The Dearborn Chamber of Commerce asks the business community to “brace” itself for a brand new approach to its current business awards and expo and announces B.R.A.C.E. — short for Business Recognition Awards Ceremony & Expo.
This annual event — to be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at the Henry, an Autograph Collection Hotel in Dearborn — combines effective networking, business appreciation and an expo showcasing more than 35 business. Presenting sponsor is Ford Land.
“We are always looking for ways to update and invigorate our current events to add value to our members,” Dearborn Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Mike Kirk said. “The name was just the first step in creating a clearer message and branding to recognize innovative and forward-thinking business models.”
This year the Chamber will honor Henry Ford Medical Center — recent recipient of the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, one of the most prestigious national awards for performance excellence — with the Business of the Year Award. Named after the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established in 1987 by Congress to promote quality awareness, to recognize quality and business achievements of U.S. organizations, and to publicize these organizations’ successful performance strategies.
The Leadership Award will be given to Genevieve Vang, proprietor of Bangkok 96 Restaurant. The Small Business Award will be bestowed on The Glass Academy.
Vang has owned the Thai food restaurant since 1996 and has just embarked on the creation and promotion of a frozen food line of her best culinary offerings. She supports several local charities including the Dearborn Animal Shelter.
The Glass Academy, opened and operated by award-winning artists Michelle Plucinsky and Chris Nordin, exemplify how strong work ethic and great leadership impact growth, profit and community dedication. Housed in a renovated auto manufacturing plant, the art space has become a destination for art enthusiasts throughout the region. In addition to commissioned works of art created for large organizations, the Academy also hosts successful shows featuring beautiful glass pumpkins and holiday ornaments.
The luncheon also will honor a forward-thinking unique business model that breaks traditional molds with its Innovator of the Year. Another new aspect will encourage nominations from the community and chamber membership via an online voting component. Past awardees have included The Henry Ford Makers Faire, Hype Athletics and Severstal North America.
The newly branded B.R.A.C.E. will connect and showcase organizations in the Dearborn community. The luncheon, including a new video component spotlighting each awardee, will also highlight businesses celebrating milestone anniversaries, from 5 years to 100 years. The expo will enable companies to promote their products and services to more than 300 business owners, community leaders and corporate professionals.
The cost to attend the event is $50 for Chamber members and $65 for non-members; $500 for table of 10 with signage. Space is limited. Register online at www.dearbornchamber.org.
The Dearborn Chamber of Commerce promotes the best interests of more than 500 member organizations by enhancing leadership opportunities, connection with prospective customers, endorsement of products and services, increasing sales and saving money.