North America Business Awards 2022 Just Funky: Best QualityMerchandise Manufacturer 2022 – USA

2 | North America Business Awards 2022 About North America Business Awards 2022 We here at New World Report are pleased to announce the return of the North America Business Awards for 2022. North America is home to some of the world’s most successful corporations, small to medium enterprises and initiatives. It is a region that places diversity, innovation, and progressive thinking at the head of its day-to-day business operations. The opportunities available to business owners, employees and consumers are extensive and this has enabled the region to build and maintain a reputation as one of, if not the best place to do business today. Since its inception in 2017, the North America Business Awards have aimed to honor the businesses and individuals whose efforts have generated outstanding products and services for the diverse clientele found across this region and this year, things are no different. Taking part in the North America Business Awards 2022 is an ideal way to show your employees that their efforts are valued by the organization, whilst also providing the public with evidence of your success as an enterprise. Not only this but notifying stakeholders of your participation in our awards program indicates that your business is creating a buzz within the sector and attracting attention from third parties. Sofi Bajor, Senior Editor AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining frommaking any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.

North America Business Awards 2022 | 3 Contents 4. Just Funky: Best Quality Merchandise Manufacturer2022 – USA 6. Ask Julia Healthcare Consulting: Best Healthcare Business & Finance Consultant 2022 (USA): Julia Nabiullina 8. Founders Trust: Best SME-Focused Acquisition Firm - Mid-West USA 10. Kassandra Berry Nail and Beauty Spa: Nail & Beauty Spa of the Year 2022 - Midwest USA 11. Blossom Marketing: Best Social Media Marketing Agency 2022 - MidAtlantic USA 12. Cox Petroleum Transport: Best Petroleum Products Transport Company 2022 13. Modine Contracting Corp: Best Specialist Interior & Exterior Painting Service Company 2022 - USA 14. The Prenner Group: Best PR Agency – Southern California 15. Advanced Asphalt Paving & Concrete LLC: Best Family-Owned Paving Contractor – Missouri 16. Clear View Systems: Best Currency Exchange Software Providers 2022 17. Victori Solutions: Best Media & PR Company 2022 - California 18. Turn-Key Tunneling: Best Tunneling & Boring Contractor 2022 - Eastern USA 19. Unique Verve: Best Functional Medicine Practitioner - Boston 20. D&D Manufacturing LLC: Best Thermoplastic Composite Technology Manufacturer – Southeast USA 21. Epic Strategies: Most Innovative Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency - USA 22. Baker’s Ribs: Best BBQ Events Catering Company 2022 – Texas

4 | North America Business Awards 2022 Headquartered in Richfield, Ohio, merchandise manufacturer, Just Funky, creates a whole range of products designed to delight fans around the world. The family-run business is based on the values of wanting to do things the right way and make people smile. We take a look at the company and its founders, the Arora family, in more detail. eading off to a concert to see your favorite band wouldn’t be the same without making a visit to the ‘merch’ stand. Queuing up to see what’s on offer, then dashing off to the restroom to change into your crisp printed T-shirt before the show starts. In recent times, music merchandise has grown into its own industry. No longer only a T-shirt or two, there’s a whole range of items on display at every concert. With sales of ‘physical’ music such as CDs having almost disappeared, artists rely on sales of merchandise to boost their bottom line and keep concert tours in profit. And it doesn’t end there. Over the decades, merchandise has come to encompass so much more. Popular films, TV shows, animes and video games all have loyal fans – and they all want merchandise. Buying or streaming the product itself isn’t enough. We want to belong, to identify with like-minded souls, to find our tribe. Merchandise helps us do that. Not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones too. It’s gifting made simple. Offering your friend or family member an item of clothing or accessory branded with their favorite show is so much more exciting than gifting that plain black jumper you know they need. Want to be a favorite aunt or uncle? Merchandise is the way to go. The choice has grown exponentially too. Today’s merchandising license agreements go way beyond the hoodies and badges of old. If you look hard enough you’ll find almost anything designed as an homage to your favorite character or show. As well as apparel, merchandising often features household goods such as blankets, ponchos, and towels not to mention glassware, drinks bottles, car accessories and other impulse items. As a manufacturer of licensed and private-label merchandise, Just Funky has been on a mission to create and deliver high-quality merchandise to fans since 2011. Using a combination of the latest technology and the keenest minds in the industry, Just Funky works tirelessly to produce merchandise that is appealing and unique. The company is the culmination of the dream of its founder and Chief Visionary, Raj Arora. When Raj was only 15 years old, his natural entrepreneurial spirit led him to study and emulate the business ideals of great designers. First-class customer service and excellent quality merchandise have put Just Funky on the map. They are the solid foundation of a business that continues to grow in reach and stature. In the last five years, Just Funky has undergone considerable expansion. The company now boasts offices in India, Hong Kong and Europe as well as its offices in Ohio. Just Funky’s strengths are many-fold. Its executives have over 40 years of combined experience in the industry. And the company as a whole understands the necessity of staying up to date with the latest in pop culture. From inception to delivery, Just Funky functions like a very cool, welloiled machine. Brainstorming new ideas and translating them into products for mainstream retail is where the company excels. To begin with, there’s the Trends and Research Team, headed up by company president, Shivani Arora. Its main responsibility is to forecast upcoming trends in the industry, not only in the US but in the UK and Europe too. After studying current trends, the team will undertake market research to be sure that potential products will be popular, way before presenting them to buyers. Once that’s done it’s over to the Just Funky Design Team to bring the ideas to life. Always on the lookout for talent, the team has grown organically with the business. Just Funky designers have a reputation for pushing design boundaries to help products stand out from the crowd. Their sharp eye for detail is an essential component in ensuring the superior quality of the finished products. The Just Funky Production and Sourcing Team is based in India. Understanding the licensing industry as a whole is crucial in making the vision of each product a reality. Finding the best deals on pricing and solving logistical challenges are also on this team’s radar. When products are nearing completion they undergo multi-stage quality checks. These are carried out by the Just Funky Inspection Teamwho make sure every product gets the Just Funky seal of approval. Alongside its core business, Just Funky has also developed a charitable arm - the Just Funky Foundation. The non-profit organization has been set up to give back to the community through charitable donations to help students. Previous recipients include the Wooster City School Oct22269 Best Quality Merchandise Manufacturer 2022 – USA H

