Charlotte-Mecklenburg Celebrates 2024 Crowns of Enterprise Winners

Published on May 17, 2024

Winners of Crowns of Enterprise Awards holding awards

On Thursday, Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte named six local businesses as winners of the 2024 Crowns of Enterprise Awards. The awards honor small businesses that demonstrate leadership, practice sound business strategies, strengthen the local economy and support diversity and inclusion.

2024 marks the 13th year of the Crowns of Enterprise Awards. The awards are presented annually by the Mecklenburg County Office of Economic Development's Business Diversity and Inclusion division, and the City of Charlotte's Charlotte Business INClusion program.

Certified Minority Business Enterprise of the Year: Behavioral Health Intervention Center

This award is presented to a minority-owned business that is certified by the State of North Carolina's Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses, and that demonstrates sound business strategies while driving economic development in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

Behavioral Health Intervention Center provides organizations with employee assistance services, including clinical mental health and substance use assessments for workers hoping to stay on the job after a work-related legal issue. BHIC's goal is to foster employee retention through individual counseling. In its advocacy for workers, BHIC helps ensure they return to an inclusive and equitable work environment. BHIC's focus on retention also helps companies decrease turnover expenses and increase productivity and profitability.

BHIC was founded in 2011 by Chris Matthews, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a clinical addiction specialist, and a life coach.

Certified Woman Business Enterprise of the Year: Haven Creative

This award is presented to a woman-owned business that is certified by the State of North Carolina's Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses, and that demonstrates sound business strategies while driving economic development in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

HAVEN Creative is a communications consultancy founded by Jeni Bukolt that helps organizations grow through brand positioning, strategic communications, public relations and advertising. Through on-on-one consultation, HACEN helps business leaders align their teams, build strong brands, target audiences and grow their companies.

In 2023, HAVEN donated 100 hours to mentoring and supporting women and Black-owned businesses, and more than half of new client relationships were led by women or part-owned by women entrepreneurs.

Certified Small Business Enterprise of the Year: The WashRoom Laundry Service

This award is presented to a small business that is certified by Charlotte Business INClusion and that demonstrates sound business strategies while driving economic development in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

The WashRoom Laundry Service provides high-tech residential and commercial laundry delivery, dry cleaning and linen services. The WashRoom leans in on innovation, efficiency and dedication to meet client's needs, and uses eco-friendly practices to minimize the company's environmental footprint.

Established in 2016 by Saichelle McNeill, the business operates out of the Graham Street and North Tryon corridor of Charlotte. McNeil aims to be a driving force in economic development in this Corridor of Opportunity, and to build a stronger community by giving people who want to work, but who have criminal records, second chances and employment.

Prime Contractor of the Year: Customized Construction

This award is presented to a prime contractor that demonstrates exemplary leadership while embracing and engaging in diversity initiatives and efforts.

Customized Construction is a grassroots business that has operated in Mecklenburg County for more than 10 years. Owner and general contractor Hosea Morgan has a modern take on indoor and outdoor renovations of residential and commercial spaces. He and his team have turned dreams into reality through remodels, room additions, decking, foundation repair, flooring and more.

Morgan opens his doors to people of all backgrounds hoping to advance professionally. In particular, he gives back to the community by empowering young carpenters, plumbers, electrical engineers and contractors. In 2024, Morgan hopes to hire more staff, increase employment opportunities and partner with job training and readiness programs.

Media Personality/Media Outlet of the Year: QCity Metro

This award is presented to an individual or organization who provides outstanding community engagement and exemplary coverage in support of the minority, women, and small business community in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

QCity Metro has been a voice for the Black community in Charlotte since Glenn Burkins founded it 2008. QCity Metro focuses much of its reporting on elevating awareness of Black-owned businesses. It furthers those efforts through conferences for women-owned business leaders and pop=ip markets that spotlight Black entrepreneurs. The organization also puts its money where its mission is by spending much of its revenue with Black vendors in Charlotte.

Burkins and QCity Metro also help develop the next generation of young Black journalists in Charlotte and across the country. Some of Burkins' mentees have gone on to represent the industry in prime positions. QCity Metro is currently working with the Local Media Foundation to create a nonprofit to expand these efforts.

Diversity Advocate of the Year: Super Global Mart

This award is presented to an individual or organization that champions diversity and inclusion practices, ideas, and strategies to increase the overall participation of minority, women and small business enterprises in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

Super Global Mart is an international grocery store that carries products from across the globe and brings the Charlotte area together through food. The grocery store is a community hub for the Carolinas and place for the people to learn more about cultures outside their own.

The store is growing into much more. Peter Han, vice president for business development, and the rest of the Super G team have created a Global Culture Fest and are opening a food hall with restaurants founded by local business owners. The food hall could create as many as 100 local jobs, and a new store opening in the group could bring another 90 positions. These efforts are about putting people to work and teaching them at the same time.

2024 Crowns of Enterprise Award Winners

Chris Matthews from Behavioral Health Intervention Center holding award

Chris Matthews

Behavioral Health Intervention Center

Jeni Bukolt and team from HAVEN Creative holding award

Jeni Bukolt and Team

HAVEN Creative

Saichelle McNeill from The WashRoom Laundry Service holding award

Saichelle McNeill

The WashRoom Laundry Service

Glenn Burkins from QCity Metro holding award

Glenn Burkins

QCity Metro

Peter Han from Super Global Mart holding award

Peter Han

Super Global Mart