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CANTON, OH (March 26, 2010) – The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced the 2010 winners of the Business Excellence Awards of Greater Canton. This year’s Business Excellence Award winners include Altercare of Ohio, Inc., Grabowski & Company, Jülz by Alan Rodriguez, Kimble Transfer and Recycling and The Knoch Corporation. All five winners will be honored with a Business Excellence Award and one will also receive the Business of the Year Award. The Business of the Year recipient will be announced during the awards dinner on Tuesday, April 27.

ABOUT THE WINNERS

Altercare of Ohio, Inc. is a family-owned skilled nursing and rehabilitation company started by Sue and Gerald Schroer in 1973. The company operates 17 rehabilitation and nursing care facilities in Ohio and one in Michigan, with six located in Stark County. The company provides physical, occupational and speech therapy care, and post-acute medical services. In 2009, Absolute Health Services and Altercare of Ohio, Inc. entered into a lease agreement with Maple Street Commerce LLC to develop 57,000 square feet in the space previously known as the Hoover plant to accommodate Altercare’s recent growth. The new location on Maple Street integrates the companies’ management, financial, operational, information technology, supply, purchasing and distribution services. Award-winning care is the focus of all Altercare facilities, and the six Stark County locations, along with many others throughout Ohio, have received the American Health Care Association National Quality Award, recognizing continuous quality improvement. Altercare also received the NorthCoast 99 award for the sixth consecutive year in 2009. This award honors 99 great workplaces in Northeast Ohio. Altercare has eight facilities which provide special care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Recently, Country Lawn Center, located in Navarre, along with three other Ohio locations, earned the status of an Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Excellence in Care Dementia Program of Distinction. As a company that is in the business of caring for people, Altercare of Ohio, Inc. supports a wide range of community and advocacy organizations, including the Stark County chapter of the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, United Way and Arts in Stark.

Grabowski & Company develops and implements strategic communication plans for its clients. Based in Uniontown, Ohio, Grabowski & Company’s clients range from Fortune 500 firms to local small businesses and nonprofits. In 2009 and early 2010, the firm added Akzo Nobel, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Kenan Advantage Group, Morgan Engineering, Kent State University at Stark, SUPER Learning Center and Rembrandt Homes to their client roster. The Timken Company and Progressive Insurance remain among their biggest clients. Since 1997, Grabowski & Co. has grown from one employee, Sue Grabowski, to a diverse team of 10 representatives with different backgrounds and robust experiences. From 2003 through 2008, the company experienced a 513 percent increase in sales. The marketing firm’s biggest investment was the purchase of its permanent 5,500 sq. ft. headquarters in Uniontown. Grabowski & Co also regularly invests in network upgrades for the company, as well as the latest software and operating systems for its graphic designers. Customer service is the hallmark of Grabowski & Co, and 99 percent of its business is referral-based. Over the last five years, Grabowski & Co has earned more than 30 gold and silver ADDY® Awards at the local Canton Advertising Federation competition. Grabowski & Co is dedicated to innovation and always brings big-picture thinking to the table.

Jülz by Alan Rodriguez is an original jewelry store that debuted in downtown Canton in June 2007. Jülz is an expansion of Rodriquez’s House of Stones, which was established in 1987 in New Philadelphia. Rodriguez opened a Canton location because nearly 35 percent of his House of Stones customers came from the Stark County region. Within three years, Jülz has added four, full-time staff members and three, part-time employees and is currently recruiting for two new full-time positions. Jülz has invested over $1 million in its downtown Canton location, utilizing primarily local assets and resources. The company is focused on local development and on the arts movement in Canton. Jülz has sponsored the Stark County High School Art Competition and regularly features local artists in its showroom. They have made significant donations to charity auctions, including the Aultman Angel Auction and auctions held by Walsh University, Mercy Medical Center, Junior League, Trillium Family Solutions and Quest Recovery Services. Jülz was named America’s Coolest Jewelry Store by InStore Magazine and one of the Best Jewelry and Watch Retailers in America by Harper’s Bazaar. The jeweler was also chosen to premier the Centennial Exhibition of Mercy Medical Center. Jülz is committed to the Stark County community and is one the most innovative, dynamic jewelers in the region.

Founded by Floyd and Doris Kimble in 1950, Kimble Transfer and Recycling has been in the mining and solid waste disposal business for sixty years. From 1994 to 2009, the number of communities in the U.S. with access to curbside recycling tripled, and Stark County is no exception to this trend. KTR and its affiliate, J&J Refuse, offer collection and processing of recyclables for residents throughout Stark County. In 1993 KTR designed and built its innovative Material Recovery Facility (MTF) in Canton in order to sort and bale source-separated recyclables from throughout Stark County. In the last quarter of 2008 and throughout 2009, the City of Canton implemented a first-ever curbside recycling program for its residents. KTR was selected to receive and process all of the city’s recyclables. KTR accepts recyclable materials daily from Stark County’s collection program, the general public and other private haulers. Materials accepted include paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, aluminum, steel and yard waste. KTR has partnered with Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities to provide productive and rewarding jobs for up to 20 SCBDD workers, who earn a competitive wage sorting and processing recyclables. In 2009, the company invested in major renovations to the tipping floor and materials handling equipment at the Canton facility, totaling approximately $262,000, and expanded services to include recycling of rigid plastics. Kimble Transfer and Recycling is a cornerstone of recycling and waste disposal in Stark County and has plans to expand their innovative process to serve Stark County even better in the future.

The Knoch Corporation, founded in 1947, is a general contractor that specializes in educational, recreational, healthcare, faith-based and commercial and industrial projects, and is a leader in Ohio “green” building services. They employ 45 individuals, and honored nine with service awards in 2009. When the company moved to its North Canton headquarters in 2007, it renovated its property with all sustainable design and construction methods, and is in pursuit of LEED certification for the building. In 2009, Knoch Corporation worked with 48 subcontractors who are located or have facilities in Stark County. The number of projects managed per year increased 15% in 2009 and is expected to be the same or slightly higher in 2010. Knoch Corporation is active in many organizations, including the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Canton. In 2009, Knoch Corporation achieved a Gold Level Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) award for the ninth consecutive year. The company also completed 23 general construction projects in 2009 and served as the general contractor for the Malone University dining hall and food service remodel. The project is being used by the university’s food service supplier as a flagship design for other remodels. The Knoch Corporation is committed to Building Better Lives and is a leader among general contractors in Stark County.


The Business Excellence Awards committee, chaired by Ronald Manse, managing partner of Bruner-Cox LLP, selected this year’s winners. Selections were made on the basis of business and employment growth, expansion of operations/efficiencies, consistent outstanding customer service, investments in capital improvements, innovation/expansion of product line(s), responsiveness to business and industry challenges and adversity and consistent community involvement. Honorees of this year’s Business Excellence Awards will be recognized during the gala awards dinner held on Tuesday, April 27, at The University Center at Kent State University at Stark, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, North Canton. Tickets are $45. Visit CantonChamber.org or contact Rosie Kurtz at (330) 458-2085 to register. Registrations must be made by April 21. The Business Excellence Awards of Greater Canton are made possible by our generous sponsors: Bruner-Cox LLP, Community One Credit Union Inc., Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., LPA, The Repository and Stark State College.

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