North America Business Awards 2022 | 5 Best Quality Merchandise Manufacturer 2022 – USA District. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is the youngest Arora family member, Pranav Arora. A serial entrepreneur, Pranav is also a Head of Division at Just Funky and CEO of private equity investment firm JMTD Holdings. He was recently featured in an Entrepreneur - India article giving advice on how to excel in the world of business. Are you interested in merchandise for your next project? Why not visit the Just Funky website to find out more? Contact: Raj & Shivani Arora Company: Just Funky Web Address:

North America Business Awards 2022 | 6 Founded to provide financial and business advice to healthcare professionals, Ask Julia Healthcare Consulting (AJHC) started life as a column in a newsletter. Today AJHC is a thriving business providing a whole range of services to individuals, companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Here we talk to Julia Nabiullina who is the driving force behind AJHC. ulia Nabiullina worked as a consultant for many years to educate and empower healthcare professionals and providers with training and advice. Her advice and training led to restored confidence and positivity in her clients. Julia quickly decided she would set up a business that was a driving force for transformation in the healthcare industry. Her first step was to launch a column in a regular newsletter called “Ask Julia”. The column became a website and the website evolved into a knowledgebase, and was such a success that Julia began to assemble a team of like-minded specialists. The aim – to build a multi-disciplinary team to support healthcare professionals with a range of consulting services. That’s when AJHC was born. Julia tells us, “Our mission is to empower healthcare professionals to thrive through change. We want to help them stay informed about regulations and to embrace a spirit of collaboration to make a difference in the public sector. We can attribute our success not just to the quality of our work, but also to our attitude and the way we interact with our clients. Our core values are openness, honesty, trust, respect, and reliability.” Today, AJHC provides consultancy services that include auditing, project management, data analytics, and training. Using a three-point framework of compliance, efficiency, and profitability, the experienced professionals at AJHC treat every client as an individual. Clients share their needs, concerns, goals, and objectives so that AJHC can help outline strategic plans for improvement. Auditing services help assess performance and compliance from both internal and external perspectives. Whilst project management professionals look after team allocation and collaboration. Clients access a host of analytical templates and are helped to define and update custom reporting tools, and AJHC designs every action to help the client through the change process so that they may achieve their goals. The subscription service, AJHC Academy provides clients with resources and learning materials to expand their knowledge. Varied teaching styles and mediums respond to the needs of different types of learners. There are bite-sized chunks of learning that can fit into your day and more in-depth modules for when you have a little more time to explore. AJHC Academy ensures there is always something new and exciting for learners to discover. AJHC Academy develops new materials to add to its ‘toolbox’ based on the challenges faced by its clients. Julia says, “We spend time understanding the problem before we start to develop a module. The team will look at regulations in detail, too. Once that’s done, we combine the information we’ve gathered with our knowledge of the field to craft a solution that works.” As well as pre-recorded videos and training courses, there’s handson screen-share training, and online and face-to-face coaching. And if you don’t know what you need, there’s a ‘Fire Department’ Team who assess where you are right now, where you need to be, and then recommend a solution to help you bridge the gap. The AJHC Academy subject matter experts and the technical and delivery teams are always ready for a new challenge. No topic is too complicated or obscure for them to tackle. Now looking to the future, AJHC Academy has big plans. These include a podcast, handouts for your staff and clients, and a full Q&A database. When asked about receiving the award, Julia’s colleague, Milena Yefimenko told us, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Julia. I’ve witnessed her skill in serving public health needs in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). No matter who she is working for, it has no effect on her critical decision-making. She always attempts to resolve challenges by finding the best outcome for everyone. Julia’s hands-on approach has been instrumental in ensuring thorough and efficient processes throughout the state.” For the team, Julia is the perfect example of how to handle even the toughest challenges with grace. Her leadership is always fair and supportive. And she’s invested in the personal and professional development of every member of the team. Julia always finds time to listen and understand the root cause of any problem, and everyone at AJHC is thrilled to see her receive this award. Words cannot describe the positive impact that Julia makes in the public health arena – she really is a one-in-a-million leader! As well as running AJHC, Julia provides advisory services to the NYS Department of Health, the American Arbitration Association and other government agencies. She is also a Risk Consultant in Advisory Services for top management consulting firm, KPMG. In her spare time, Julia is an animal lover and an active supporter of St Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, a charity dedicated to the humane treatment of animals based in New Jersey. It is clear to see how Julia Nabiullina has won Best Healthcare Business & Finance Consultant 2022 (USA), and we are excited to see what she goes on to do next. Nov22036 Best Healthcare Business & Finance Consultant 2022 (USA): Julia Nabiullina J

