Bel Air, MD – Over 200 members of the Harford County businesses community gathered at the 27th Annual Harford Award, themed “The Night Stars Come Out,” on Thursday, October 17th at Water’s Edge Event Center from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. The prestigious award honors companies and organizations which exemplify a strong commitment to the Harford County business community. Recipients are chosen through a nomination/application process focused on business growth, increased employment, unique and creative business strategies, technology innovation, and support of public and private education.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman offered opening remarks, thanking the Chamber for hosting an outstanding event and noting that the awards would kick off Harford’s 12th Annual Business Appreciation Week. “So you see, celebrating business is a tradition in Harford County.” The county executive concluded, “I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to the Chamber and to each of tonight’s deserving honorees. Thank you for choosing to grow with us in Harford County!”
The Harford County Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the 2019 Harford Award Recipients: The Arc Northern Chesapeake (Andy Klein Legacy Award), Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc. (R&D/Technology category), Coffee Coffee (Retail), Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil (Non-Profit), Spartan Surfaces (Manufacturing & Distribution), Sunny Day Café (Hospitality/Tourism), and Tar Heel Construction (Service).
The Harford Chamber presented the inaugural Andy Klein Legacy Award, which is awarded to a business or organization that has previously received a Harford Award (at least 10 years prior.) The award honors the late business leader, philanthropist, and generous supporter of many worthy causes in the county, Andy Klein, who tragically passed away earlier this year. Daughter of Mr. Klein, Sarah Klein, presented the award to The Arc Northern Chesapeake. Since 1953, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region has helped people with differing abilities build better lives one person at a time. They currently offer many services to individuals with differing abilities living in Harford and Cecil Counties, including supported employment services to adults, family support services to individuals and their families, and treatment foster care services to children and their families.
Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc. is a woman and minority owned business with a wealth of DoD, Army, and Intel community experience. Glen McDonald accepted Bravura’s award on behalf of CEO Claudine Adams, who is a board member of The Harford County Education Foundation and Harford Community College. Ms. Adams is committed contributing the community through education through mentoring females in the STEM field. Since 2014, Bravura has grown their employee base from a handful of individuals to over 400.
A family business, Coffee Coffee has been owned and operated by the mother-daughter team of Betsy Depman and Hillary Tayson since 2007. Offering coffee, tea, breakfast and lunch, and unique gifts, Coffee Coffee is focused on using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and supporting other Harford businesses. They are involved in events for many local organizations, schools, and churches, and believe that promoting and participating in local, healthy and sustainable food movements within the community is important.
Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil is dedicated to the physical and mental health and wellness of the northern Chesapeake community. Founded in 1993 by leaders from UM Upper Chesapeake Health, the Harford County Health Department, and Harford County Government, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil is a coalition of local government agencies, businesses, non-profits, and citizens. This past year, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil opened The Klein Family Crisis Center, Harford’s first 24-7 option for individuals needing immediate access to behavioral and mental health and addiction services.
Spartan Surfaces is a national specialty flooring distribution company headquartered in Bel Air, MD. Taking a “we over me” approach, their human-centered company culture permeates everything they do. Over the past 3 years, Spartan Surfaces and founder Kevin Jablon’s family have invested over $125,000 into charities, many of them Harford-county based. Starting with a team of 3 in 2007, Spartan Surfaces now employs 110 and continues to grow.
Sunny Day Café is a warm, inviting breakfast and lunch restaurant located on Main Street in the heart of Bel Air. Established in 2012, Sunny Day has won Bel Air Business of the Year, The Baltimore Sun’s Best of Harford, and more. Starting with 7 employees, they now employ 35, with up to 50 during peak season. Sunny Day Café gives back through contributions to community non-profits, and donating catering leftovers to police, fire departments, and recovery homes.
Growing over 90% each year since their establishment in 2014, Tar Heel Construction has successfully completed over 3,500 projects. Founder Joe Ayler sits on the local Better Business Bureau Board of Directors and invests in the community by making donations to Harford County based charities. Since its inception, Tar Heel Construction has focused on three core business principles; accountability, job quality, and customer satisfaction.
If you would like to nominate a business or apply for the 2020 Harford Award, the application will be open from March 1st to March 31st, 2020 on the Chamber’s website.
The Harford County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of the Harford Award recipients, sponsors, and attendees as well as all of the Harford County Chamber members for their contribution to local economy growth across all sectors. The 2019 Harford Award premier sponsors were Baltimore Gas and Electric, Harford Community College, and the Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development. The event was also sponsored by Venture Access, Visit Harford!, Harford Mutual Insurance, The Town of Bel Air, The City of Aberdeen, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, The Kelly Group, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, Freedom Federal Credit Union, Skylight Creative Ideas, American Solutions for Business Pro2 Marketing Group, MidAtlantic Photographic LLC, Safe Harbors Business Travel LLC, Beacon Staffing Alternatives Inc., Advanced Eye Care and Aesthetics, Vagabond Sandwich Company, A. Bright Idea, It’s Pay Day, Jack’s Small Engines, Bel Air Downtown Alliance, Laurel Bush Family Dentistry, Ecotone Inc., Frederick Ward and Associates, Island Spice Grille, Jarrettsville Federal, Supporting Strategies, Ko-Op Media, Water’s Edge Event Center, Flavor Cupcakery, WXCY, and Signature Digital Creative Services.
About the Harford County Chamber of Commerce: The Harford County Chamber of Commerce has worked continually as the recognized voice of business in Harford County since 1976. The Harford Chamber is the premier business advocate in the county, helping members connect and thrive to create a vibrant economy across all sectors. For more information, please contact Kate Rodriguez at Kate@HarfordChamber.org.