Ohio Success Awards 2024

By the Editors

Presented by Ohio Business Magazine, the sixth annual Ohio Success Awards honors growth companies, nonprofits and governmental organizations across the state of Ohio. The Ohio Success Awards recognizes the accomplishments of companies that have demonstrated growth in revenue and employees, as well as having demonstrated involvement in their community and service in their industry; nonprofits that have made a significant impact upon the communities they serve; and governmental organizations that have created unique value or opportunities based upon their ingenuity, partnership and perseverance. Read on to learn more about these exemplary organizations.

Nomination Process

For the 2024 Ohio Success Awards, a nomination form was emailed to businesses throughout the state, inviting them to self-nominate. A form was also posted online so that other businesses could participate. For-profit, nonprofit and government institutions were able to self-nominate. Nominees were asked to provide information on topics such as their revenue starting in 2021, company size starting in 2021, approximate profitability, and revenue and profit projections. The winners were then selected by committee and had to show growth in one or more of these categories. If you are interested in nominating your company next year, subscribe to the Ohio Business Magazine and newsletter (both of which are complimentary), at OhioBusinessMag.com/subscribe.

Private Companies

CompanyDescriptionCityChief ExecutiveYear
Advanced Engineering ConsultantsMechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, technology and utilities engineering design and construction administration servicesColumbusGavin Lim, President1998$10-$24 Million$10-$24 Million6156
Air Force OneBuilding automation, commercial HVAC and water treatment contractorDublinGreg Guy, CEO1984$49-$100 Million$49-$100 Million366202
AtNetPlusManaged service provider that offers a comprehensive range of cutting-edge technology solutionsStowJay Mellon, CEO & Co-Founder1998$5-$9 Million$5-$9 Million4538
Barnes DennigAccounting and advisory firmCincinnatiJason P. Rammes, Managing Director1965$25-$49 Million$25-$49 Million180180
Brown & Gettings, DDSDentistsWest ChesterLee Brown, DDS1981$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million1916
Creekside OccasionsWedding and event centerChillicotheTodd Snowden, Owner2000Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million62
Custom Design BenefitsThird-party administrator of self-funded health benefit plansCincinnatiJulie D. Mueller, President & CEO1991$5-$9 Million$5-$9 Million6568
Elite Biomedical SolutionsManufacturingCincinnatiJeff Smith, CEO2012$10-$24 Million$10-$24 Million6049
Evan’s Auto CareIndependent auto repair facilityCincinnatiEvan Brodof, Owner1964$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million128
Fahlgren MortineFull-service, integrated communications companyColumbusNeil Mortine, Chairman & CEO1962$25-$49 Million$25-$49 Million233181
Fleet ResponseComprehensive fleet management servicesHudsonScott Mawaka, CEO1986$10-$24 Million$1-$4 Million380280
Force Design, Inc.Engineering/robotic automation integrationTroySeth Angle, President1997$1-$4 Million$5-$9 Million1815
GBQ Partners LLCAccounting and consulting firmColumbusDarci Congrove, Managing Director1953$25-$100 Million$25-$49 Million290192
Gold Medal Products Co.Manufacturer of concession equipment and suppliesCincinnatiJames Adam Browning, President1931$100-$249 Million$100-$249 Million505430
Harrison’s Pro Tree ServiceTree pruning, removal and stump grindingFranklinJeffrey & Denise Harrison, Owners2008$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million168
Harvest Tax & AccountingTax planning and compliance, accounting & bookkeeping, financial statements and moreMasonEric Bonney, Shareholder2020Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million85
Land of Illusion Adventure ParkFamily-friendly attractions including waterpark, haunted houses and holiday lightsMiddletownBrett Oakley, Owner1997$5-$9 Million$1-$4 Million75
Leavitt Group MidwestCommercial and personal lines InsuranceWestervilleRobert L. Smith Jr., Agency President1980$49-$100 Million$25-$49 Million4347
MES, Inc.Global sourcing and supply chainLewis CenterHiten Shah, President2009$49-$100 Million$25-$49 Million4732
Oswald CompaniesInsurance brokerageClevelandRobert J. Klonk, Chairman & CEO1893$49-$100 Million$100-$249 Million430385
Peacox Child CareChild careCanal WinchetserDeonna Cox, Owner & Administrator2017$1-$4 MillionLess than $1 Million1710
Petroff, Smitherman & Associates, LLCFamily law attorneysColumbusRonald R. Petroff, Managing Partner2007$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million86
Purely Sweet BakeryBakeryBeavercreekDawn Vaflor, Owner2013Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million54
ScherZinger Pest ControlTermite and pest controlCincinnatiSteve Scherzinger, CEO1934$10-$24 Million$5-$9 Million9082
SMACT Works, IncIT and management consulting servicesDublinRanjith Yengoti, Founder & CEO2013$5-$9 Million$1-$4 Million6042
Smart 1 MarketingDigital marketing agencyBlacklickTodd Swickard, cOE & Co-Founder2009$10-$24 Million$5-$9 Million1824
Spider LogisticsTransportation and logistics companyWest ChesterDuy Vu, CEO2019$1-$4 MillionLess than $1 Million93
Superior Dental CareGroup dental benefits agencyCentervilleAndrea Hogben, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing, Corporate Affairs & People Officer, Medical Mutual1986$49-$100 Million$49-$100 Million5647
T&M AssociatesConsulting, engineering, environmental and technical services companyColumbusGary Dahms, President & CEO2012$10-$24 Million$10-$24 Million6956
Tap Root Hospitality GroupWinery and event venue groupChagrin FallsKathleen Dangelo, Owner2023$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million6035
Taylor Logistics Inc.Logistics/supply chainCincinnatiDrew Taylor, President & CEO1850$49-$100 Million$49-$100 Million242190
The Wembley ClubFitness clubChagrin FallsDavid Barr, Owner1989$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million1612
Think PatentedMarketing execution companyMiamisburgDavid McNerney, President & Partner1970$25-$49 Million$10-$24 Million133119
Valley Truck Centers/Valley Automotive GroupAuto and truck dealerClevelandBrian O’Donnell, President & CEO1964$1-$4.9 Billion$500-$749 Million685450
Zeal40: the creative agencyBranding, graphic design, content creation, photography and video services agencyCincinnatiStacy Koenig and Nicole Fariello, Co-Founders2015Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million54
Zipline LogisticsTrucking/logistics/3PLColumbusWalter Lynch, CEO2007


