevie Award for Best Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Reputation/Brand Management in the public relations awards categories of The 2011 International Business Awards. Here we look at their award-winning campaign to fight the flab.

Nestle Fights ObesityThe devastating facts behind APRA Porter Novelli’s LIVE ACTIVELY! campaign were that each year more and more people in Bulgaria were suffering from obesity and related health problems, particularly children, the elderly, and young working people. Contributing factors included a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of education on balanced nutrition. Bulgaria had recently ranked fifth in Europe for having the most obese population, according to the EU’s Diogenes project.

LIVE ACTIVELY! Campaign Objectives

Nestlé Bulgaria is the country’s biggest Nutrition Health and Wellness (NHW) Company, with products targeted at people from all age groups and social and professional backgrounds. Nestlé is also a socially responsible company, dedicated to long-term investment in the health and well being of consumers.

Research showed that obesity-related problems strike everyone, even children. APRA Porter Novelli therefore created the LIVE ACTIVELY! campaign for its client Nestlé to address the mass public.


Since 2005, APRA Porter Novelli and Nestlé Bulgaria have organized an annual campaign to raise public awareness of the benefits of an active lifestyle and to promote the importance of physical activity in an urban environment. A key element in the project is to promote walking as a simple way to not only stay fit and healthy, but also to improving the environment and reduce air pollution.

APRA Porter Novelli organizes LIVE ACTIVELY! events each year in open air spaces that include central streets, parks, and beaches.  LIVE ACTIVELY! 2010 integrated the following events into one campaign:

  • Sofia, June 20: Official Opening Ceremony, a walkathon, sports activities, concerts, and educational games.
  • Varna, August 10, Nessebar, August 12, and Primorsko, August 14: Beach sports activities, tournaments, and educational games.

Communications Campaign

APRA Porter Novelli supported the 2010 LIVE ACTIVELY! project with a huge communications campaign that included the distribution of thousands of branded hats and T-shirts, special LIVE ACTIVELY! footsteps stuck on the ground to mark the route of the Sofia walkathon; 120,000 leaflet insertions in newspapers and magazines; 60,000 posters; print ads; TV and radio spots, outdoor billboards; Internet banner ads; and a Facebook fan page.

In addition, APRA Porter Novelli arranged for the distribution in Sofia schools of 10,000 maps of South Park, with locations and details of related sport activities; and at the opening ceremony, 50 LIVE ACTIVELY! Gold Medals were awarded to top Bulgarian sportsmen.

VIP Support

LIVE ACTIVELY! received support from numerous Bulgarian VIPs, including the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov; the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova; Olympic athletics champion Tereza Marinova; World rhythmic gymnastics champion Iliana Raeva; World Champion weightlifter Armen Nazarian; and Olympic shooting champion Maria Grozdeva.

Overwhelming Results

The amount of publicity and total media space devoted to LIVE ACTIVELY! events has doubled each year.  Over 300 media outlets covered the events in 2010. The number of participants has grown by over 1,500% over the past 5 years, with 28,500 people taking part in 2010. Over 83,000 people were involved in all the 2010 LIVE ACTIVELY! activities, including 18,000 Facebook fans; and the most active participants received a total of 30,000 sports awards.

LIVE ACTIVELY! is currently the biggest sports event in Bulgaria. It is Nestlé

Bulgaria’s flagship initiative for Nutrition Health and Wellness.

About Tomislav Tsolov and Lubomir Alamanov:

Tomislav Tsolov and Lubomir Alamanov founded APRA Porter Novelli in 1994.  Under their guidance, it has evolved into one of the most experienced communication groups on the Bulgarian market, setting trends for the whole Bulgarian market.

APRA Porter Novelli was among the founders of the Bulgarian Association of PR

Agencies, and Lubomir Alamanov was its first Chairman, from 2001 to 2008. During these years the foundation of the PR industry in Bulgaria was formed and the Stockholm Chapter of Ethics was adopted.

About APRA Porter Novelli:

APRA Porter Novelli is a full-service communications agency with a team of over 70 experienced staff.  For more information go to

Topics: communications awards, business awards, International business awards, PR awards, public relations awards, APRA, porter novelli

Top 3 Tips for Good Business Writing, from a Stevie Award Winner

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 @ 02:45 PM

Q&A with Jennifer Rotner, owner of Elite Editing in New York, New York, which won the Stevie Award for Best Website in the 2010 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.  Jennifer is also Chair of the final judging committee for the Media categories of the 2011 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.  The final entry deadline for the awards is this Friday - you'll find the entry kit here.

