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Ozarks Food Harvest President and CEO Bart Brown accepted the 2011 W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award on behalf of the nonprofit organization.
Ozarks Food Harvest President and CEO Bart Brown accepted the 2011 W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award on behalf of the nonprofit organization.

Ozarks Food Harvest named Small Business of the Year

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Springfield-based nonprofit Ozarks Food Harvest was awarded the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce's 2011 W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award.

The winner was announced today at a chamber luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel, 2431 N. Glenstone Ave. The four other finalists were Intuitive Web Solutions LLC, J. Howard Fisk Limousines Inc., Pension Consultants Inc. and Pinnacle Sign Group Inc.

In accepting the award, Ozarks Food Harvest President and CEO Bart Brown recognized the 30 employees behind the nonprofit food bank that distributed 8.5 million pounds of food in 2010 and is expecting to distribute 10.5 million pounds this year to more than 300 nonprofit hunger relief organizations in 28 Ozarks counties.

"Behind every great mission, there has to be an even greater business," Brown said. "I'd like to thank the panel of judges for recognizing this fact."

Brown also recognized volunteers and corporate contributors.

"None of what we do at Ozarks Food Harvest would be possible without our network of supporters and volunteers," he said. "Not only is it a great honor for Ozarks Food Harvest, it's an honor for the outstanding community of businesses that we have in the Springfield area."

Through its donor list, foundations and federal contracts to distribute commodities, Ozarks Food Harvest distributed approximately $14.8 million worth of food in 2010.

To determine finalists for the award, an independent panel of judges reviewed applications consisting of written essays covering company history, business or management philosophy, challenges, products or services offered, and community contributions.

Jim Quesenberry of Corporate Business Systems, the 2010 recipient of the award, announced the recipient of the 2011 W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award and spoke of the significance of winning the award last year.

"We feel very honored to have won this award this past year and are very grateful for what it's meant for our company," he said, noting that when some of the company's salespeople were asked what the award meant to them, one responded,"When I tell customers about the company, it's the very first thing that I mention."

The Small Business Award luncheon is the pinnacle of Small Business Week, May 2-5. Click here for complete Small Business Week coverage.
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