Being successful means more than increasing revenue and employees—it also can mean making an impact. These nonprofits and governmental institutions demonstrated exceptional impact upon the communities they serve.

CompanyDescriptionCityChief ExecutiveYear Established2022
A Second Home For YouHomelessness, transitional housing and supportive services organizationClevelandGregory Earl Jones, Owner2015Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million53
Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually ImpairedProvides comprehensive services for people of all ages who are blind or visually impairedCincinnatiTeri Shirk, President & CEO1911$10-$24 Million$10-$24 Million164175
Culture WorksArts fund and arts agency for Dayton, Montgomery County and the seven-county surrounding areaDaytonLisa Hanson, President & CEO1974$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million44
Goodwill Easterseals Miami ValleyEmployment and training servicesDaytonLance W. Detrick, president & CEO1934$49-$100 Million$49-$100 Million1,4221,050
Hilliard Food Pantry PlusFood pantry and supportive servicesHilliardErin West, Executive Director1960Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million55
Ohio Legal HelpLegal information, resources and tools to connect Ohioans with help for their legal problems.ColumbusSusan Choe, Executive Director2019Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million54
Ohio Valley Goodwill IndustriesEmployment and training centerCincinnatiMark Hiemstra, President & CEO1916$25-$49 Million$25-$49 Million670658
Rotary Foundation of CincinnatiFoundation supporting the Rotary Club of CincinnatiCincinnatiSara M. Pattison, Executive Director1961Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million11
Saint Ursula AcademyCollege preparatory private Catholic high school for girlsCincinnatiLelia Keefe Kramer, President1910$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million9494
Seeds of LiteracyAdult education and GED preparationClevelandBonnie Entler, President & CEO1997$1-$4 Million$1-$4 Million2017
The New Path, Inc.Human services nonprofit organizationTipp CityWilliam Lutz, Executive Director2000Less than $1 MillionLess than $1 Million66
West Chester TownshipLocal governmentWest ChesterLarry D. Burks, Township Administrator1823$49-$100 Million$49-$100 Million268268

Advanced Engineering Consultants

Barnes Dennig

“Our 2023 growth was diversified growth, coming from so many different practice areas. Our fractional accounting services group is just exploding, and we continue to see widespread adoption of our wealth management services, and our SOC reporting service is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s been truly rewarding to find ways to deepen our relationships with clients and provide more solutions that make their lives easier—and provide them with peace of mind.” – Jay Rammes, Managing Director