Jennifer RotnerWhat are your top 3 tips for creating good writing on the Web or in business documents?

1. Be Clear.

Clear writing focuses on a specific objective and a specific audience. Examine your assumptions about readers—can you use industry jargon? How much background information will you need to provide?

2. Be Honest and Accurate.

This should go without saying; people are going to more willingly trust (and therefore do business with) companies known for their integrity. Be intentional about spreading the truth and about verifying information—anything less will annoy readers who know the facts and motivate them to look elsewhere.

3. Be Balanced.

Ultimately, effective business communication happens when the message you present is received, understood and accepted by your intended audience; and the best way for this to happen is to create a balance—passion with control, grammar with rhetoric and readability with enjoyment.

What has happened since you won Website of the Year at the 2010 Stevie Awards for Women in Business?

It’s been a great year for us. Since we took home the award, we immediately saw an increase in traffic to the website that has sustained throughout the year. We’ve also seen the B2B side of our business grow by twofold. Much of that growth comes from building a good reputation and gaining referral business. I credit the Stevie Award with strengthening our company’s overall reputability and visibility in the market.

In 2011 we’ve also put a tremendous amount of effort into our website. With the goal in mind of making a visit to as resourceful and simple as possible, we’ve made a lot of changes and are relaunching this October, complete with new services, checkout system, and blog.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?

I’ve been really enthralled by what’s going on in the Middle East. So much of my business involves social media, writing, and the sharing of ideas, and these have been a driving force behind the unprecedented movements that are changing the landscape of that region. I have Twitter followers from Egypt whose profiles call for freedom and democracy. It’s pretty awe-inspiring.

Do you have a favorite business app?

(Does Angry Birds count? It’s a great stress reliever on those tough days!)

Yes, I do. Evernote is a game changer for me. If you’re a list maker or a bookmarker, this is the most incredible tool. I went from always having a notepad in front of me and post-its sticking to my laptop (and often to the bottoms of my shoes when I got home) to having everything I wrote, heard, saw, bookmarked, etc., neatly filed, tagged, and organized in a cloud-based app that syncs to all my devices. Ahhh.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

That’s easy. Storm chaser. Since I was a kid I ran outside when everyone else ran inside. But, being a small business owner, sometimes I feel like that IS my profession!

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?

Trust, above all else. I’m putting my business, my clients, my livelihood, into the hands of those I work with, so I need to feel that they are as devoted to the work as I am.

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work?

Everyone is different, but I can tell you mine: bringing my laptop to bed. I’m trying so hard to break the habit! Bed is for sleep, not for work! (Or that’s what I keep telling myself…)

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?

You’ve got to love what you do. I can’t imagine getting up every day and devoting my time to something I’m not passionate about. Whatever it is, you’ve got to find that thing that makes you want to kick the covers off and get to work. For me, it’s running this business. It’s helping people—day in and day out—to get published, get into grad school, or run their own businesses more effectively with our services. This is what drives and inspires me every morning to get working, and what makes me sneak that laptop into bed at night!

About Jennifer Rotner

Jennifer Rotner is the owner of Elite Editing, a New York–based full-service editorial company offering proofreading, editing and writing help for businesses, academics and individuals through the website

From her real-world experience as a professional editor, Jennifer recognized the need for a better way to ensure that editing and proofreading services were customized to each of her clients. With this goal firmly in mind, she developed the exclusive matching system Elite Editing uses to pair every project and customer with the right proofreader or editor. Which is why Elite Editing boasts a loyal roster of satisfied clients and an unrivaled pool of editors that hail from the business, academic and journalism realms. 

Prior to founding Elite Editing, Jennifer helped form the editorial division at NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing organization, where she ran the copy department as copy chief. Before taking on this post, she gained years of experience in the field as features editor for Focus-New York magazine and as an editor for the marketing department at the American Museum of Natural History.

Jennifer received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a Baltimorean (her home town) above all else.

