2018 Pinnacle Small Business Award Winners

Winton Machine

Winton Machine was founded in 1997 by company owners, George and Lisa Winton, in the basement of their home in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The company started by designing and building dedicated hand benders. Over the next 12 months, it acquired some chip cutting machines and soon the Winton’s basement machine shop was filled with equipment and supplies. A few short months later, Winton Machine received its initial machinery order and the company moved into its first manufacturing facility. In the past 20 years, the company has expanded using Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and has moved to a larger facility four times. Today, Winton Machine employs more than 35 people and has a 13,000 square-foot facility in Suwanee.

Aaron Overhead Doors Atlanta

Family owned and operated since 1968, Aaron Overhead Garage Doors is a turn-key garage door company based in Buford. It is a customer service company in the garage door business, providing repair and installation of garage doors and operators with a smile. Aaron Overhead Doors Atlanta does customer service in a way that puts customers first.

Shuma Sports

Established in 2014, Shuma Sports, places a premium on customer value and satisfaction by simplifying the ordering process of uniform and specialty apparel. Offering a full line of sports team uniforms, equipment, school spirit wear, corporate apparel and much more, every team member associate ensures selection and design choices are customized to ensure the best products are delivered to its customers.

East2West Creative, LLC

East2West Creative is a full-service photography company, specializing in portraits and event capture. They capture with the mind of marketing and promotion, as its sister company, East2West Media, includes social media management, they do everything with marketing in mind. Also, freezing those smiles in those little moments that people can cherish forever is the icing on the Canon cake.

Atlanta Water Store

The Atlanta Water Store is a distributor of Japanese water ionizers that transform your tap water into alkalizing, anti-oxidant-rich, superiorly hydrating drinking water. The company focuses on education and providing its distributors with the resources they need to make them successful. From its 1,400 square foot teaching and resource center in downtown Suwanee, Atlanta Water Store provides its prospects a powerful value proposition to allow them to make the right health decision for their families. In turn, we provide our distributors with the same value proposition, mentoring, and additional resources for their prospects. Our mission is nothing short of making people healthier and longer lived.

Willis Mechanical, Inc.

Since its inception in 2002, Willis Mechanical, Inc. has continued to provide outstanding customer service on construction projects specializing in mechanical systems, as well as excellent HVAC maintenance and services. Willis Mechanical provides outstanding service and superior quality to our customers, performing safely, within budget and with on-time delivery. We reward our employees for their integrity, loyalty, and creativity by providing career opportunities, training and education and a challenging environment.

Georgia Swarm Pro Lacrosse

The Georgia Swarm Pro Lacrosse team is a member of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). In 2017, the Swarm became NLL World Champions. The NLL ranks third in average attendance for professional indoor sports worldwide behind only the NHL and NBA. The Swarm competes in an 18-game regular season schedule from December to April, followed by the NLL Playoffs in May and June. The Swarm plays their home games at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, and offers season tickets, single game and group tickets, suites, and Goal Zone club tickets as well as sponsorship opportunities.

TJS Deemer Dana LLP

TJS Deemer Dana LLP is a full-service certified public accounting firm with offices in Duluth, Dublin, Sandy Springs, and Savannah, Georgia. The firm offers traditional services in accounting, auditing and taxation as well as consulting services. It is committed to creating value in each relationship by providing personal attention and professional resources to each of its clients. Specialties include audit and compliance work for financial institutions, the post-secondary education sector, the architecture/engineering/construction industry, employee benefit plan audits and the governmental and nonprofit arena.

The Hudgens Center for Art & Learning

The Hudgens Center for Art and Learning brings art lovers, leaders, and learners together through quality programs and exhibits. The 34,000 square-foot Hudgens Center houses several galleries, a Children’s Art Zone, two classroom wings, state of the art ceramic studio, sculpture garden and more. Founded in 1981, it offers year-round fine art exhibits and classes for all ages; as well as community arts initiatives which reach out to underserved students and people struggling with chronic illness or disability. The Hudgens puts Gwinnett County on the map within the national arts community by offering The Hudgens Prize every other year.

