Metro Atlanta Chamber Recognizes Four Atlanta Entrepreneurs at the 27th Annual Business Person of the Year Awards

Jun 07, 2013, 16:43 ET from The Metro Atlanta Chamber

ATLANTA, June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four local entrepreneurs were honored for their innovation, leadership and success in business at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) and Atlanta Business Chronicle's Business Person of the Year Awards.

A panel of judges narrowed the list down from over 150 nominations to 12 finalists in industries which included security solutions, social marketing, sustainability efforts and more.  

"We are proud to honor all of the finalists and winners who have created and grown successful businesses and shown incredible innovation and dedication," said Mary Moore, founder & CEO of The Cook's Warehouse and the 2013 Chair of the MAC Business Growth Advisory Board. "Entrepreneurs are a vital part of creating new jobs and cultivating a sustainable economy for our region."

The event winners by category are:

  • Early-Stage Entrepreneur (1-3 years) - Michael Nilan, CEO, TreeZero Paper
    • TreeZero manufactures and distributes paper derived from sugar cane waste as a replacement for tree fiber.
  • Emerging Entrepreneur (3-7 years) - Mark Gilreath, President & CEO, EndoChoice
    • EndoChoice supplies medical professionals in gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy with innovative products, and provides imaging, devices, diagnostic technologies & infection control for specialists treating a wide range of GI diseases.
  • Experienced Entrepreneur (7+ years) - Richard Cavagnaro, President, AdEdge Water Technologies, LLC
    • AdEdge Water Technologies enhances the quality of people's lives by manufacturing and selling water treatment systems for multiple customers worldwide to remove various contaminants like arsenic from drinking water in municipalities in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - Robert Balentine, Chairman & CEO, Balentine
    • Balentine is a fee-only registered investment advisory firm managing assets for individuals, families and non-profit institutions. 

Four individuals from universities also received recognition as "Startups to Watch":

  • Tad Spencer, Owner, Tad's Tasty Treats, Kennesaw State University
    • With a background in business, Spencer is living his passion by creating dessert pastries, breakfast breads and other baked goods for restaurants, caterers and corporate continental breakfasts.
  • Steve Dickerson, Founder & Chairman, SoftWear Automation, Inc., Georgia Tech
    • In an effort to keep sewing costs down, SoftWear Automation has developed a patented technology for the sewn products industry.
  • Erika Tyburski, Research Specialist/Biomedical Engineer, AnemoCheck, Emory University & Georgia Tech
    • AnemoCheck is a device that has the ability to test for anemia in your own home, eliminating the costs of a doctor's visit and lab tests.
  • Harmon Johar, Owner/CEO, World Entomophagy, University of Georgia
    • World Entomophagy is using naturally processed insects to create products with safe and reputable insect ingredients.

About the Metro Atlanta Chamber
Everything we do at the Metro Atlanta Chamber is about building our economy and creating prosperity to help Atlanta thrive. Our board is made up of Atlanta's top business leaders. Our professional staff serves 4,000 member companies that employ nearly 1 million workers. We focus on helping small businesses and mid-size companies grow, helping entrepreneurs get started, and recruiting companies nationally and internationally. For more information, visit

SOURCE The Metro Atlanta Chamber