6 Southern Maryland Companies on the Leading Edge

In its 10th year

10th Annual Leading Edge Awards Celebrates Excellence

Honoring a decade of leadership excellence, the 10th annual Leading Edge Awards celebrated six of Southern Maryland’s leading businesses and executives June 23 with Jeff Finkle, president and chief executive officer of International Economic Development Council, providing the keynote address.

The annual event recognizes individuals and businesses that spur economic growth within the region, and this year’s honorees exemplify the qualities synonymous with business success: performance excellence, innovation and an unwavering dedication to customers and staff.

Among those recognized are Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Asbury-Solomons Island, Brianna Bowling of Zekiah Technologies, Inc., Facchina Global Services, Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home and Technology Security Associates, Inc.

Co-hosting this year’s Leading Edge Awards with CSM and the Corporate Center at CSM are Calvert County Department of Economic and Community Development, Charles County Technology Council, Patuxent Partnership, and the Small Business Development Center for the Southern Region of Maryland (SBDC). 

CEO of the Year, presented by CSM’s Corporate Center, is Brianna Bowling, who started Zekiah Technologies in the basement of her home in La Plata in 1998. Since then the full-service information technology firm has grown to a successful business with more than 30 employees and offices in La Plata, Dahlgren, Va. and Colorado Springs, Colo. Zekiah Technologies is named to, Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the nation for 2009. It ranks 44th on The Gazette P&B53’s 2009 Maryland’s Top Companies and the Heritage Minority Business of the Year for 2009 sponsored by Tri-County Council.  Active in the local community, Bowling serves as vice president of the Extension Advisory Council, as a volunteer coach for the La Plata Youth Soccer League and a volunteer with the Southern Maryland Women’s League, St. Ignatius Church and the Potomac Valley Dressage Association.

Asbury-Solomons Island is the Calvert County Business of the Year, presented by the Calvert County Department of Economic Development. A Continuing Care Retirement Community that serves approximately 500 individuals through its 228 apartments, 72 cottages, 24 unit assisted living and 48 bed skilled nursing facility, Asbury-Solomons Island operates by its four core values of valuing residents and associates, stewardship and financial strength, quality and innovation, and integrity. Despite a troubled economy this company has managed to thrive with noteworthy achievements with innovative approaches for efficient operations and fund-raising. They encourage their 122 associates to support the local community through their Community Benefits Program and last year provided 2,094 hours of community service and $33,213 in goods and services to the local community.

Facchina Global Services is the Charles County Technology Company (CCTC) Company of the Year to. A fast-growing entrepreneurial firm helping government clients solve some of their most difficult challenges, this global-reaching company is also plays a key role in supporting the community and those who serve. FGS was awarded the Employer Support for Guard and Reserves “Above and Beyond” award for extraordinary support to the National Guard and Reserves and was made an honorary member of the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum Memorial for support to the Navy SEALs. In addition to supporting local programs including CCTC, the Blessing of the Fleet and the technology center at Indian Head, FGS hosts the Allison Foundation web site for autism and provides fundraising support. FGS also have supported a bone marrow donor program by providing time off with pay for participating employees.

Technology Security Associates, Inc. (TSA) is the Patuxent Partnership Member Firm of the Year. A service-disabled, veteran-owned small business providing core expertise across NAVAIR, TSA provides a broad range of services including future capabilities processes, technology and information protection and program support for domestic and international programs. TSA has donated office space and conferencing facilities to the American Red Cross, helped establish a Citizens Emergency Response Team for St. Mary’s County. It is a founding partner of the St. Mary’s Hurricane Relief Fund and has sponsored a drive to collect money for earthquake victims in Haiti. TSA is a founding member of Leadership Southern Maryland and supports several youth leadership programs including St. Mary’s County Young Professionals, the St. Mary’s County Youth Development Initiative and a new Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew.

CSM’s Partnership in Education Award was presented to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) with its headquarters at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River and Naval Warfare Center – Aircraft Division. NAVAIR continues to support the Navy’s Total Force vision of developing a more optimized Total Workforce that is agile, deployable and capable of meeting the mission requirements of today, while forecasting and adapting to the changing threats of tomorrow.  NAVAIR is committed to the development of its workforce and looks to CSM to coordinate and provide training across the Command, including the Journey Leadership Development Program (JLDP) leadership courses (Adaptive Leadership, Influential Leadership, Leading Change, and Mastering Interaction Skills) and other training aimed at improving technical and leadership skills, thus enabling the workforce to perform according to NAVAIR’s vision and essential mission objectives.

Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home is Small Business of the Year, presented by SBDC. Kimberly Briscoe-Tonic and her husband, Tony, started working with the SBDC in October 2003. Through planning, preparation, persistence and patience, Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home opened its doors in May 2008 and in its first full year in business handled 57 percent more cases than projected. Briscoe-Tonic has more than 20 years of industry experience and handles every case with a personal touch. The funeral home uses webcam technology to allow out-of-the-area or home-bound individuals to participate with the services. In addition to referring numerous business owners and entrepreneurs to the SBDC, Briscoe-Tonic has served as a guest speaker at seminars for SBDC, sharing her experiences with starting a business, real estate construction and financing and utilizing SBDC resources.

In its 10th year, the Leading Edge Awards celebrates corporate success in Southern Maryland, recognizing organizations and individuals who inspire their staff, exude success and contribute to the economic vitality of Southern Maryland. For information, call 301-934-7585 or 301-870-2309, 240-725-5499 or 443-550-6199, Ext. 7585 or visit www.corporatecenter.csmd.edu/LEA/2010.html .