Condor Tours & Travel, Inc.

Condor Tours & Travel is a woman-owned agency offering customized worldwide travel packages for individuals, business retreats, chamber Incentive travel, family, romantic and adventure getaways. The management of Condor Tours & Travel works with its clients to construct the perfect dream getaway, giving suggestions and meeting if not exceeding expectations. Condor Tours & Travels does not just book its clients’ travel but is with its clients throughout the whole trip. Condor Tours & Travel provides a level of concierge service to its client that they will not receive utilizing a travel site or other agencies.

Marbury Creative Group

Marbury Creative Group, located in downtown Duluth, is a group of 10 creative and operational professionals with a vision to help clients “Tell it Better! (If Necessary, Use Words)®. Marbury Creative Group is a strategically-driven creative studio that supercharges brands through unique creative approaches and campaigns across digital, print, and broadcast media. The mission is to create advertising concepts that help companies “Tell it Better” to reach business goals. Marbury’s industry experience spans healthcare, food service, food ingredients, food and beverage manufactures, banking, professional services, and Fortune 500 division/department areas (such as AT&T and Halyard Health), and higher education.

Mighty 8th Media

In 2005, business partners Bradley Sherwood and Jonathan Holmes had a dream to start their own agency. Mighty 8th’s namesake comes from the Eighth Air Force out of Savannah, GA during WWII. They wanted a brand that embodied respect and a drive to change the world for the better—a place where clients come first, and the staff is treated like family. Thirteen years later, Mighty 8th is consistently selected as a Top 50 Agency in Atlanta and one of the Best Places to Work. Its mission is to make its clients successful and to see its creativity better their business.

Winton Machine Company

Winton Machine solves production and safety problems for manufacturers who need tube and semi-rigid coax fabricating to make their end products. Winton machines are designed to meet specific production demands and have the highest safety standards for both domestic and global markets. Winton designs and builds over 100 machines that provide standardized engineered solutions in major industries such as HVAC/Refrigeration, Aerospace, Electronics, Microwave and Military. Winton Machine also works with clients to create custom engineered solutions. Winton has developed a proprietary software to optimize user interfaces which maximize performance and output.

GarageWorx

GarageWorx is a business incubator for suburban entrepreneurs. Its mission is to improve the lives of people, families, and communities through entrepreneurship.

2017 Pinnacle Small Business Award Winners

American Painting and Renovations

American Painting & Renovations, Inc. (APR), offers a wide variety of renovation services for the residential, multifamily and commercial industries, specializing in exterior painting, roofing, vinyl siding, cementitious siding, carpentry, concrete, stucco, gutter replacement and more. APR provides complete apartment to condo conversions, including both interior and exterior renovations. Headquartered in Suwanee, GA, they offer both local and nationwide services. APR’s focus on quality workmanship, competitive pricing and customer service helps to expand our list of satisfied customers.

Tiny Towne

Tiny Towne is a high-tech driving edu-tainment park where kids learn the rules of the road in a safe and controlled environment. The 36000 SF facility has a driving school, a Carcade, several party rooms, a restaurant, two driving tracks and 3 different size cars to accommodate kids of all ages (3-16 year-old) Tiny Towne goal is to educate the future driving kids through interactive FUN and give them years of awareness, confidence and experience before they get behind the wheel. Tiny Towne is open to field trips and summer camps during school days and on weekend and holidays.

Frenik Marketing Group

Thriving on positive energy and entrepreneurial inspiration, the Frenik Marketing Group has its roots firmly planted in Gwinnett’s growing business success. Woven into the company’s “inventor culture” is an atmosphere for creative team designs and seamless multimedia cross platform campaigns.