North America Business Awards 2022 | 7 Best Healthcare Business & Finance Consultant 2022 (USA): Julia Nabiullina Contact: Julia Nabiullina Company: Ask Julia Healthcare Consulting Web Address:

North America Business Awards 2022 | 8 James was a successful founder. Little did he know that one day, after he sold his company, it would have its employees laid off, its clients mistreated, he’d lose respect in his community, and his business would be conglomerated into the Borg. Is this a horror movie? No, it is the reality of the buyer landscape as it exists for most sellers of businesses. Founders and owners need a better type of buyer. This is the reason that Founders Trust exists, to be a different buyer , with a different strategy. What does the buyer landscape mean for the future of U.S. businesses, and what does that mean for owners looking to achieve an exit? We speak with Founders Trust CEO, Matt Williamson, to find out more. Founders Trust works with founders and owners of small and mediumsized privately owned companies, whose owners want to retire or redesign their role in their business. Of course, owner circumstances and motivations are rarely the same, so Founders Trust talks with founders to understand what they want to do. Some owners want to retire, and some want a longer transition period. Other times, owners want to be able to continue doing the work that they love, without the heavy stress and administration that comes with ownership. They want to go back to doing what they used to love in their business, in either a leadership position or board or advisory role. Previous owners of companies often want to stay with the company in the form of a board member or advisor, and they keep their desks at the company, contributing as and when they want to, not in an obligatory manner. Williamson explains, “If the business meets our criteria, we talk with the seller to come up with a transition and possibly a role that fits with what he really wants to do.” Founders Trust only works with businesses that meet its very specific criteria. Generally, they must have successful management in place, and a strong operating track record. In short, profitable companies that have some successful history behind them. Founders Trust is an admirer of founders. Essentially the pioneers of the business world, founders often start out with nothing, or very little. They may not fully understand the business they’re getting themselves into. And they certainly don’t have the connections they need to make the venture a success. At least not at the start. But, over time, with a lot of perseverance and personal sacrifice, they build something special. They provide employment and security for staff, and quality products or services to their clients. And, when they’ve worked for years to grow a business, having an exit strategy is essential. Matt Williamson, CEO of Founders Trust says, “We have so much respect for people that have built successful businesses from nothing. We’re here to help them have the exit and final success they deserve. We want them to see their work and what they believe in continue, for them and for their employees. We want to help as many founders as we can to have the exit they deserve without having to compromise their criteria and standards for the buyer. This is our reason for being.” Founders Trust has a strategy opposite to the typical buyers in the marketplace. In the U.S. landscape, buyers belong to two categories: ‘strategic’ and the ‘financial’ buyers. ‘Strategic’ buyers will typically do layoffs, cut costs, and merge, absorb, or conglomerate the company into existing operations. The company disappears, like it never existed. ‘Financial’ buyers focus on short term investment horizons and timeframed returns. Financial buyers also typically cut costs, do layoffs, do a few quick fixes, overleverage the company, and exit the company in a few years to hit their IRR target. The company enters into an endless cycle of acquisition and disposition to other financial buyers in order to achieve target IRRs. This puts pressure on the company, employees, and the quality of the product or service. Both types of buyers use other people’s money, so they don’t have the same sense of stewardship. They are the faceless organizations that conglomerate investors and companies. Companies disappear into the Borg. Founders Trust exists to be a different type of buyer. Mr. Williamson explains, “We are for sellers that care about their legacy, employees, clients, brand name, history, vendors, and local community. All of these are preserved. We are for sellers that care about the continuation of their company and its culture, and the company achieving its potential. Culture is what you do: it is the long-built and really fire-tested set of values and knowledge a company has. This has value for clients, for the community and nation, and for employees.” Williamson explains, “We are for sellers that care about their employees and want to see them succeed, and see them given part of the equity, and incentivized. They want to see their employees do well, too, because they helped the business owner to reach where he is today. With Founders Trust shared ownership, the employees do very well.” Williamson explains, “The companies grow, and become stronger and stronger. It is a permanent home for the company. We are not returns driven, we are quality of company driven: if it is a good quality company, then over time, long term value will be created. We don’t need our money back within a certain time frame.” Owners of small to medium businesses often play a big part in the management structure. In cases where the managers who remain may not have all the skills required to take over, Founders Trust typically builds in a period of transition. Williamson explains, “During this time, the existing middle management of the company undertakes training. They prepare to step up and create a leadership team. We’ve refined our processes tremendously over the decades. It’s very practical. We’ll Oct22616 Best SME-Focused Acquisition Firm - USA