Cincinnati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired

“In 2023, CABVI won the Better Business Bureau 2023 Torch Award for Ethics. We expanded low-vision services and recently expanded our vision services team. We served more than 4,000 in our community and took a new approach to serving our own with more adaptive equipment and improved accessibility in manufacturing. Renovations provided an expanded rehabilitation suite and a larger computer lab. We are thrilled with so many expansive opportunities.” – Teri Shirk, President & CEO

Fahlgren Mortine

“Our success stems from being in a state of constant reinvention. What worked for our clients a few years ago simply will not work today. And what fueled our growth to this point looks very different than our plan for the future. We have to keep our eyes up to new ways of thinking.” – Marty McDonald, President

GBQ Partners LLC

“Our purpose of empowering growth of our people, our communities and our clients’ businesses served as the driving force behind our strategic initiatives and unique workplace culture.” – Darci Congrove, Managing Director

Leavitt Group Midwest

Ohio Legal Help

“Ohio Legal Help, a statewide, secure mobile-first hub of free legal information, forms and resources, is the bridge to justice for all Ohioans. We served nearly 800,000 Ohio families in 2023 through the support of our board, advisory committee, and the justice community at large. We could not have served so many Ohioans without the small but mighty staff of five who work every day to empower users to solve their legal issues.”- Susan Choe, Executive Director

Saint Ursula Academy

“A welcoming and inclusive culture and a strong team led to Saint Ursula Academy’s success in 2023. A tradition of excellence keeps the bar high and every member of the team works to provide the best for our students every day. We strive to make each student and adult feel welcome and that they belong as an important part of the community. It’s an authentic sisterhood rooted in the strength of Catholic values. The clear mission empowers every member of the community to act with faith, integrity and courage as they work to make a positive impact in the world.” – Lelia Keefe Kramer, President

Oswald Companies

“Oswald’s employee-owners were steadfast in adhering to our goals. They were instrumental in helping the firm gain new business and complete an acquisition of a brokerage in Michigan. We will continue along this track in 2024 as we move our headquarters to a prime location in downtown Cleveland that can accommodate additional growth.” Robert Klonk, Chairman & CEO

Petroff, Smitherman & Associates, LLC

“The key factor contributing to continual growth in bottom line revenue in 2023 is our firm’s dedication to white-glove service and customer communication above all else. In an industry where the most common complaint, above all else, is lack of communication and accessibility, Petroff, Smitherman & Associates, LLC prides itself on debunking these myths. Every client has a partner, associate and paralegal assigned to his or her case. We take a team approach to customer service and legal representation.” – Ronald R. Petroff, Managing Partner

Seeds of Literacy

“Our success at Seeds of Literacy was truly a testament to the unwavering dedication of every individual within our organization. Our remarkable achievement was rooted in the commitment each member possesses toward our adult learners. With 300-plus volunteers generously offering their time as tutors, and a small yet incredibly passionate staff, we’ve cultivated an environment where patience and compassion thrive.” – Bonnie Entler, President & CEO

Think Patented

“Our success in 2023 had a lot to do with keeping true to our strategic plan from 2020 and 2021. During the pandemic a lot of companies reduced spending and cut employees. During those years, we kept all our employees, we invested in new equipment and added 50,000 square feet for a new fulfillment center. As we came out of the pandemic, we were strategically positioned to support the needs of our clients. The other part of our success is our continued investment in our employees.” – David McNerney, President

Zipline Logistics

“Even amidst a massive freight recession, our business is poised for long-term success because of the founding principles we built our organization upon. When we started Zipline Logistics, we didn’t want to be the brokers who hyper-focus on their bottom line and throw service out the window. We believed selecting a niche market to serve and becoming experts in that space would ultimately bring the highest quality of service and the most value to our customers. This has allowed us to create mutually beneficial partnerships with CPG brands who share our value set, ensuring Zipline’s success for years to come. – Andrew Lynch, President

Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries

T&M Associates

“T&M Associates celebrated our strongest year ever in 2023. In 2012, T&M opened the Columbus office with just five people. We’ve been thriving ever since, maintaining a 25% employee growth rate annually, while achieving double digit profitability and revenue growth. In my six years leading Columbus, we’ve broadened service offerings, adding four new practices to the Midwest including Program/Construction Management, Electrical & Automation, Transportation, and Site Development. Our diverse practices and national client focus attract top talent in scientists, engineers and construction management professionals. – Robert Pfendler, SVP, Regional Operations Officer