GREENCREST, a full-service marketing agency, celebrated Sept. 20 when four of the agency’s clients were honored by Smart Business Magazine at a ceremony in Columbus.
Dianne Grote Adams of Safex, Inc., Phil Derrow of Ohio Transmission Corporation, Jennifer Kuntz of Greenleaf Job Training Services, Inc., and J. Michael Vargo of VARGO® Companies were named to the publication’s Smart 50 list, which recognizes the top 50 executives of leading companies in the Columbus region for their passion and adherence to the tenets of the Smart 50 award: innovation, impact and sustainability.
While each of the honorees’ businesses vary dramatically in products and services, all four leaders have built their companies with an emphasis on customer service and top-notch quality, in addition to several unique factors that differentiate their companies from the competition.
- At Safex, Grote Adams has built a company laser focused on providing high-quality environmental, health and safety training and consulting to companies throughout the United States. The company culture emphasizes employee well-being — the health and safety of clients’ employees and the well-being of her own team. Associates enjoy a flexible work environment and ample professional development opportunities.
- Employee loyalty is top of mind at Ohio Transmission Corporation as well. During the recession, Derrow stuck to the company’s commitment of no layoffs, and did not lay off any of its associates despite a 25-percent drop in revenue.
- While Greenleaf Job Training Services already had a successful business helping people with disabilities secure employment, Kuntz pushed the envelope and developed four new business-to-business initiatives to drive new revenue to her company.
- Mike Vargo leads a company that is not content to rest on its laurels. VARGO®’s efforts to develop new features of the company’s Continuous Order Fulfillment Engine (COFE®) software impressed the judges.
At the ceremony, one GREENCREST client took home an additional top honor when Derrow received the specialty award for achievement in sustainability. When accepting the award, he again emphasized his obligation to his employees.
“It became clear that the responsibility is to ensure that the business outlives whatever I might do, so that when it’s time for me to move on, the business continues on as well for our 800 associates,” he said.
That sentiment – of continuing to look forward – is sure to bring continued success to all of the Smart 50 honorees as they grow and expand their businesses for the future.