About Elite Editing

Elite Editing is a New York–based proofreading, editing, and writing company that offers editorial support for companies of all sizes, from small businesses and non-profits to large corporations and Fortunate 500s; authors and writers seeking to get published; and students who want their projects to have that final, all-important polish. Elite Editing also offers copywriting, web copy optimization and SEO, content creation, and many other long-term customized business solutions that give their clients the benefits of having a professional editorial staff, without the overhead. For more information visit

Topics: business awards, website awards, stevie awards, web awards, best websites, Jennifer Rotner, Elite Editing

How a Business Award Winner Is Rolling Over the Competition

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 @ 02:32 PM

Gulf Aluminum Rolling Mill Company in Bahrain will receive the Stevie Award for Manufacturing Company of the Year at The 2011 International Business Awards in Abu Dhabi on October 11. Here we look at how this company is improving efficiencies and cutting costs while keeping its worldwide customers happy.

Dr. HasanGulf Aluminium Rolling Mill (GARMCO) was established in 1981 to manufacture and market aluminium rolled coils and sheets. The company was set up as a joint venture between the Arabian Gulf states, with the Bahrain Government and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation as the majority shareholders, followed by the Industrial Bank of Kuwait and the Gulf Investment Corporation from Kuwait, Omani Centre for Investment Promotion & Export Development (OCIPED) of Oman, Qatar Petroleum from Qatar, and the Government of Iraq.

GARMCO‘s initial annual production capacity was 40,000 tonnes per annum of aluminium rolled coils and sheets. The main target markets were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and the Middle East. Today, GARMCO has become the largest downstream aluminium facility in the Middle East, producing over 165,000 tonnes a year.

Worldwide Sales
GARMCO has been developed strategically to sell its products worldwide through Bahrain or through its network of 25 international service centers and sales subsidiaries. With the current global economic downturn, high inflation, and stiff competition in international markets, GARMCO has intensified its efforts to reduce costs, improve quality, and better serve its customers.

Establishment of an Excellence Center
GARMCO undertook several initiatives during 2010 to achieve its objectives, the main one being the establishment of the GARMCO Excellence Center (GEC), an initiative that was strongly supported by Dr. Adel Hamad, GARMCO’s CEO. The major objectives of the GEC were to:

-  reduce costs on a long-term basis

-  increase plant efficiency and productivity

-  improve delivery times

-  improve product quality

-  improve service and the level of customer satisfaction

-  increase GARMCO’s competitive advantage in the global market

-  ensure employee health, safety, and security

-  achieve environmental excellence

Reduced Costs
GARMCO has been highly successful in achieving its objectives. One of the first recommendations by the center was to reduce scrape, which resulted in less recycling, This manufacturing change has also reduced carbon emissions and brought down costs, with a saving of US$2,000,000 in the first year.

GARMCO improved equipment and labor efficiency by 10%, and boosted customer satisfaction through the on-time delivery of high-quality, reasonably priced products. 

Business Continuity Management Certification
During 2010, GARMCO achieved BS 25999 business continuity management certification, becoming Bahrain's first manufacturing company to receive this international standard. The certification has enhanced GARMCO’s image, brand, and reputation.

Implementing an ERP Business Solution
As part of GARMCO’s long-term plans to improve the infrastructure of its worldwide subsidiaries, the company has successfully implemented the Oracle ERP business solution. The Singapore subsidiary can now access the ERP in Bahrain over the Internet, which has increased transparency between GARMCO’s headquarters in Bahrain and its subsidiary.

A Long and Challenging Journey Ahead
Said Dr. Hamad: “This is just the beginning of a long, challenging, and I hope enjoyable journey for our company. We anticipate that the monetary benefits generated by the recommendations of the GEC will reach as much as $10,000,000 over the next five years. BS25999 certification has been another milestone for us.  After all, being known as a reliable company is good for both our customers and our employees.

“It is an honor for GARMCO that our efforts are being recognized in The 2011 International Business Awards.”

About Dr. Adel Hamad
Dr. Adel Hamad was named CEO of the GARMCO group of companies and Chairman of all worldwide subsidiaries in April 2007.  He started his career at GARMCO as a mechanical engineer, becoming an engineering manager, an administration manager, and a deputy general manager before becoming CEO.  Prior to joining GARMCO, Dr. Hamad  was the headmaster of Muharraq Technical School.

Dr. Hamad is President of the Bahrain Management Society Board, and a member of the Bahrain Engineering Society, the Bahrain Society for Training & Development, and the International Business Leaders Association. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Sheffield University, UK, and a PhD in Corporate Governance from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.

Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill Company (GARMCO) was formed in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 1981, and started manufacturing operations in July 1985. It has six shareholders from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Iraq.  It produces quality rolled aluminium sheets, and coils. The products of GARMCO are sold throughout the globe.  More information can be obtained by visiting the company’s homepage:

Topics: business awards, stevie awards, business award, company of the year

The Stevie Awards Are Looking for a Communications Manager

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 @ 05:36 PM

Stevie Awards LogoThe Stevie Awards, the world's premier business awards, are looking to hire a Communications Manager. Interested, or know someone who might be? 

Title: Communications Manager

Responsibilities / Approximate % of time

  • Answering phone and email inquiries from entrants and potential entrants (30%)
  • Soliciting, editing, writing, preparing, and publishing content for our weekly email newsletter, blog postings, and LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook page postings (20%)
  • Managing day-to-day relationship with public relations agency (5%)
  • Preparing and publishing web site updates (10%)
  • Various administrative tasks such as awards fulfillment, mailings, and correspondence (10%)
  • Working with art director, print broker, list suppliers, and mailhouses to design, prepare, and fulfill direct mailings and advertising campaigns (15%)
  • Outbound telephone and email correspondence with entrants, potential entrants, sponsors, potential sponsors, and other constituents. (10%)


  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook, and Powerpoint
  • Knowledge of HTML and proficiency in an HTML editor such as Dreamweaver
  • Experience in the use of online content management systems
  • Expertise in the use of social media
  • 1-4 years of experience in public relations and/or marketing
  • Ability and willingness to travel when needed for awards programs and other reasons
  • Ability to thrive in a small, fast-moving, flexible and casual work environment: requires creativity, adaptability, patience, ingenuity, initiative, and dedication to excellence.

Salary and benefits negotiable.

Office in Fairfax, Virginia but location TBD for the right candidate.

Email resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to

Topics: business awards, stevie awards, communications manager

Social Media Tips From a Business Award Winner: Q&A With Sherry Chris

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 @ 09:49 PM

Sherry ChrisQ&A with Sherry Chris, President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in Parsippany, New Jersey, USA, who was named Best Executive in a Service Business (up to 100 employees) in the 2010 Stevie Awards for Women In Business.  She is also Chair of the committee for final judging of the Best Executive categories in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.  The final entry deadline for the awards is September 30.

What are your top 3 tips for using social media in business?

  • Be authentic when you are online. Make sure your voice is real and that you are not hiding behind a persona.
  • Be doggedly determined.  Being active in the social-media space is not a one-time marketing campaign or stunt. You need a long-term strategy and you need to stick to it.
  • Always remember that technology is a tool that creates efficiencies; however, it does not—and never will—replace the importance of face-to-face or personal contact.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?

The recent stepping-down by Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple was significant to me not only because of his indelible impact on the technology industry, but also because his innovation forever changed the way we live our lives with technology.

As a CEO myself, this news was an opportunity to further reflect on the tenets I live by:

  • Do your best, in small and large endeavors, every single day
  • Attack your goals with passion
  • Make a big impact: on your company, on your industry, in your community
  • Inspire your team
  • Empower your team to move the business forward: ground them with a common vision

Do you have a favorite business app?

Flipboard for iPad is my favorite business app.  It’s the world’s first social magazine, allowing the more than 3.5 million people who have downloaded the app to organize their social and news streams into an easy-to-read electronic magazine format on their iPad.  Our Twitter feed--@bhgrealestate--is featured content in the Business & Finance category of Flipboad.  We are the only real estate franchise to be featured, a distinction that makes us very proud.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

Real estate is in my DNA.  I have been in this wonderful industry for 30 years and could not see myself anywhere else.  One of the reasons I love my job and my industry is because, while technically I am in real estate, I consider myself in the customer service business.  Another industry that mirrors this is hospitality. I attended the Ritz Carlton executive customer-service training program because I believe customer service is the way to stand apart.  I have integrated the philosophy of extreme customer service into everything we do at Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?

One of the first things we did when we built the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand was to create a set of core business values, which we call PAIGE: Passion, Authenticity, Innovation, Growth, and Excellence.  These are the values I follow both professionally and personally.  They are qualities that are consistent across my team and across our network of brokers and agents.