North America Business Awards 2022 | 9 Best SME-Focused Acquisition Firm - Mid-West USA also work with individuals who will step up to lead the organization. In some cases it’s necessary to reinforce the team with talent from outside of the company, but we prefer to give the opportunity to existing employees and executives.” Williamson says, “We believe that businesses have intrinsic value, and they should continue to grow and succeed.” Company: Founders Trust Contact: Matt Williamson Email: [email protected] Phone: (312) 373-1123 Web Address:

10 | North America Business Awards 2022 Oct22067 Nail & Beauty Spa of the Year 2022 - Midwest USA A friendly local nail spa that provides a place of excellence, community, and relaxation, Kassandra Berry Nail and Beauty Spa brings music and pampering together into one fantastic establishment. Ostensibly, it invites clients to come and experience true Ohio hospitality and nationally competitive nail technician services that have themwalking out happier, socially refreshed, and more confident, with their perfect nails having been achieved. assandra Berry Nail and Beauty Spa is the home of a variety of nail technician services, one that has made itself a cornerstone of the community through hard work, friendliness, and tenacity. Owned by a nail and music artist – the eponymous Kassandra – this establishment’s dedication to its client means it strives to give them a place where they can go to see friends and family, meet new people, and relax in the beating heart of their local area. Moreover, Kassandra Jackson brings her passion for music to opening hours, giving the shop a youthful and upbeat energy with a fresh and vibrant hip-hop track list. Making relaxation and rejuvenation both the linchpins of its operation, the spa’s team work tirelessly to deliver the best nail care and pampering sessions in a clean, hospitable, and relaxed environment, welcoming everyone who walks through the door with open arms and new musical inspiration. The services it provides, therefore, include gel manicures, spa pedicures, acrylics, acrylic fill-ins, or a combination of these services, with classes and events running consistently for its locals, regulars, and new customers alike. Its beauty spa subscription allows an all-access pass to those who appreciate a regular pampering, and with its virtual nail appointments, it even invites clients to come and hang out with its founder for beauty tips, nailcare advice, and styling guidance that allow even those who cannot physically make it to the spa to partake. Additionally, alongside its nail care and nail design products and services, it also sells Kassandra’s own music, allowing her to grow her brand with the two passions that drive her. Company: Kassandra Berry Nail and Beauty Spa Contact: Kassandra Jackson Website: K Making relaxation and rejuvenation both the linchpins of its operation, the spa’s team work tirelessly to deliver the best nail care and pampering sessions in a clean, hospitable, and relaxed environment, welcoming everyone who walks through the door with open arms and new musical inspiration.

North America Business Awards 2022 | 11 Blossom Marketing (Blossom) is a womanowned digital advertising company which serves clients in Washington DC and the surrounding areas. The company provides various digital marketing services including SEO, social media advertising, web design, and email marketing to help clients connect with their target audiences and enhance customer engagement. ounded by CEO, Emily Lenning, she is a fifth-generation entrepreneur with experience in managing social media for large brands such as Kellogg, branding, ecommerce, and more. Backing up her specialism is her bachelor’s degree in public relations fromWestern Michigan University. Emily and her team at Blossom Marketing are experts in growing brands; with the data-driven results to prove it and years of experience under their belts, they are dedicated to helping organisations reach their greatest potential in social media management, email marketing, social media ads, SEO, and much more. Their mission is to provide services with expertise, class, and respect in order to see business reach their fullest potential. They understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to digital marketing needs, and their passion for creating unique, effective campaigns shows. Although the team works 100% remote, they are experienced and comfortable working across time zones to get businesses the marketing results they need to thrive. Clients share their delight in dealing with the company, with Alex G from F9 Productions saying, “Working with Blossom Marketing has exceeded expectations. They are professional, fun to work with, and get results. They know their stuff and are constantly improving. You should have no hesitation if you are thinking of working with them.” Mary Ellen Wood shares, Blossom Marketing took our social media messaging to the next level with consistent branding, cadence, and fresh content. Monthly content reviews and updated stats help keep us on top of our social media. We really appreciate the flexibility we’re given to change content, add/change posts at a moment’s notice when needed.” Tim Gisesen from CorsogaAV comments, “Blossom Marketing is exactly what our company was looking for. They know what they are doing and I highly recommend them to take your company to the next level.” So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to grow your brand and harvest results! Company: Blossom Marketing Email: [email protected] Website: Oct22231 Best Social Media Marketing Agency 2022 - Mid-Atlantic USA F

