Governor’s Innovators in Business Awards honor businesses for job creation, entrepreneurship, and export growth and excellence

 Today, Governor Rick Scott, along with Secretary of Commerce and President & CEO of Enterprise Florida (EFI) Gray Swoope, announced the West Palm Beach area winners of the 2013 Governor’s Innovators in Business Awards during Florida Business Innovators Week. The awards recognize Florida companies in select industries that have influenced the state’s economic growth and diversification over the last year.

Governor Scott said, “Florida’s economy has made a huge upturn thanks to businesses like the ones being recognized today. These outstanding companies have worked hard to create jobs and improve our economy. Florida families are able to live the American Dream in West Palm Beach with the help of successful, innovative companies like Quantachrome Corporation, Seatorque Control Systems, People’s Trust Insurance Company, Sol Inc, and Ecosphere Technologies. I am thankful to these companies for their help in making Florida a great state for business and congratulate them on their achievements.”

Secretary of Commerce Swoope said, “Florida and its companies continue to be the model for economic recovery and growth. Companies from every industry around the state have helped produce jobs and provide opportunities that companies in other states just haven’t been able to match. They truly deserve to be recognized for their resilience, innovation and achievements. On behalf of EFI, congratulations to each of these worthy companies and we look forward to their continued success.”

EFI has hosted the annual program for 30 years. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges that includes business leaders, past winners and EFI staff. Winners were recognized at a special event in the Governor’s Mansion held this evening. The event was sponsored by Bank of America and Florida Trend magazine.

Quantachrome Corporation of Palm Beach County won the Export Excellence award in a mega market. Quantachorme Corporation is a leader in the design and manufacture of laboratory instruments for researchers characterizing properties of porous materials and powders. In 2012, approximately 70 percent of all instruments produced by Quantachrome were exported to their network of more than 45 international distributors.

President of Quantachrome, Scott Lowell said, “Governor Scott’s push to eliminate sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment will allow us to expand our manufacturing capabilities. The positive economic and business climate in Florida allows us to continue to invest in key areas of R&D, scientific research, and our global sales infrastructure. Everything we dreamed of achieving by moving to Florida in 1994 has now come to fruition. We have enjoyed the positive business environment, and high quality of life Florida has provided to us.”

Seatorque Control Systems of Martin County won the Export Excellence Award in a mid-market. Seatorque is a manufacturer of propulsive and fluid dynamic systems for the marine industry, and has a worldwide network of sales and service centers from South America to Asia. The company opened three new international offices in 2013, including Seatorque Asia and Seatorque Europe. As a result, 90 percent of revenues are now from export sales, which represented a 30 percent increase over the last year.

Executive Vice President of Seatorque Jana Stolper said, “Seatorque is honored to be recognized by the State of Florida, as recipient of the 2013 Governor’s Innovators in Business Export Excellence Award. Also in 2013, Seatorque was selected as one the ‘Top Florida Companies to Watch.’ It has been an exciting and significant year.  As export sales continue to grow at a steady pace, representing a significant revenue stream for Seatorque, millions of dollars of foreign revenues have been cycled into the State and local economy. With corporate headquarters right here in South Florida, the challenges of infrastructure expansion and global logistics are mitigated through Governor Scott’s commitment to manufacturing. Policies such as the new equipment sales tax exemption and his dedication to education are paramount to any business owners decision to continue to grow in the State of Florida. As an excellent and respected location for any company to host international customers, centrally located to all market areas, with easy access to ports for export trade, Florida is an ideal place to work and live, and we are proud to manufacture in Florida and export to the world.”

People’s Trust Insurance Company of Palm Beach County won the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award in a mega market. In 2013, People’s Trust added 45,000 new policyholders and expanded its workforce from 162 to more than 425 employees statewide. Direct written premiums increased 230 percent to $208 million, and they invested $8 million in a 10-acre corporate campus at the FAU Research Park in Deerfield Beach.

CEO of People’s Trust Insurance Company Mike Gold said, “I started People’s Trust because I was a frustrated Florida homeowner paying too much for insurance and knew there had to be a better way to keep premiums down so people could afford to live in the state. And as Governor Scott likes to say, ‘It’s Working.’ We are honored to be recognized for our company’s innovative business approach and fully integrated concierge claims service that helps to contain costs and passes savings on to our customers with lower insurance rates. With strong financial backing and a growing team of over 400 employees statewide, People’s Trust will continue to challenge the status quo and help make living and doing business in Florida affordable for everyone.”

Sol Inc. of Martin County won the Innovation/Entrepreneurship Award in the mid market Category. Sol Inc. is the top supplier of solar lighting for the Department of Defense, and its technology provides an economic and sustainable solution to energy costs and “green” initiatives. Sol Inc. has installed more than 60,000 systems in more than 60 countries on six continents.

CEO of Sol Inc. Dibs Tailor said, “2013 was a rewarding year for Sol Inc. as we’ve brought new products and projects to growing commercial and municipal markets here in the U.S. and around the world. For us, solar-powered LED lighting symbolizes a cutting-edge solution that not only saves governments and businesses money, but more importantly also reduces global warming.  The innovative technology that goes into our solar lighting systems is a testament to our ability to develop game-changing solutions, all right here in Florida.”

Escosphere Technologies, Inc. of Martin County won the Rising Star award in a mid market. Escosphere develops environmental water treatment solutions for industrial markets in the U.S. and abroad. Since 2009, Ecosphere’s patented Ozonix® technology has enabled oil and gas customers to treat, recycle, and reuse more than three billion gallons of water on more than 800 oil and natural gas wells, protecting $4 billion worth of well assets, and generating more than $65 million in revenue.

“We are proud to be recognized by Governor Scott as a leading innovator in chemical free water treatment and innovative solar power generation,” said Dennis McGuire, Chairman and CEO of Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. “2013 proved to be a breakthrough year for our patented Ozonix® water treatment technology, which has been used to treat over 3 billion gallons of water and is operational on over 800 oil and natural gas wells since going to market. We also posted a major first step in the commercialization of our revolutionary Ecos PowerCube® and are looking forward to developing new opportunities for this unique technology in 2014 and beyond. We have made significant investments to reach the inflection point we are at today and Florida has been our base of operations for over 16 years. We want to thank Governor Scott for his efforts in making Florida a great home for innovative technology companies such as ours.”

Three awards were given in each of the following categories:

  • Governor’s Business Expansion Award: Florida companies that expanded their operations in 2012, investing capital and creating jobs for Floridians.
  • Governor’s Newcomer Award: New-to-Florida companies that began business operations in 2012.
  • Governor’s Export Excellence Award: Florida companies with new or significant increases in documented export sales in 2012.
  • Governor’s Innovation/Entrepreneurship Award: Florida start-up companies or innovative companies that have set a standard for entrepreneurship and creativity in the past three years.
  • Governor’s Innovation in Tourism and Hospitality Award: Florida companies that best exemplify innovation developed through product or process in the last three years.
  • Governor’s Rising Star Awards: Rising Florida companies that have shown a commitment to business growth, professional excellence and involvement in their communities.

 

To see the full list of this year’s winners please click here.

 

 

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