The Longview Chamber of Commerce honored an office furniture business, multimedia marketing company and a nonprofit entity that provides job training to women during its 2019 Small Business Awards ceremony.
The chamber said Wednesday it selected Jodac Office Outfitters, Encore Multimedia and Heartisans Marketplace based on criteria that included belonging to the chamber, being in business in the Longview area for at least three years and having fewer than 100 employees. A chamber task force picked the winners in a secret ballot.
Chamber officials presented the awards and honored the Leadership Longview graduating class during a luncheon at the Business Solutions Summit in the Infinity Event Center at the Holiday Inn. The summit drew about 300 people, according to chamber President/CEO Kelly Hall.
Jodac Office Outfitters
Jodac, which opened in 1978 down the street for its current location on Mobberly Avenue, garnered the Minority and Family Owned Business of the Year.
Owner Charles Hall said he bought the business from Joe Hickers two years ago after undergoing training with him for two years.
“I thought it was a great opportunity not to pass up,” Hall said. “He was wanting to get out of the full operation, and he just asked me if this was something I would be willing to do.”
Hall, who said he has owned a mobile detailing business for 20 years, said he enjoys building relationships with customers at Jodac and “just the redo of the office system: new furniture, new setups.”
He said he shares ownership with his wife, Timberly, a property manager, and plans to expand by opening shops elsewhere.
Encore President Dean Waskowiak said he founded the business 25 years ago after working in the cable advertising industry for 10 years and has watched it grow with 19 other employees. Encore, based on the second floor of the News-Journal’s building, garnered the Small Business of the Year Award.
“We are a full-service marketing firm,” Waskowiak said. “What that means is that we do everything that everybody needs in a marketing sense in house.”
Waskowiak said Encore has won more than 200 regional, national and international awards.
“I attribute our success to my faith in God and trusting in Him,” Waskowiak said. “The other is a real commitment to customer service and commitment to get results for our customers.”
Referring to the chamber award, Waskowiak said, “I’m delighted and grateful for everybody that has supported us and encouraged us and utilized us with their marketing – and to my team. It is a confirmation of who we are as a company.”
Founded in fall 2014, Heartisans is a 501c(3) nonprofit entity that provides job training to women who have largely been homeless, according to CEO Julee Rachels. The chamber named Heartisans the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Rachels said about 50 women were using the job-training near the close of 2018 and eight more women are undergoing job training. Heartisans operates out of a building on West Methvin Street.
“We match the women, to find out where they actually fit in a career,” Rachels said.
Rachels said Heartisans has a gift shop that covers two-thirds of its funding. Heartisans also has a manufacturing business model in which volunteers and program participants make goods such as natural health and beauty products. Heartisans’ studios also provide sewing, letterpress printing, embroidery and monograms.
Like other award recipients, Rachels said she felt honored with Heartisans being recognized as a business in the community.
The 2018-2019 Leadership Longview class also was recognized. Its members are Ricardo Baeza, Austin Bank; Amie Bishop, Aaon Coil Products; Elroy Brooks, city of Longview; Jonathan Brown, Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center-Longview; Hollie Bruce, Newgate Mission; Bo Bruyere, Citizens National Bank; Maxwell Cobble, Eastman Chemical Co.
Also, Rex Fennell, HeartsWay Hospice; Ashley Hernandez, Texas Bank and Trust; Ashia Kelly, East Texas Council of Governments; Hollie Kinler, Eastman Chemical Co.; Allison Klewer-Hickman, Neiman-Marcus; Lauren Koos, Eastman Credit Union; Justin Landrum, ARC of Gregg County; Shane McCarter, Longview Police Department; Susan McDaniel, Community Healthcore.
Also, Aaron McFatridge, Space Walk of Longview; William McWhorter, Longview Chamber of Commerce; Troy Murrain, ARC of Gregg County; Dawn North, Prosperity Bank; John Nustad, Southside Bank; Olivia Secord, Gans & Smith Insurance; Reginald Theus, Saltgrass Steakhouse; Stacey Thompson, Longview World of Wonders; Emily Wood, Aaon Coil Products.