12 | North America Business Awards 2022 Oct22054 When looking for a delivery business to prioritise petroleum supply, it is of utmost importance that we find a company that truly cares. Cox Petroleum Transport is a family-oriented company that has always valued integrity and hard work. It always delivers a high quality service for those in need of petroleum products. Here we look to its Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Mairs, as it wins this prestigious award. Best Petroleum Products Transport Company 2022 ox Petroleum Transport started out as a family-run, family-owned business that has now extended its family through its non-related employees. They are encouraged to be themselves whilst sharing the same views as Cox Petroleum Transport, making for a relationship full of confidence, fulfilment, and progress. Working with major oil companies including Chevron, Marathon, Phillips 66, Anabi, Shell, and others, it utilises its corporate terminal located in Bakersfield, California. Cox Petroleum Transport currently operates 140 trucks throughout 8 terminals to make the transport of petroleum easier for everyone. Cox Petroleum Transport’s unique selling point is that it is always looking for ways to improve whilst being a shining example of everything a petroleum delivery company should be. Jeremy shares, “Cox Petroleum Transport believes our achievements are based on core values of integrity, commitment, and honesty. Adhering to strong ethical principles is what we say guides us to be known as a reliable and trustworthy business.” By being so consistent Cox Petroleum Transport has been able to gain this excellent accolade, and it will continue to surprise and satisfy its customers all around it. The industry is a difficult one to break into and Cox Petroleum Transport has worked tirelessly to innovate and improve its services. Jeremy says, “Over the years we have witnessed many changes in our industry. Despite industry changes and changes in ownership, Cox Petroleum Transport maintained the integrity of being a familyowned business.” This dedication and passion towards having a closeknit team and shared values has made Cox Petroleum Transport one to watch in this competitive trade. “Before long, we were operating throughout California servicing the 48 states and Canada and are now considered to be one of the premier carriers in their industry. We continue to reinvest in employees to create a safe and enjoyable work environment,” Jeremy enthuses. Cox Petroleum Transport tailored its hiring process so that it could always find people who were going to be reliable, respectful, and truly outstanding when it comes to keeping Cox Petroleum Transport’s name spotless. “Cox Petroleum Transport supports the idea of providing transportation career opportunities for individuals that may find themselves contemplating their future career after completing a secondary education. The hope is that some may find the transportation field a successful path to long time employment. One opportunity is for younger drivers to enter the trucking industry as it is 80,000 drivers short of the demand. There are some new initiatives to allow younger adults to apply for their CDL with their hazardous material endorsements. The goal would be to bring drivers into the industry, bridging the gap from the 18~21 demographic to consider the trade. We hope these initiatives will provide a larger pool of drivers for this industry,” Jeremy shares. Not only does Cox Petroleum Transport provide career opportunities for people in its surrounding areas, but it does so with an open mind and open heart. By employing people who will benefit the company, whilst growing themselves, Cox Petroleum Transport has found itself bigger and stronger than before. That is why we are proud to present it with Best Petroleum Products Transport Company 2022 –We wish themmany years of continued success! Contact: Jeremy Mairs, CEO Company: Cox Petroleum Transport Web Address: C

North America Business Awards 2022 | 13 Oct22045 Commercial property painting requires an expert eye, one which can not only complete jobs to a high standard, but within deadline limits. With over 27 years on the job, the team has a track record without parallel. In the North America Business Awards 2022 from New World Report, the hard work of the Modine Contracting Corp team was recognised. We look more closely to uncover more. Best Specialist Interior & Exterior Painting Service Company 2022 - USA stablished in 1985 by Georgios Kouloukis, Modine Contracting Corp has made enormous strides since humble beginnings. The unique challenges of painting commercial buildings saw Gesthimani Kouloukis the leadership team in 1993 and since then the firm has gone from strength to strength, working on larger and larger projects throughout NYC. Regardless of the nature of the job, the promise from the Modine Contracting Corp is that the job will be completed to the highest of standards. The team of highly skilled supervisors and painters E have been a crucial part of the team for years, ensuring that standards never slip and are often exceeded. With such a strong level of consistency across the board, you can be certain that the workmanship and smoothness of the workflow are never in doubt. We were fortunate to caught up with Gesthimani, one of the driving forces behind the business since 1993. He was keen to explain how he was able to guarantee exceptional results for clients because his staff were treated exceptionally well. “Everyone is treated with respect,” Gesthimani tells us. “We are all a team and our highly skilled supervisors make sure we leave the job site when everything is perfect.” This approach might seem uncompromising, but clients regularly say that the Modine team deliver “peace of mind” with their timely approach to every project. Maintaining a satisfied staff is no easy task, however, and it is one which the pandemic made even harder. With the industry always shifting and modernising, we thought it appropriate to ask what steps he has made to stay ahead of the curve. “Keeping my employees happy,” he says with a smile, “through 401K plans, sick leave and paying them above market wages. They are very few contractors that pay painters prevailing wages like we do, but we are determined to not lower our prices or our standards. Eventually, even customers that thought we are expensive always call us back.” It’s true that the quality of the team’s work has kept them in incredibly high demand. Over the years, the team have won numerous contracts in the public and private sectors because delivery to the highest standards is certain. “We care about the outcome,” Gesthimani explains. “We never go to the job site and just “paint”. If there is any problem, even if it’s not ours we help to solve it.” The incredible trust that the team has earned over the years is a quality that sets the firm apart from the competition. Such goodwill has generated return business that has proven invaluable during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Excellence is a quality that is often seen as beyond reach, but the team at Modine have worked tirelessly to reach that standard. Their achievements over the years can be seen in their projects across NYC, in their list of loyal customers and in the way that they continue to thrive nearly four decades after first opening their doors. We can’t wait to see what they do next! Company: Modine Contracting Corp Name: Gesthimani Kouloukis Email: [email protected] Web Address:

