November 5, 2021
Albany Area Chamber Announces Winners of its 2021 Business Awards
Albany, Ga. — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce honored local organizations Thursday evening when it recognized the finalists and announced the winners of its 2021 Albany Area Chamber Business Awards, which celebrates memberorganizations that are making strides, demonstrating a unique vision and establishing best practices.
The business awards encompass the small business of the year award, the nonprofit of the year award and the new “Uniquely Albany” award.
“The Albany Area Chamber Business Awards celebrates excellence and shines the spotlight on our community and our member organizations — on their success, their innovation, their talent, their contributions, their impact,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, the region’s largest business advocacy organization. “We’re honored to recognize these outstanding organizations and honored that they’ve chosen Albany.”
The 2021 Small Business of the Year award was presented to Q’s Cakes & More.
Q’s Cakes and More was founded out of a deep love for real food, food that is fresh, authentic and made the old fashion way. Quintetta Hall had more than 20 years of baking experience when she decided to start her own business. She was a baker by default. Her family always had big gatherings to which everyone would bring food, but there were never any sweets. Her grandmother taught her how to bake and after her grandmother passed, Hall became the baker of the family. Q’s Cakes was born in 2014 as a home-based business on Gillionville Road. Just one year in, the business suffered a devastating fire; she lost everything. After much deliberation Quinetta began again from “scratch.” Hall is now located in the heart of Albany’s retail district and employing 15 people — has blossomed into a thriving restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating; space for families and parties; cooking classes; and a personalized vending machine that’s satisfying her customers’ sweet tooths 24/7.
The 2021 Nonprofit of the Year award was presented to the Lily Pad SANE Center.
The Lily Pad SANE Center provides 24-hour services in Albany and Dougherty County and 19 counties throughout Southwest Georgia for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, neglect and deprivation, as well as children in foster care. The Lily Pad serves the immediate primary needs of the clients including crisis intervention, forensic interviews and safe, compassionate forensic medical evaluation and evidence collection. A case management approach is used for all clients to ensure that appropriate services are available, to include counseling/therapy for up to 24 months. The Lily Pad collaborates with local, state, and national resources; provides a safe haven for victims of sexual assault and their families in the immediate aftermath of an assault; and educates all stakeholders of the local community regarding sexual assault and child abuse and neglect. As a non-profit organization, the Lily Pad never charges victims for services.
In 2020, the Firefly House and Oak House Child Advocacy Centers at Lily Pad conducted more than 400 forensic interviews. Children interviews were alleged victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse or witness to the abuse of another child.
The 2021 Uniquely Albany Award was presented to Mars Wrigley Confectionary.
Mars Wrigley Confectionary has been making products in Albany for 57 years and today is the sole producer of COMBOS, baked, bite-size crackers, pretzels or tortillas jam packed with cheese-filled deliciousness. Anyone in the world who experiences the product experiences Albany, and that’s because this product is #MadeInAlbanyGA — and only Albany. COMBOS are Uniquely Albany.
Albany’s Mars site employs 215 local people; participates in the city of Albany’s annual Christmas parade; and is the presenting sponsor of the popular Snickers Marathon and Half Marathon. Mars regularly donates to local schools and Mars associates volunteer in local reading programs. During the pandemic, Mars spread cheer by donating thousands of cases of COMBOS to our health care heroes.
The 2021 Albany Area Chamber Business Awards were sponsored by Flint Equipment Co.; Phoebe Putney Health System; Colony Bank; Mitchell EMC; Renasant Bank; and CTSI.