With the goal of being a little more fun than other business awards ceremonies, on Thursday, June 9, the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) hosted the 2022 Barty Awards Banquet at the Colonial Country Club in Cordova.
The awards, which all featured humorous titles, recognized outstanding achievements in the business community in areas like customer service, technical expertise, environmental stewardship, and innovation.
“Bartlett has some fantastic businesses,” BACC President John Threadgill said. “The city is rich in entrepreneurial spirit. Most of the businesses nominated tonight are local. They started here, and they’ve become multi-million-dollar businesses. This is just our humble way of recognizing some of them.”
Memphis and Shelby County Film Commissioner Linn Sitler emceed the event, which also included a silent auction and wine-pull.
Wiemar’s Jewelry took home the Purple Cow Award for doing things a little differently and grabbing people’s attention. The custom jewelry design and repair business opened in 1984 in Memphis and moved to Bartlett in 2000.
“We have to do things differently simply because we’re a small business,” said owner David Wiemar, who is known for wearing a variety of eye-catching suits, jackets and Hawaiian shirts, including Christmas, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day suits and the gold lame jacket he wore to Thursday’s event. “I show up in a bright jacket and people know who I am, so they come to see me. It’s about having a good time, and we do it.”
Grace Medical won the Nerdie-Birdie Award for its innovative work in the medical device industry designing and manufacturing middle ear reconstructive implants. Founder and chief technical officer Tony Prescott started the company in Bartlett in 1996.
“It’s one thing to be able to invent and be creative. It’s another thing to be able to understand people and what it takes to be able to move product and connect with people in such a way that they want your product,” Prescott said. He credited his sales and marketing team, who were also on hand for the event, saying without them there would be no company.
First South Financial won two of the night’s awards, including Senior VP of Marketing Delynn Byars for the Butt Buster Award.
“It’s wonderful to be recognized for the volunteerism effort winning the Butt Buster Award,” Byars said. Since 2010, she has worked with Mid-South Therapy Dogs and Friends.
First South also won the Wheel Greaser Award for being supportive in the local community.
Other award winners included Brim’s Snack Foods, Sales Shark of the Year; Memphis Record Pressing, the Gazelle Chaser Award for business innovation; Select Specialty Hospital, the Boo-Boo Fixer Award for best healthcare provider; Brother, the Tree Hugger Award for its environmental efforts; Leaders Credit Union Business Development Coordinator Cindy Norman, the Social Butterfly Award, and Saint Francis Hospital – Bartlett, the Kill ‘Em with Kindness Award for its outstanding customer service.
“The titles for the various categories were meant to be light-hearted, but we know how serious it is to have successful businesses here in Bartlett,” Threadgill said.
He hopes the Barty Awards, which the chamber last held more than 10 years ago as a luncheon, will become an annual event.