14 | North America Business Awards 2022 Best PR Agency – Southern California Are you looking for a way for your brand to be seen by an endless list of people? The Prenner Group is a leading full service public relations, marketing, and communications practice that represents a plethora of brands – and you could be the next brand on its long list. Here we look at its fine work as it wins this colossal award. he Prenner Group (TPG) is a dedicated agency that acts for a huge variety of clients looking to elevate their brand. It has been in operation since 2007 and, with its expert CEO to guide it, TPG has consistently been one we can rely on. Working alongside important, essential partners and events, TPG encourages its clients to connect with new people and places – so that they may majorly increase product assimilation. TPG guarantees show-stopping, innovative, and unique media attention so that each brand it works with can make its mark on the world as we know it. Offering a wide selection of PR services, TPG showcases its clients’ brands to multiple platforms from consumer to trade, online and to local, national, and international audiences. With a quality mindset, TPG offers its press kit design, product strategy and launch, artist development, new author releases, business development, product placement in TV and feature films, production publicity, talent relations, content strategy, social media strategy, and crisis management event management. “The Prenner Group: Setting a higher standard for media relations.” With over 20 years of experience, CEO and Founder, Amy Prenner, has built TPG into the strategy-driven agency it is today. Prenner has formed a network of high profile media contacts that all help to get her clients’ names out there. “Prenner leads her clients to win Emmy and Academy Award nominations and high-profile accolades. As the principal role of her own agency, The Prenner Group, Prenner has worked with many cable networks including Epix, AMC Networks, Starz, Syfy, GSN, Freeform, Travel Channel, USA Networks and Fuse, launching many series on their behalf. “She has also consulted on Emmy campaigns for NBC hits such as “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “America’s Got Talent,” and has worked to secure placements and awareness at major film and television festivals for a variety of clients, with presence at The Oscars, the Emmys, Television Critics Tour, Comic Con, The Sundance Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival. Prenner has launched multiple fast channels including SWERVE SPORTS, DISTRO TV, BEST EVER CHANNEL’s new Comedy platform WITZ and SPEED SPORT 1. She also served as the agency of record for ACAST, the largest podcast platform in the world. She’s represented multiple award-winning authors, producers and leaders in film and television industry. Helping clients to built repertoire within Hollywood, and beyond, TPG treats each and every individual like a celebrity. Its fine work has propelled it forward in the industry, and it has left a trail of happy clients all over the south of California. With plenty of skills to roll into 2023, it is inevitable that TPG will expand even more over the next year. For example, media outlets are due to rely on more contributed articles as the number of full-time staff continues to shrink. Opportunities for growth are swiftly moving in for TPG over the next year, and we are excited to see what it does with them. We are pleased to present The Prenner Group with Best PR Agency – Southern California, long may its success continue! Contact: Amy Prenner Company: The Prenner Group Web Address: T Oct22441 “As one of the leading boutique public relations firms in Southern California, we offer an integrated suite of public relations services that simplify and accelerate your needs. Our unique approach helps clients get noticed.” 14 | N rt A erica B sines A ar s 202

