(Quad Cities) – The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce has announced finalists for the 2013 Small Business Excellence Awards. The recipients will be announced during an awards breakfast on May 15.

Innovation, leadership, community involvement, history and philosophy were among the judging criteria for the nominees. There are three categories for the Small Business Excellence Award: 1-50 employees, 51-250 employees and Non-Profits.

“Across the country, small businesses employ over half of all private sector employees, have generated 65% of net new jobs over the past 17 years and produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms,” says Tara Barney, CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “We are extremely lucky in the Quad Cities to have a business community comprised of small businesses that are constantly evolving to respond to the fast-changing business world we operate in today,” Barney continued.

Barney also points to the contributions small businesses make in terms of growth to a community. Small businesses tend to attract workers who invent new products or implement new ideas, and larger firms benefit because they often look to smaller companies to outsource various functions. 

2013 Small Business Excellence Awards Honorees

1-50 Employees



Dphilms, located in the District of Rock Island, specializes in high quality video and television production for national, regional and local clientele. The company’s reach includes production for the #1 rated Cable show, American Pickers, to branding and content for large and small businesses alike.

Redstone Content Solutions

Located in Davenport, Redstone “began as an idea that became a vision, and as a technology enterprise, could have been incorporated anywhere in the world. Instead, its principals believed that the company’s fundamental four core values of character, unity, education and innovation could best be realized by establishing an identity in the Quad Cities. The company specializes in enterprise-class software consulting, development and support.

Sandstrom Products Company


Products developed by this Port Byron-based company were used aboard every NASA Apollo Mission, and are also on rifles carried by every soldier in our military, the vast majority of commercial and military aircraft, and nearly every car and truck made in America. Sandstrom reps say that one unique aspect of their business is that customers can speak directly to their R&D staff when they are in need of assistance for product application or trouble shooting.


Terrostar is a web design and internet market agency that employs 9 people – including 2 new hires that have joined the team in the last 6 months to support a growing client list. Owner Tom Terronez started his first computer business at the age of 16, and at 19, he started Terrostar in 1999. Operating in an industry that is constantly changing, forcing anyone in its path to adjust accordingly, the Bettendorf-based business now offers a menu of technology services that didn’t even exist when the company began.

Werner Restoration Services

Founded by Ken and Teresa Werner in 1988, Ken and his staff worked 7 days a week for many years, slowly but steadily growing the business. Werner Restoration now employs 40 people, and while they’re in the business of property restoration, they say a big aspect of their business is their customers and getting them through what is quite possibly one of the toughest moments of their lives. Werner Restoration Services provides emergency property restoration services.

51-250 Employees


Elliott Aviation

Elliott Aviation is second-generation local business, and a full-serve business aviation center. With a focus on innovation, Elliott Aviation holds a partnership with Garmin. They have become the number one aviation retrofitter and have installed more Garmin G1000 avionics systems than all other dealers in the world combined. The company also has plans to hire 50 new positions in the next two years.

Estes Construction

Started in 1970 by Jim and Lori Estes constructing high-end custom homes and small commercial buildings, Estes Construction is today a regional construction company that employs 100 people. For the past seven years, Estes has ranked in the top quartile nationally of companies its size. They have also developed a trademarked project delivery process called Client Centered Collaboration® which is focused on creating a highly collaborate team on projects with owners, architects and subcontractors.

Genesis Systems Group

Started in 1983, Genesis Systems Group is the largest independent robotic integrator specializing in arc welding in North America. Genesis-engineered systems are used in manufacturing a range of products from automobiles, construction, aerospace components and agricultural equipment to name a few. The company has 27 published patents and has an international reputation for solving the most difficult robotic automation challenges in the world. In 2012 alone, Genesis developed a spot welding line to weld Metra rail cars for the City of Chicago and broke into the aerospace market doing robotic non-destructive inspection of composite parts for SpaceX.

Valley Construction Company

Founded in 1925, Valley Construction Company provides commercial construction services with a power division that also works nationwide in the nuclear power division. Today it is one of the largest and most diversified contractors n the Quad Cities. Valley Construction Company has been a long-time partner to Quad Cities’ infrastructure, including having built the approaches for the I-74 Bridge in 1958.

The Republic Companies

A third-generation, family-owned business, The Republic Companies has been an industry leader from the start. It was one of the first Midwestern distributors of window and whole-house forced air furnaces, was one of the first distributors in the nation to establish a regional refrigerant recovery center. The company has always embraced technology, and reports that their entrepreneurial spirit allows them to be flexible and nimble, thus being able to respond quickly to industry and technology changes.



Child Abuse Council

The Child Abuse Council leads community efforts to eliminate child abuse and neglect by strengthening children and families through prevention, education and treatment, seeking specifically to identify at-risk families at the earliest point possible to offer education and support. The organization offers new parent services that are ever-evolving to support the changing demographics of the community. The Child Abuse Council recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.

HAVlife Foundation

HAVlife was established to fund the resources students need to pursue their musical aspirations, artistic ambitions and athletic goals, for the purpose of preventing lost potential in youth. The seven-year-old organization provides scholarships to children and since its inception has raised and granted over $350,000. One of the organization’s guiding principles is to build a stronger community by assuring a future filled with optimism, passion for life and good will.

John Deere Classic

One of only 36 regular-season events on the PGA Tour, the John Deere Classic annually brings 156 of the world’s best golfers to the Quad Cities. Since 1971, the organizations has raised $49.08 million for charity, including a record $6.79 million in 2012 – all of which helps local charities reach their goals. The John Deere Classic generates an estimated $25 million in local economic activity during tournament week and enables the Quad Cities to gain positive national and worldwide recognition via CBS Sports.

Quad City Animal Welfare Center

As the only full-service no-kill animal shelter in the Quad Cities, the Quad City Animal Welfare Center (QCAWC) operates a shelter for homeless animals, offers a spray and neuter program and provides humane education. In 2012, QCAWC accepted and re-home over 600 animals and presented humane educational programs to over 50 schools. QCAWC is the only shelter in the area with a full-time veterinarian on staff, and in 2012, they spayed/neutered over 3,000 animals.

Quad City Arts

Quad City Arts is a community-based organizations, focused on collaboration as a path to reaching its goals of providing performing arts in education, visual arts programming and community arts programming. The organization features more than 50 artists each year, sells work by more than 100 local artists and more than 52,000 students experience the visiting Artist Series each year. Last year, the Quad City Arts staff was instrumental in organizing Experience Quad Cities – a unified voice for arts, culture and heritage groups – and East West River Fest, a 10-day celebration of these groups’ offerings.

One recipient from each group will be announced during the Chamber’s May Morning Network breakfast on Wednesday, May 15 at the Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University.

If you go:

What: Morning Network – Small Business Excellence Awards


When: Wednesday, May 15 7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Where: Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University, Davenport

Cost: $15 for members, $20 for non-members

To register call 563.823.2676 or visit www.QuadCitiesChamber.com

The 2013 Small Business Excellence Awards breakfast is sponsored by Management Resource Group, Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, Fox 18, Better Business Bureau, St. Ambrose University and The Printer’s Mark.

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