Shuma Sports

Established in 2014, Shuma Sports places a premium on customer value and satisfaction by simplifying the ordering process of uniform and specialty apparel. Offering a full line of sports team uniforms, equipment, school spirit wear, corporate apparel and much more, every team member associate ensures selection and design choices are customized to ensure the best products are delivered to our customers.

Reno M. Borgognoni, CPA, PC

Reno M. Borgognoni, CPA, PC provides personal and professional service to individuals and businesses. He leads clients through the tax and business license regulations and preparations for all required filings. He provides professional advice on business entity formation, and support clients through the formation of a partnership, LLC or corporation. He maintains accounting records, prepares financial reports, advises on business strategy and performs fractional CFO and controller services in the areas of finance, acquisitions and dispositions, human resources and risk management. Through H.D. Vest Investment Services, Mr. Borgognoni provides financial advisory services for individuals and businesses.

Sourced.

“Our vision is to be the reason our clients have more time,” states Sourced. “We hustle so our clients reach their definition of success.” Sourced. provides services in the most needed areas of business: marketing, bookkeeping, office assistance, and personal assistance. Sourced. employs 20 individuals and serves over 30 businesses in Atlanta. Its culture is warm and family-like, where its team has flexibility for their lifestyles. Sourced. empowers its specialists to lead projects, and its leadership maintains a philosophy of openness and transparency. One bookkeeper described Sourced. as a “unicorn business” since our culture is so rare to find.

Capital City Mediations

Capital City Mediations, LLC (CCM) is a mediation, arbitration and consulting firm. President Rebekah Ratliff is a credentialed former casualty insurance claims professional. Rebekah has spent 25 years with major commercial insurance carriers and transferred her skill set into an international mediation practice. In addition to alternative dispute resolution services, CCM offers case evaluation and consultation services to assist clients with early resolution, thereby reducing overhead and stress. Rebekah is registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution as a Mediator and Arbitrator. She is also a highly sought-after presenter and panel speaker in the industry.

American Painting and Renovations

American Painting & Renovations, Inc. (APR), offers a wide variety of renovation services for the residential, multifamily and commercial industries, specializing in exterior painting, roofing, vinyl siding, cementitious siding, carpentry, concrete, stucco, gutter replacement and more. APR provides complete apartment to condo conversions, including both interior and exterior renovations. Headquartered in Suwanee, GA, they offer both local and nationwide services. APR’s focus on quality workmanship, competitive pricing and customer service helps to expand our list of satisfied customers.

Foster & Witmer Insurance Agency

Foster & Witmer is an independent insurance agency. Their F&W logo stands for Foster & Witmer but it also stands for Family & Work. Over half of the organization has been together for greater than 10 years, and as lofty as 28 years. They support each other through highs and lows from weddings, divorces, births or deaths of a loved one. F&W develops long-standing relationships with their customers that expend beyond “the sale.” Knowing that they are there during the good, the bad and the ugly, without passing judgement, builds lasting relationships.

Georgia School Boards Association

The Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization serving the 180 public school districts in the state of Georgia. Their mission is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of Georgia’s elected boards of education. As a membership organization, their board and staff are passionate about serving their members to improve the educational opportunities for Georgia’s 1.7 million public education students.

Pre-Press to Printing

Pre-Press to Printing, Inc is an offset and digital printer that sells to the public. With over 60 years of experience, the owner looks at every job as an opportunity to use the experience he has gained. Whether it is a small or large job, Pre-Press to Printing, Incorporated strives to make it into an award-winning piece. They use “yesterday’s skills with today’s technology.”

Signarama Buford and Duluth

Signarama Buford & Duluth (SBD) is your premiere commercial sign and promotional items company, which contributes to the local community growth by helping businesses grow and succeed. SBD also provides marketing and branding expertise to increase visibility, and ultimately sales. They believe strength lies in their team and in their relationships with clients. SBD priority is their clients best interest in everything they do and believe that building relationships is the cornerstone for success. Their goal is to deliver the ultimate client experience.