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work?

I believe one bad habit that holds many leaders and companies back is not having the courage to acknowledge mistakes quickly, correct them, and move on.  We live in a dynamic business world.  With the right core values, strategies, and team, a company is empowered to tackle any roadblock that comes its way—and to emerge stronger because of it.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?

I believe my job is not only to build the most innovative lifestyle-real-estate brand, it is also to change the way we do business in our industry.  When you fully believe in something; when you are fortunate enough to truly be passionate about your company, your customers, and your goals; and when you have been empowered to look at and do things differently to achieve those goals, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. 

About Sherry Chris

Sherry Chris was appointed President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in October of 2007. Her appointment followed Realogy's announcement that it had entered into a 50-year agreement with Meredith Corporation to license the Better Homes and Gardens® name to launch a new and dynamic global residential real estate brand.

Sherry has more than 27 years of real estate experience, including significant senior management positions in the areas of sales, marketing, new technologies, and franchise management. A native Canadian, she began her real estate career in Canada and held increasingly senior positions with Royal LePage for 16 years before taking on executive roles with Real Living (Ohio) and Prudential CA/NV/TX Realty. She joined Realogy in 2006 as Chief Operating Officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

Well known within the real estate industry, Sherry is a frequent speaker at real estate and technology conferences. She serves on Zillow's broker-advisory board and has served on a number of industry- and technology-related advisory boards, including Trulia and Google Real Estate. She is a past chairman of The Realty Alliance. Sherry is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario, and she earned an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.

About Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a real estate brand that offers a full range of services to brokers, sales associates, and home buyers and sellers. Using innovative technology, sophisticated business systems, and the broad appeal of a lifestyle brand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC embodies the future of the real estate industry while remaining grounded in the tradition of home. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. The growing Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate network includes approximately 7,000 sales associates and more than 200 offices serving homebuyers and sellers in 23 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.  For more information, please visit       

Better Homes and Gardens(r) is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC.  Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens(r) Real Estate Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.

Topics: business awards, stevie awards, women awards, women in business awards, Sherry Chris

Call for Entries for Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

SASCS LogoThe Stevie Awards, organizer of the world’s premier business awards programs, has issued a call for entries for the 2012 (6th annual) Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  Entry kits and complete details on the competition are available at   

All customer service, contact center, and sales departments, teams and professionals worldwide are eligible to be nominated, in addition to new products and services used by those professionals.

The early-bird entry deadline is October 12 and the final deadline is November 18.  Winners of the sixth annual competition will be announced at a gala awards dinner on in February 2012 in Las Vegas.

The competition will be judged by more than 200 professionals around the world.

2012 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Stevie Awards movement, and to mark the occasion  the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service will be the first to present awards in three levels of distinction: gold, silver and bronze.  To date only overall category winners have received (gold) Stevie Awards.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories.  Entrants may submit any number of nominations to any number of categories, which include:

  • Sales Individual categories such as Senior Sales Executive of the Year and Worldwide VP of Sales of the Year
  • Sales Team categories like Global Sales Team of the Year and Field Sales Team of the Year
  • Sales Achievement categories such as Sales Turnaround of the Year and Outbound Marketing Program of the Year
  • Sales Department of the Year categories in 13 industry groupings
  • Customer Service and Contact Center Individual categories such as Front-Line Customer Service Professional of the Year and Customer Service Manager of the Year
  • Customer Service and Contact Center Team categories like Contact Center of the Year and Customer Service Management Team of the Year
  • Customer Service and Contact Center Achievement categories such as e-Commerce Customer Service Award and Award for Innovation in Customer Service
  • Customer Service Department categories in 11 industry groupings
  • New Product and Service categories like Best New Business Intelligence Solution and Best New Relationship Management Solution
  • Solution Provider categories such as Sales Consulting Practice of the Year and Incentive, Rewards, or Recognition Provider of the Year

Winners of the most recent edition of the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service included Apple Inc., Bulldog Solutions, CIGNA Government Services, Competence Call Center AG, L.L. Bean, Marsh U.S. Consumer,, Rosetta Stone,, SMART Technologies, SuiteAmerica Corporate Housing, and T-Mobile. A complete list of the fifth annual honorees is available at

About The Stevie Awards:

The Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.  Learn more about the Stevie Awards at, and follow the Stevie Awards on Twitter @TheStevieAwards.   

