Seven years ago, EPS Financial of Easton shook up the tax-preparation industry by charging half the traditional cost for services.
Tuesday night in Bethlehem, the firm was honored as one of three Businesses of the Year 2016 by Lehigh Valley Business before more than 350 people at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.
The fifth annual Business of the Year Awards also honored DESCCO Design & Construction Inc. of Fleetwood and Apprise Software Inc. of Bethlehem as Businesses of the Year and, in total, feted nearly 40 companies and individuals as winners or finalists in eight categories.
“EPS was able to sweep through the tax industry, processing over $12 billion in tax refunds through its systems and growing an astronomical 640 percent since its inception,” said Natalia Stezenko, a senior account executive at Lehigh Valley Business and one of the emcees. “Having expanded to a staff of more than 30 employees, the company works hard to make sure each one is able grow within the community.”
Clark Gill is president and founder of EPS, which won in the category for companies with 25-100 employees.
DESCCO, which won in the 1-24 employee category, has built more than 2,500 projects, while revenue has grown 128 percent over the last three years. Nicholas Stoltzfus is president of DESCCO, which offers services in the mid-Atlantic region.
Apprise Software, which provides software solutions for consumer goods businesses, took home top honors in the category for 101 or more employees. Founded in 1984, Apprise has expanded to six locations in six countries on four continents and is led by CEO Jeff Broadhurst.
Three other winners not previously announced were:
Archery Addictions of Walnutport was the Emerging Business of the Year. The company’s business partners are Lisa Folajtar and Arthur Gillespie.
Barry Isett & Associates of Upper Macungie Township was named Corporate Citizen of the Year (Organization). Kevin Campbell is president and CEO of the engineering firm.
Frederick W. Rentschler, co-owner of Rentschler Chevy-Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram of Slatington, was named Corporate Citizen of the Year (Individual).
Business of the Year 2016 is designed to give for-profit companies and executives recognition for creating jobs, contributing to the community and bolstering the region economically.
“We are here tonight to celebrate great achievement,” said Mike O’Rourke, publisher of Lehigh Valley Business and also an emcee. “The achievement of doing something meaningful and full of purpose so that the end result is one of economic gain and jobs. …
“These businesspeople create jobs, provide employees the means to support families, carry the nonprofit community through charitable donations and, yes, pay taxes.”
Previously, Catherine Bailey, president and chief operating officer of Rea.deeming Beauty Inc. of Bethlehem, was named Executive of the Year, and she was recognized Tuesday night. Three others – also previously announced – were inducted into LVB’s Hall of Fame:
The Rev. Daniel Gambet, president emeritus of DeSales University, Center Valley.
Jan Heller, president and CEO of JS Heller LLC, Bethlehem.
J. Marshall Wolff, president of Kressler, Wolff & Miller, Easton.
Highmark was the Business of the Year presenting sponsor, while the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. was the premier sponsor. Major sponsors were Peerless Business Advisors, ESSA Bank & Trust and Kreischer Miller, while supporting sponsors were ArtsQuest, PBS39 and the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.
Below are the 2016 Business of the Year finalists, noting the winner in each category. Companies and individuals honored will be profiled in a supplement inserted in the Dec. 12 issue of Lehigh Valley Business, and click here for dozens of photos from the night, including the cocktail hour, networking, dinner and awards ceremony.
Business of the Year (1–24 employees)
Business of the Year (25–100 employees)
Business of the Year (101-plus employees)
Corporate Citizen of the Year (Individual)
Corporate Citizen of the Year (Organization)
Emerging Business of the Year