Paradigm Security Services

Paradigm Security Services (PSS) partners with their clients to provide the finest security services and products available in the marketplace. This enables PSS clients to run their operations with minimal effort and concern for the safety and security of their properties, employees and residents. PPS partners with their employees, who they believe are ultimately responsible for their success. They provide an environment where every employee is rewarded according to their contribution to their clients, their company and their team. This environment is promoted through superior training, benefits, job satisfaction, recognition and advancement opportunities.

Sandler Training by Simon, Inc.

Sandler Training by Simon, Inc. is a sales performance training and coaching organization. Typically, their clients are small businesses with small sales teams who struggle to build a strong pipeline of selling opportunities, are frustrated with lack of closed deals, or win only when they decide to cut price and therefore lose gross profit margins. Sandler Training by Simon, Inc. helps their clients by building their skill sets with training and one-on-one coaching to be more effective in their selling efforts. Their culture is high-touch and personal, and they get to know their clients on an in-depth level.

2016 Pinnacle Small Business Award Winners

Green Financial helps people plan for their successful retirement by focusing on providing stellar customer service, educating the community and giving back to the community. President/CEO Roger Green manages approximately $385 million in assets and has more than 1800 clients trusting in him – a high achievement in this field. Since 1997, he has educated thousands through the classes he has taught at Gwinnett colleges, and since 1998 through his weekly radio program. Roger has held thousands of meetings with individuals to help them plan for brighter financial futures. GFR and Roger give back to the community through service and financial guidance, and Roger and his firm have won a long list of awards and recognitions for these accomplishments and contributions.

Office Creations is a 100% woman-owned office furniture dealership headquartered in Suwanee, with additional showrooms in Midtown Atlanta and Jacksonville, FL. With more than 15 years of experience, Office Creations provides the highest value for clients in all vertical markets, to include commercial, industrial, higher education, healthcare and government. They offer a turnkey solution to allow complete project control from conception to installation, and is known for an agility and speed to market, enabling clients to make the right decisions in creating the most design driven and financially prudent office environment for their culture.

Vitality Med Spa specializes in helping individuals to look and feel their best by offering boutique concierge medical and beauty services. They love improving themselves as individuals and understand that being the ‘best version of you’ encompasses a multitude of different aspects. While constantly evolving in the industry and to meet the needs of clients, they try to offer services that people want and that truly make a difference.

Sterling Rose Consulting Corp. is a full-service business consulting company that provides business consulting, marketing, marketing implementation, finance, accounting and technology strategy consulting. The company has written more than 500 business plans and more than 400 marketing plans, which have resulted in a 97% success rate for acquisition of capital for clients. Sterling Rose Consulting Corp. believes in helping businesses of all sizes to launch, grow, sustain and succeed. It is their goal to exceed the expectation of all clients.

The culture and purpose of Organized Chick is to operate by their mission statement: allow our clients the ability to balance their lives better by implementing organizational system processes into their home or business life. Organized Chick is committed to solving our clients’ needs for organization and system-processes. Client satisfaction and professionalism is their highest priority with every project. Their service goal is to help clients become more effective and efficient in their business and personal life by creating simple organizational systems and positive environments that allow businesses to grow and families to have less stress and chaos.

At the family-run automotive service and repair shop you will not only have your vehicle taken care of, you will feel respected and empowered. Their team will explain the diagnosis of your vehicle in language you can understand while also carefully illustrating recommendations. They offer the expertise of ASE-certified technicians to help you make the best decisions for your vehicle and your budget. As experts in quality service and repair, they take the time to keep customers’ safety and budget top of mind. Simply, they are the auto shop you can trust to have high morals, integrity and skills to get the job done right the first time.

