Finalists named for Fort Worth Chamber small business awards

Twelve Tarrant County businesses have been selected as finalists for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce 2015 Small Business of the Year Awards. The winners will be announced March 4 at Mayor Betsy Price’s State of the City address.

In the emerging business category, for companies in business less than three years, the finalists are: Altitude Trampoline Park, Fort Worth’s first indoor trampoline park; Synergy HomeCare, a provider of personalized nonmedical home-care; and the Varghese & Smith law firm, which specializes in federal criminal matters, family law and civil cases.

In the one-to-10-employee category: Affairs Afloat Balloons, which makes balloon displays; Precise Energy Products, an oilfield services equipment provider; and Smat Consulting, a full-service website provider.

In the 11-50 employee category: Broadie’s Aircraft, an aviation maintenance and repair center for corporate, private and charter aircraft; OCG PR, a full-service, minority/woman-owned public relations agency, and the Starr Conspiracy, a strategic marketing and advertising agency specializing in enterprise software and service companies.

And in the 51-150 employee category: Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage; InterConnect Wiring, an aerospace products equipment company; and SkiHi Enterprises, a commercial mechanical contractor.

Finalists were selected by a group of business professionals, MBA and Entrepreneur Center students at TCU’s Neeley School of Business, and past award winners who are members of the Small Business Council Committee.

Railroad Commission has new communicator

About a week after Denton voters approved a ban on hydraulic fracturing, the Texas Railroad Commission hired a new communications director.

Rich Parsons, most recently a deputy director of communications for Gov. Rick Perry, immediately joined the commission. Before working for the governor, Parsons worked for the Texas secretary of state. He also used to work for an Austin TV station.

“I’m excited to have Rich join our communications team and welcome his many years of experience to help us continue to tell our great success story of the railroad commission and Texas oil and gas regulation,” Chairwoman Christi Craddock said.

Some think a new communication strategy is needed. State Rep. Jim Keffer, for one, says the agency is past due in fixing its public image after the Denton vote.

“If I have beef [with] the railroad commission, people don’t know what they do and if they exist,” said Keffer, R-Eastland. Voters in the college town felt like “no one was minding the store, no one was protecting their rights.” —Max B. Baker

CoorsTek Medical buys Italian company

CoorsTek Medical, the Fort Worth-based manufacturer of components for medical devices, has made its first move into Europe with an acquisition in Italy.

The company recently purchased Nanosurfaces Industries Srl. of Bologna from Samo,. one of Europe’s oldest makers of medical devices for the orthopedic market. The company will take the CoorsTek name.

Jonathan Coors, a member of the brewing family who is CEO of CoorsTek Medical, said the acquisition will add to the company’s manufacturing capabilities and provide direct access to European markets.

CoorsTek Medical was established following the acquisition of IMDS, a group of component makers based in offices near Alliance Airport. CoorsTek, run by Jonathan’s father, John Coors, is a global manufacturer of engineered ceramics for products including military body armor.