North America Business Awards 2022 | 15 Nov22138 Best Family-Owned Paving Contractor – Missouri Family-owned company, Advanced Asphalt Paving & Concrete LLC, ensures the safety and aesthetic appeal of paving and road surfaces in the Greater Kansas City Metro area. Boasting over 200 years of combined experience in the industry, the company has built a reputation for its expert workmanship and outstanding customer service. We speak with owner, Danny Calvert, to find out more. ull-service asphalt maintenance company, Advanced Asphalt Paving & Concrete LLC, installs, protects, repairs, and replaces all kinds of asphalt surfaces. As well as asphalt, Advanced also takes care of concrete work such as installing and repairing sidewalks and curbs. The company, which began trading in 2011, strives to provide every customer with quality work at affordable prices. Roadways, parking lots and driveways are all inspected with meticulous detail by Advanced’s estimating team. Each project is evaluated to identify the best solution possible for the customer. Communication is high on the agenda with customers kept in the loop through every stage of the process. Danny tells us, “Asphalt paving is a complex procedure. We make sure we stay up to date with the newest technology. By keeping up with the evolving industry, we’re able to provide our customers with the best quality service. Like everything else, asphalt prices have gone up. We can’t control inflation but we can make sure we always offer our customers the lowest competitive price in our region.” Danny runs the family business with his two sons Danny Calvert Jr. and Michael Calvert by his side. Together they have grown the business into the successful operation that it is today. Danny tells us a little about business day-to-day, “We take care of our employees as if they are our own family. Our crew works together as one to complete any task at hand. Our customers take ease knowing that our crew is background checked and OSHA certified. Each workday takes us somewhere new. That keeps things exciting and helps boost the team’s morale. They’d rather be out in the action than in a cubical.” But asphalting is a seasonal affair. It’s not possible in the winter months. So when there’s no client work, the team uses its time to make preparations for the upcoming season. We ask Danny how Advanced stands out from its competition. He explains, “We’re always communicating with our customers and subcontractors. This ensures we deliver every job on time. We don’t just tell our customers what needs to be done. We take the time to explain how we’ll make their surfaces beautiful and structurally sound.” So far in 2022, Advanced has served the local community by completing several roads for surrounding cities. The company, which also holds an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), has provided new parking lots for churches and apartment complexes, with the majority of its jobs coming via Google or Microsoft searches, referrals, and website submissions. Danny says, “We’re proud to have completed these jobs before the harsh winter weather begins. Our gross sales increase each season, all while maintaining the lowest competitive prices in our region. Each year we complete more jobs and expand our knowledge further. This keeps our team excited to see what’s coming next.” Contact: Danny Calvert Company: Advanced Asphalt Paving & Concrete LLC Web Address: F

16 | North America Business Awards 2022 Oct22530 Based in Canada, Clear View Systems has been developing financial software for small and medium-sized businesses since 2003. Aiming to lead by innovation, Clear View’s sights are set on becoming the industry standard for currency exchange software. We speak to CEO, Tiran Behrouz, to find out more. Best Currency Exchange Software Providers 2022 lthough still billing itself as a small software development company, Clear View Systems is the creator of CurrencyXchanger (CXR). This award-winning currency exchange software is used by thousands of foreign exchange professionals in over 40 countries. The solution offers multi-currency transaction software and accounting systems. It combines Know Your Customer solutions, sanction screening and anti-money laundering compliance and reporting. Various editions of CXR are available including Point of Sale (CXR-POS) for businesses such as resorts, tourist shops and cruise ships. CXR-BE, or Business Edition, is designed for currency wholesalers, money service bureaux and other businesses that trade across borders. CXR-PRO includes eWire Remittance Technology that’s of particular interest to financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. We ask Tiran to tell us about the development process. He says, “We design our products to enhance operational efficiency, maximize resources, and increase profits. We tailor the latest technologies to create robust and reliable applications to meet each client’s specific objectives. “We never copy other products and solutions. We develop products based on customer needs, current regulations, industry standards and trends. We’re always innovating. This keeps our products up-todate and relevant. It helps us to stay ahead of the competition.” In fact, with almost 20 years of experience in the financial sector, Clear View has developed a significant advantage. Tiran explains, “Our robust solutions have stood the test of time. We’ve become experts at understanding our customers’ needs. Using our extensive code library, our experienced team are quick to develop and test new solutions.” But developing the latest solutions for its customers isn’t the only focus at Clear View. The company also aims for its solutions to be more affordable than those provided by larger competitors. And the Clear View team assists customers through every stage of the process, from the first consultation to implementation. Clear View’s flat organizational structure promotes healthy working relationships. Encouraged to be inventive, teammembers are adept at identifying unique solutions to address the challenges of Clear View’s clientele. Tiran says, “Customer feedback is very important to the team. We have regular meetings with our customers to make sure we understand their challenges. This approach results in quality products, better customer experiences, and increased satisfaction. Our dedication to quality service has enabled us to build lasting relationships with our customers.” Looking to the future, Clear View is developing a new Transaction Monitoring System. Being deployed soon in a prominent Asian bank, the solution uses Clear View’s advanced ‘Rule Engine’ technology to detect fraudulent activity and suspicious transactions. The company plans to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning technology into the new solution in 2023. Contact: Tiran Behrouz (CEO) Company: Clear View Systems Web Address: A