The Schoolhouse is a learning community for ages one to eight dedicated to providing young learners an “Ivy League Beginning.” Their approach to learning is a philosophy rooted in the preservation of a child’s unique learning style, innate desire to be curious, and, more importantly, fulfilling his joy for the outdoors. Their community’s culture is directly connected to their mission to foster a partnership with families and the Gwinnett community at large. They believe this is the main ingredient for creating unimaginable learning experiences and supports their efforts to cultivate learning, challenge and choice.

The Martin Birkbeck Agency of American Family Insurance has fostered a culture of treating clients like family.

Cartridge World is recognized as the industry leader in replacement ink and toner cartridges worldwide. They provide high quality replacement printer cartridges at more affordable prices, for all major brands. They offer people a choice to save money on something they already use while protecting the environment. Secure shredding, new and refurbished printer sales, printer repair, recycling rewards, free printer leasing program for businesses and mobile printing are additional services available in their two store fronts in Gwinnett County. They work as a team and each employee has the authority to follow through with their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

Halski Systems provides Georgia IT network design, installation, administration and consulting services to small, mid-size and enterprise level businesses in metro Atlanta and North Georgia. With a full range of customized, flexible IT solutions they tailor each client’s individual needs while implementing a cost effective IT solution and managed services in offices with five to 5,000 employees. Every Halski Systems customer is supported by a team of certified consultants trained in the latest technologies. They provide a 24/7/365 tactical help desk team. Halski is committed to the community in which they do business.

The ACE Women’s Business Center (WBC) opened in January 2015 to empower women, people of color, low-to-moderate income and other underserved entrepreneurs through financial education and training. The Center’s host organization, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, is a nonprofit economic development organization providing business advisory and small business lending services to underserved populations across North Georgia and metropolitan Atlanta. The WBC provides services for women, and men, at all stages of business planning, implementation and growth. Their services are available in English and Spanish. As a nonprofit agency, the WBC provides most services free of charge.

Espeuté Productions is a memory-oriented, multi-tiered production company that provides videography, photography and entertainment services to its clients. With state-of-the-art equipment, experience and professionalism, they are able to capture every detail of life’s most defining moments. They can also assist in the production of major works, such as short and feature films, as well as with commercials and corporate marketing videos. They are passionate about what they do and always come prepared to accommodate your every need.

2015 Pinnacle Small Business Award Winners

Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year & Overall Winner– Wealth Horizon, Inc.

Wealth Horizon is a boutique comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory firm that is intimately involved with planning and guiding their high net worth clients with ‘the confidence to move forward’ through all of life’s transitions. Their maxim is ‘Knowledge is Power’ and they spend a lot of time educating clients and helping them navigate the financial terrain. When you walk into their office it is like walking into their living room.  They offer relaxed, intimate conversations about wealth that often have little to do with money, but everything to do with living the life you love.

Young Entrepreneur Small Business of the Year – Jess Creatives

Jess Creatives works with small businesses and nonprofits to create a brand that shines through engaging graphic and website design. By offering exceptional customer service and designs that are personalized for each business, project, or campaign, Jess Creatives is able to support an organization’s goals and vision. By utilizing the latest technology and design techniques to help, Jess Creatives enables businesses to share their story, while they focus on what they do best.

Home-Based Small Business of the Year – McMahan’s Clothing

Specializing in the manufacturing of hand-sewn suits, jackets, and custom shirts for executives and television personalities on both the retail and wholesale level.  McMahan’s strives not only to meet, but also exceed the expectations of retail clients and wholesale store accounts. Masterfully tailored and purposefully made with superior craftsmanship, each garment is styled from the finest materials. Serving retail clients in the convenience and privacy of their home or office, McMahan’s measures, fits and delivers when convenient with its clients, all with the best handmade value in the custom clothing industry.

Rising Star Small Business of the Year – Sterling Rose Consulting Corp.

