The Southwest Michigan First Chamber is excited to announce the 2023 Chamber’s Choice Award Winners! We are proud to join the Greater Kalamazoo area in acknowledging and celebrating the organizations everyone is talking about. The winning individuals and companies are making huge impacts over the past year and are improving the quality of life in our community. The Chamber is proud to meaningfully acknowledge and celebrate those businesses and leaders who’ve made a significant impact in our community over the past year.
2023 Chamber’s Choice Award Winners
Non-Profit of the Year
MRC Industries, Inc.
MRC Industries, Inc. serves individuals in Kalamazoo County with developmental or intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, emotional impairments, and mental illness. Nominees for this award are recognized for providing a valued service that enhances the quality of life in Kalamazoo County.
Woman-Owned Business of the Year
Jeannie Cleaning’s success comes from focusing first and foremost on how they can improve people’s lives. Every day, Jeannie’s Cleaning strives to make lives better for those they serve and work with in our southwest Michigan community. Nominees in this category must be 51% or more woman-owned and in business for at least three years. They are recognized for their business growth, response to adversity, contributions to the local community, and/or resilience.
Entrepreneur of the Year
The Stamped Robin
The Stamped Robin provides accessible, global influence in beverage and hospitality. What started as a small, 40-seat wine bar has grown into a popular cocktail bar prioritizing comfort and safety for everyone. Nominees in this category are business owners who stand out in their leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, business or organizational success, and community impact.
Sponsored By: Can-Do Kalamazoo
Chamber Small Business of the Year
Family-owned since 1973, Gordon Water serves southwest Michigan by providing non-electric water softeners and water treatment systems, bottled water services, and the Healthway Air Filtration System. Nominees in the Chamber small business category are small businesses that have shown resilience, dedication to the community, as well as a commitment to equity and sustainability.
Minority-Owned Business of the Year
Dabney & Co.
Dabney & Co. is committed to creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for every visitor who comes through their doors. They honor and pay tribute to the many Black mixologists who have greatly influenced the cocktail beverage industry, yet often went unrecognized for their contributions. To honor their legacy and continue to uplift their spirits, Dabney & Co. celebrates their stories through the creation of handcrafted cocktails, smooth music, and soulful food. Nominees in the minority-owned category must be 51% or more minority-owned. They are recognized for their business growth, response to adversity, contributions to the local community, and/or resilience.
Sponsored By: United Way of South Central Michigan
Chamber Mid/Large Business of the Year
Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E.
Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. brings community and wellness to older adults, enabling them to continue enjoying life through the independence of their own home. Their philosophy of care is holistic and all-inclusive — providing physical, mental/emotional, and social services. Nominees in this category are mid to large size companies (>50 employees) who have shown resilience, dedication to the community, as well as a commitment to equity and sustainability.
Sponsored By: Bronson HelpNet EAP
Alumnus/a of the Year
Consuelo Shank, PNC Bank
Consuelo Shank is the client and community relations director for PNC Bank. She has earned the Chamber’s Choice Alumna of the Year award for the impacts she has made by connecting people and purpose throughout Kalamazoo. Nominees in this category are an alumnus/a of one of the institutions of higher learning within Kalamazoo County. They are recognized as a business leader who is engaging in transformational community- or business-building in our region.
Sponsored By: WMU Alumni Association
Veteran-Owned Business of the Year
The Victorian Bakery
What started as a couple baking treats for their sons’ teachers in the basement of their Victorian house has grown into one of the areas favorite bakeries! John, a veteran of the Navy, and Maria strongly believe in supporting local food suppliers and community businesses. Nominees in the veteran-owned category must be veteran-owned and in business for at least three years. They are recognized for their business growth, response to adversity, contributions to the local community, and/or resilience.
LGBTQIA+ Business of the Year
DRUE Salon has created a culture of acceptance, focusing on the comfort of the client. People can enter with an idea and leave feeling great about themselves. Nominees in this category must be 51% or more LGBTQIA+-owned and in business for at least three years. They are recognized for their business growth, response to adversity, contributions to the local community, and/or resilience.