North America Business Awards 2022 | 17 Nov22193 Best Media & PR Company 2022 - California Californian public relations and social media agency, Victori Solutions, specializes in managing public image and engaging its clients’ audiences to grow brand awareness and loyalty. In less than four years, the boutique company has gone from start-up to all-star. Doubling the size of its workforce and its client roster since 2021, Victori Solutions is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. We speak with founder, Victoria Elder to find out more. n 2014, Victoria Elder, known as Tori, began working for a leading PR firm in Los Angeles. Managing multiple accounts, it soon became clear that she was a natural. Specializing in public outreach via press releases, events, and celebrity partnerships, she remained there until late 2018, and in early 2019, Victori Solutions took flight. Today, Victori Solutions represents a wide variety of clients across a range of sectors including multi-day festivals, destinations, e-commerce businesses, medical device manufacturers, high-tech products, fitness apparel, luxury food and beverage companies, and more. Her company uses proven strategies and strategic storytelling to help clients gain visibility on an often global stage. A team of five have worked hard to build a heavy-hitting client roster which includes companies such as Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, MedWand Solutions, EPIC Entertainment Group, Ice Shaker, HYLETE, Lume Cube, and Casa Romantica in San Clemente, CA. Tori tells us, “At Victori Solutions, we believe in a rewarding work culture. It’s as essential as compensation, if not more. We hire top talent and cultivate a positive environment. When our team is challenged, we not only rise to the challenge, we thrive through the process. A substantial number of our clients have been with us from the beginning. They appreciate the hard work we put into helping their businesses thrive.” Many clients are able to see positive results in only a few months. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is one example. The center has increased its event attendance by an impressive 24% since starting to work with Tori and the team. By growing its reach using PR and social media, the client has been able to grow its audience much more than it would have by using paid ads alone. That’s not to say Victori Solutions doesn’t advocate the use of paid advertising. Tori says, “PR has always worked better when combined with other marketing efforts. It’s one piece of the marketing puzzle to be used alongside a strong content strategy, paid ads, and engaging social media.” Known for its relationships with the press and media, Victori Solutions puts the ‘relations’ back into Public Relations by nurturing relationships with media and influencers on behalf of its clients. Tori explains, “Our relationships allow us to understand the landscape and trends as seen through the eyes of our friends in the media. This enables us to create powerful communications that not only benefit the client but also help our media contacts to create unique and influential stories.” With coverage in the likes of The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Forbes, Fox TV, CNET, CNN, NBC News, Buzzfeed,, and Business Insider, it’s little wonder that Victori Solutions clients are positioned at the forefront of any crowded marketplace. Looking to the future, the company plans to move offices to a larger space in Orange County. Victori Solutions will also be supporting client, MedWand, at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, this January. On receiving the award, Tori says, “I’d like to acknowledge that this is all possible because of our team: Marissa Spencer, Taylor Soriano, Sophie Higuchi, and Charlie English. Without their sleepless nights and enthusiastic dedication to our clients we wouldn’t be receiving this award or celebrating the success of our growth.” Victori Solutions will be accepting new clients in Q2 of 2023. Contact: Victoria Elder Company: Victori Solutions Web Address: I

18 | North America Business Awards 2022 Best Tunneling & Boring Contractor 2022 - Eastern USA If you’re looking for a tunneling and boring contractor with a ‘can do’ attitude, you’re unlikely to find anyone more qualified than Turn-Key Tunneling Inc. With more than 17 years of experience, employee-owned Turn-Key Tunneling handles everything from basic repairs to full-scale design-build projects. We take a look at the company in more detail with Vice President, Monica Varasso. olumbus-based company, Turn-Key Tunneling is an industry leader in trenchless tunneling and boring operations. Certified in Ohio, West Virginia, and Tennessee, the company’s services include steel casing pipe installation, vertical shaft construction, installation of liner plates, slip-lining to restore damaged or failed sewers, pipe jacking, and hard rock boring using SBU technology. Turn-Key Tunneling also provides emergency repair and equipment rental services. Founded in 2005 as a family business, professional engineer, Brian Froelich already had extensive experience in the tunneling sector. He saw a gap in the industry he knew he would be able to fill. Choosing the name Turn-Key for its meaning - ‘ready for immediate use,’ the company set out to complete every project to the customer’s full satisfaction. When asked what makes Turn-Key Tunneling stand out from the competition, Monica tells us, “Our combined years of experience allow us to innovate where others can’t. The company continues to evolve and we’ve built a reputation in the industry. We love a challenge and we’re known for our ability to solve complex tunneling issues.” As you might expect, challenges are frequent in the tunneling industry. Turn-Key Tunneling uses a problem-solving approach to every issue it encounters. Re-engineering, revised designs, and effective communication enable the team to devise new approaches. The aim is not only to find a solution to every challenge but also to bring the project in on budget. Monica says, “We’re always ready to analyze, engineer, and design new strategies, and they often save both time and money.” Built on values of mutual respect, ethics, safety compliance, and customer satisfaction, the company works with a range of government and state agencies as well as private contractors. On the subject of safety, Monica explains, “Our work can be dangerous so it’s important to prepare for the unexpected. We always follow best practices and procedures. This ensures we complete jobs to a high standard and that everyone gets home safely at the end of the day.” The key to any successful business is its people and Turn-Key Tunneling is no exception. The team is like a family. The approach to communication is open and respectful. Everyone is encouraged to bring forward their ideas. The company is also enriched through the trusted relationships it has built with partners and affiliates. Ultimately, 2022 has seen a big change at Turn-Key Tunneling. Monica shares, “Ownership of Turn-Key Tunneling passed over to employees C through the Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP). This allows employees to benefit both as owners and shareholders.” “The ESOP complements our core belief that people are our most important asset. As employee-owners, we all benefit even more from our commitment to customer service. And we’re more motivated than ever to provide quality work that meets and exceeds our customers’ expectations.” Contact: Monica Varasso Company: Turn-Key Tunneling Web Address: 18 | N rt A erica B sines A ar s 202