Sterling Rose Consulting Corp., a Lawrenceville, Georgia S-Corp launched in February 2014. The Company develops business plans, marketing plans, marketing services, accounting, bookkeeping and provides business consulting. The Company’s staff has grown from one to 11 people with a combined 100 years of entrepreneurial, marketing, branding, business strategy, accounting and PR experience. CEO Vlad Rusz has launched four businesses ranging from 17 months to seven years old with gross revenues from $175,000 to $5 million.  Sterling Rose Consulting Corp. believes in the quality of its work and in meeting, if not exceeding, its customers’ expectations.

Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year – Lawrenceville-Suwanee School of Music

Lawrenceville-Suwanee School of Music is the best growing music school in Gwinnett County!  They are located in Suwanee, Georgia, yet easily accommodates students from Lawrenceville, Dacula, Buford, and Duluth. With more than 200 students enrolled, they offer voice/singing, piano, guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, violin, viola, cello, flute and drum lessons for everyone 3 years of age and up. They also teach art lessons and special population music lessons. With a teaching faculty qualified and dedicated to providing great music lessons, they offer free music recitals, early morning and lunch time lessons for home school students, retirees, college students and working professionals.

Family-Owned Small Business of the Year – Tiger Tails Animal Hospital

The team at Tiger Tails Animal Hospital strives to provide remarkable service to clients and top quality care to pets. They recognize that providing a high level of service and care starts with maintaining a positive work environment for their employees. Compared to other practices, they over-staff to achieve service goals and to prevent staff burnout, and they work hard to respect employees’ need for work-life balance.  Family-owned, they consider their team members as part of the family. They value honesty, integrity, teamwork, education, communication, compassion and the human-animal bond.

Small Business of the Year: 1-5 Employees – Freeland Painting

Freeland Painting was created by founder Doug Ireland to fill a needed gap in the service industry for painting, roofing and siding services. Since 2009, Freeland Painting has grown because of its philosophy that showing up on time and doing the right thing are the two most important keys to success.  They believe in their people and their community.  As stated in their mission: they believe that their customers’ fulfillment and happiness is their ultimate goal and only assignment. They believe that only by serving their customers FIRST can they then serve their employees, suppliers and families.

Small Business of the Year: 6-24 Employees – Red Clay Interactive

Red Clay Interactive uses strategy, creativity and technology to solve classic marketing problems with a digital-first approach. An open, high-energy office space promotes cross-functional collaboration among SEO experts, copywriters, programmers, designers, digital strategists and developers. They plan and build websites around intimate knowledge of their users and then make them work harder with content creation, marketing automation, site optimization and advertising. They are a neo-traditional agency that works hard and celebrates winning for their clients.

Small Business of the Year: 25+ Employees – Thomco

Thomco is a customer-focused, service-oriented, value-based and technically sound Industrial Distributor and Converter. Their primary products are tapes, adhesives, graphic films and materials, custom die-cut components and custom printed labels. Their business is largely business-to-business in the industrial marketplace and they strive to be a resource to customers, not merely another source of supply. They have evolved from a pure industrial distributor to a national and international premier converter earning both ISO 9000 and TS 16949 quality and process certifications. They are “The Resource Bonded to Business.”

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is part of the Public Service and Outreach unit of the University of Georgia. Their mission is to work with aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in the community – guiding and educating them on all facets of the business life cycle. The culture of the organization is one of collaboration and service. In order to meet the many and diverse needs of the entrepreneur community, they have to work together as an organization to be effective. Since their charter is public service, the individuals within the organization are service-minded and derive job satisfaction from seeing others succeed.

Pinnacle Small Business Award Fan Favorite – TJS Deemer Dana LLP

TJS Deemer Dana LLP is a full-service certified public accounting firm with offices in Atlanta, Dublin and Savannah, Georgia. The firm offers traditional services in accounting, auditing and taxation as well as consulting services. They are committed to creating value in each relationship by providing personal attention and professional resources to each and every client.