The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce recognized five companies at a joint meeting of the organizations governing board of directors and board of advisors.
Innovator of the Year – Austal USA
Chosen by the Chamber’s Gulf Coast Technology Council, this year’s Innovator of the Year was presented to Austal USA as the most modern and innovative business in the Mobile area. Over the next four years, Austal will invest an additional $300 million, doubling its facilities, and nearly double its workforce. In addition, the shipbuilder is using social media to communicate with and track customers and suppliers, providing breaking news via Twitter, and keeping in touch with customers through Facebook and LinkedIn.
Manufacturer of the Year – Berg Spiral Pipe Corp.
Berg Spiral Pipe Corp. was awarded the Chamber’s Manufacturer of the Year award. The company is capitalizing on the nation’s increasing demand for natural gas. Three years ago, Berg invested $96 million to locate a new spiral pipe manufacturing facility at the former International Paper site in Mobile. This state-of-the-art facility produces large-diameter, spirally welded pipe used in oil and gas transmission that ranges in size from 24 to 56 inches and has an annual production capacity of 200,000 tons. Berg’s success is evidenced by the fact the company’s employee base doubled from its initial projects to nearly 200 high-wage employees.
Small Business of the Year – Callis Communications
In 1999, the company started by Dean Parker was a paging provider, and has transformed to meet the needs of its clients. Callis offers communication services for business needs without investing in the infrastructure, giving clients constant availability to voice, data, security, phone and email. Inc. magazine recognized the company for the fourth consecutive year as one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. And as further proof it deserves this distinction, Callis has grown 32 percent each year since 2007.
Corporate Community Service Award Winner – The SSI Group
The SSI Group was selected as the winner of the 2011 Corporate Community Service Award for its involvement in a variety of hands-on projects supporting a number of local charitable organizations throughout the Mobile area. With more than 395 employees, SSI leads the healthcare industry with its claims management technology, and remains dedicated to giving back to the community. This award recognizes companies both large and small for their dedication and service to the community and is co-presented by Envision Coastal Alabama, HandsOn South Alabama and the Mobile Area Chamber.
Diplomat of the Year – Saty Putcha
Annually a group of volunteers who act as ambassadors for the Chamber compete for the Diplomat of the Year award. This year’s winner is Saty Putcha, co-owner of Padgett Business Services. He has been a diplomat since November 2009, and earned the Diplomat of the Month award several times for his participation in various Chamber-sponsored events and visiting with new members.