Defying the choppy economy, five Orange County-based companies were big winners at the 16th annual Association for Corporate Growth Awards event, held last Thursday at the Island Hotel Newport Beach.
ACG O.C. Awards event finalists pause together.
In front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 400 business executives and professionals, ACG Orange County announced 17 finalists in six categories before unveiling six total awardees for their growth and performance last year. The selection committee received more than 100 nominations and conducted more than 40 separate investigations and interviews to determine the winners.
"These are companies that despite the difficult economy, the negative business headlines and the slow recovery have shown a resilience and growth rate that sets a new standard," said Mike Issa, a principal with GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group, and an ACG board member.
Among the winners was MFLEX, one of Orange County's most successful public companies with revenue of more than $800 million in 2010 and a target of $1 billion by the end of this year. A worldwide producer of high-quality printed circuit boards and components, MFLEX captured ACG's Global Growth Merit Award. The Anaheim-based firm is currently ranked 35th on Fortune's list of the 100 fastest-growing companies with a three-year average growth rate of 88 percent.
A trio of Irvine companies were also winners: The Linc Group captured the Green Award, Super D the Reinventing Award and Kelley Blue Book the Spotlight Deal of the Year Award. The Linc Group, a full-service facilities management firm, is one of the largest employers in California with more than 20,000 employees serving more than 37,000 customers in 45 states and 30 countries. Super D is a worldwide entertainment wholesaler and distributor that started as freestanding music store in Irvine. This year, Super D expects revenue of more than $200 million. Kelley Blue Book went from being a print-centric company to a full multimedia brand focused on vehicle valuation and information services purchased by Autotrader.
The other two winners were Orange-based SC Fuels, which captured the Founders Award for its commitment to community through several generations of company leadership, and Cannon Safe, a home protection equipment and device manufacturing firm in San Bernardino, which won the Emerging Growth Award.
Other special winners at the annual gathering were Wing Lam, co-founder and partner of Wahoo's Fish Taco, who received the Social Responsibility Award for his commitment to giving back to the community by supporting an array of nonprofit and charitable causes.
"It just feels right to support those who support your business," Lam (below) told the audience as he accepted the honor. "It's not an obligation, but a privilege to make our communities better places to live and work."
Jim Scheinkman, a partner with the law firm Snell & Wilmer, was awarded the coveted Nick Yocca Award of Distinction & Merit for his years of service to ACG and the corporate growth industry.
ACG Orange County is one of 48 chapters nationwide made up of professionals involved in corporate growth, development, and mergers and acquisitions.
Tracy Kent Price from The Linc Group poses for a photo with Awards Committee Chairman Cary Booth Kaufmann from Madison Street Partners.
Founders Award finalists from Fluidmaster pause together at the event's cocktail party.