Sponsors of the 6th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include InfoGroup, ValueSelling Associates, and SDL.

Topics: customer service awards, business awards, stevie awards, sales awards, good customer service, excellent customer service

Judging Begins for Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Sep 13, 2011 @ 07:34 AM

SAWIB LogoPreliminary judging opened this week for the 8th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run.  The awards are open to all organizations and individuals worldwide - entries will be accepted through September 30.  Similarly, anyone around the world may apply to participate in the preliminary round of judging - the application form is online.

Preliminary judges determined the Finalists who will be announced on October 12.  Later in October, final judging panels will determine the Stevie Award winner in each category from among the Finalists.

Judging is conducted online, and the preliminary judging web site will be available online, 24/7, through October 9.

Among the benefits of participating as a Stevie Awards preliminary judge are:

* Acknowledgment on the awards web site and in the awards dinner program (this year's event is on November 11 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York)

* The opportunity to win free tickets to the awards dinner (the two judges who score the most entries receive them)

* A certificate of appreciation, suitable for framing

* The opportunity to learn how extraordinary women and organizations around the world are innovating and succeeding.

Even if you have only an hour or two to contribute to judging over the next month, your contribution will be useful and appreciated.  Interested in participating? Then complete the online application form.  If accepted, you'll be assigned categories based on your experience and function.

Topics: stevie awards, women awards, women in business awards, Women in Business

Winners Announced in People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Sep 13, 2011 @ 07:18 AM

PCSAFC 2011 WinnerMore than 35,000 votes were cast in the first People's Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Companies, from 28 July through 9 September, and here are the top vote-getters in the 25 categories, and thus the winners of the crystal People's Choice Stevie Awards:

2011 Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations: BrainJuicer Group PLC            

2011 Aerospace, Defense & Transportation: Gulftainer Company Limited                      

2011 Automotive & Transport Equipment: International Armoring Corporation                       

2011 Banking: National Bank of Abu Dhabi

2011 Business Services: ActionCOACH

2011 Chemicals: SABIC

2011 Computer Services: Quality Systems, Inc.

2011 Computer Software: SYSPRO

2011 Conglomerates: Siemens AG

2011 Consumer Products: Beiersdorf AG

2011 Electronics: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing 

2011 Energy & Utilities: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company                 

2011 Financial Services: Union National Bank

2011 Food & Beverage: Al Ghadeer Water Factory LLC 

2011 Health Products & Services: PetRays

2011 Insurance: PlanSource

2011 Manufacturing: Joseph Group

2011 Materials & Construction: GS Engineering & Construction                       

2011 Media: British Sky Broadcasting

2011 Metals & Mining: African Rainbow Minerals

2011 Non-Profit & Government: Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters                      

2011 Real Estate: CTP Company

2011 Retail: Ross Stores

2011 Services: African Access Holdings

2011 Telecommunications: Türk Telekom

This worldwide public vote was conducted as part of The 8th Annual International Business Awards, the only global, all-encompassing business awards program honoring great performances in business.

Nicknamed the Stevie® for the Greek word “crowned,” the awards will be presented to honorees at the IBA awards banquet on Tuesday, 11 October in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  Tickets for the event are now on sale.

All organizations honored in the Company/Organization awards categories of this year’s International Business Awards were eligible to be included in voting for the people’s choice awards, which was open to the public for more than five weeks this summer.

How did your favorites fare in the voting?

Topics: business awards, International business awards, IBAs, peoples choice

How The Receivables Exchange Won a Stevie® for Turning IOUs into Cash for SMEs

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Sep 01, 2011 @ 09:55 AM

The Receivables Exchange of New Orleans, Louisiana USA won a Stevie Award for Management Team of the Year in the management awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards. The ABAs are open to all organizations in the U.S.A.  The 2012 edition opens for entries in October.

Nic PerkinThe Receivables Exchange, founded in 2007 by Nicolas (Nic) Perkin and Justin Brownhill, allows businesses to sell their receivables to a global network of institutional investors and access working capital in as little as three days. With remittance terms now as much as 180 days, The Receivables Exchange is a welcome financial tool for small and mid-sized businesses, particularly in the current economic climate.

