The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2011 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony on Friday, September 16, at the Tampa Convention Center. More than 850 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay’s small business community and toasted the evening’s big winners. This year’s event was presented by Sam’s Club and represents the 31st year the Chamber has recognized this key segment of the region’s economy. Small business awards were presented in three categories based on the number of employees. Companies are evaluated on financial success, community involvement and ethical business practices. An award was also presented to the Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year. The 2011 Small Business of the Year Award winners are: Outstanding Leader: Olin Mott, Olin Mott Tire Stores Olin Mott opened the first location of Olin Mott Tire Stores in 1955 on Hillsborough Avenue. Since then, the company has grown to four company-owned locations and two franchise locations. Mott’s dedication to his customers and employees is paramount; one great example is his financing of an employee’s dream – resulting in Big John’s Alabama Barbeque. Mott is dedicated to the community as well, establishing the Michelin/Joshua House Golf Classic in 1994 and Tutor-a-Bull in 2005 – a partnership between the Michelin Golf Classic, the USF College of Education and Hillsborough County Public Schools – designed to provide one-on-one tutoring for middle and high-school students. 5 – 20 Employees: Majesty Title Services, LLC Majesty Title Services, LLC (MTS) is a National Title and Settlement Agency headquartered in Tampa, offering buyers and lenders a full range of title insurance and escrow services for real estate transactions. Majesty Title’s focus is on serving clients in Florida and New York, and wherever their business takes them throughout the United States. MTS began as a New York/New Jersey regional title agency in the 1990’s. In 2006, three partners acquired the infrastructure of the NY/NJ agency and re-branded the company as Majesty Title Services. 21 – 50 Employees: Italiano Insurance Italiano Insurance Services, Inc. is a family owned and operated insurance agency whose principals have served West Central and South Florida for over 50 years. The agency has grown into a thriving, full service agency offering commercial, home, auto, boat, flood, life, and health insurance. Even though their client base includes many large corporations and multi-national firms, Italiano Insurance has never allowed its focus to stray away from their core business – individual consumers and locally-owned small businesses. 51 – 250 Employees: Creative Sign Designs Creative Sign Designs (CSD) serves the commercial and architectural signage market on a national basis, providing a full array of interior, exterior, and digital signage solutions. CSD is a turn-key operation offering consultation, design, engineering, permitting, fabrication, installation, and ongoing maintenance for signage projects of all shapes and sizes. CSD has supported many causes over the years including Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, Tampa General Hospital Foundation and Berkeley Preparatory School.