Working in the Dark

Although the concept for The Receivables Exchange seemed straightforward, there was no blueprint for making the Exchange work. The closest model, the New York Stock Exchange, had nearly 200 years to get everything right. Even building a team was difficult, since Justin Brownhill and Nic Perkin needed to find specific talent for a Justin Brownhillbusiness model that didn’t exist.

According to its two founders, building the company was like walking through a dark, windowless room: they had no reference points, and could not see the walls. There were moments when it seemed that the Exchange would not come to fruition, but Justin and Nic persevered.

Nic’s idea for The Receivables Exchange was to provide growing companies with business financing. His experience in starting and growing companies led him to conceptualize new and faster means of getting working capital. Where Nic envisioned the idea of modernizing accounts receivable, Justin conceptualized the market model: standardization, transparency, centralization, and competition. Justin drew from his years of experience in exchange strategy and trading technology to structure a marketplace where accounts receivable could be funded and traded like other assets on an electronic platform.

A Competitive Marketplace

The result is a real-time, online, competitive marketplace for accounts receivable that gives companies the ability to generate cash quickly and as competitively as possible.  The normal turn on a transaction is approximately 1 day at a 1 percent cost of capital.

“The ‘Management Team of the Year’ award is a testament to the ongoing commitment, innovation, and hard work of our entire Receivables Exchange team,” said Justin and Nic. “Recognition from the nation’s premier business awards program affirms the tremendous value our employees are contributing to make The Receivables Exchange the truly innovative working capital marketplace it has become.”

A Challenge to the Old Guard

Because the Exchange was pioneering a working capital solution for small and
medium-sized businesses, the old guard saw them as a threat. Some of the factoring industry associations blackballed The Receivables Exchange from working with many of its members, whom the Exchange had counted on to be among their clients.

Needing the half of the equation that would buy receivables, Justin and Nic found an entirely new and unconventional set of institutional buyers. Because these buyers had never purchased receivables before, the Exchange needed to take the extra step of educating them on the value of receivables and how it would benefit them.

Explosive Growth

Since the early days of struggle, the Exchange has grown its business to now
have the best of Wall Street investors. Fortune 100 companies were so impressed with The Receivables Exchange that they the requested that the Exchange set up the Commercial Receivables Paper Market for their receivables. Although these larger cash-rich companies have access to other means of liquidity, they came to the Exchange as they recognized the value in an online receivables marketplace with a diverse pool of investors.

Participation by these corporations is validation that the Exchange is changing the landscape of business financing, and it has quickly become a mainstream cash management tool for companies of all sizes.

The Receivables Exchange saw 466% growth in 2010. This nearly five-fold rise indicates that businesses are embracing the Exchange’s online marketplace as a method of managing cash flow and are taking advantage of this unique opportunity.  Quite an accomplishment for a market built from scratch only a few years ago.

The Receivables Exchange LLC is a subsidiary of the New Orleans Exchange (NOE).

About the Co-Founders

CEO & co-founder Justin Brownhill’s entrepreneurial spirit was instilled at a young age at his father’s knee. On Wall Street, Justin was one of the youngest, most successful bankers at Salomon Brothers, UBS, and DLJ, where he worked on over $100 billion in M&A transactions and some of the industry’s largest underwritings.

Brownhill earned a Bachelor of Commerce with distinction from the Faculty of
Management at the University of Calgary, Canada. In 1994 he helped start Minds Matter, a NYC-based volunteer organization, which helps disadvantaged inner-city high school students prepare and get selected for higher education

At the age of 15, president & co-founder Nic Perkin cleared $500 per week walking dogs. He bought stocks with the money to help to pay for college and went on to receive a Master of Science in Finance from the London Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University. 

As head of Global Business Development of Massive, Inc., a provider of software and services, he spearheaded the company’s North American strategic initiatives to host advertisements within video games. In 2010, Nic was nominated to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Innovation Council, which was ratified unanimously by the Louisiana State Legislature and approved by Governor Bobby Jindal.

About The Receivables Exchange

The Receivables Exchange is a first-to-market, real-time, online marketplace for working capital financing that provides a game-changing solution for both small and large U.S. companies. The Exchange connects a global network of accredited Buyers to businesses (Sellers) in search of flexible, affordable, and continuous access to working capital. Buyers get direct access to a $17 trillion new investable asset that comprises the largest asset class in the U.S. credit markets. Sellers gain prompt and highly cost-effective access to the capital they need, without onerous constraints.

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