Businesses stand out with national awards

Large organizations to small thrive in business-friendly Fredericksburg

By Ken Esten Cooke— Fredericksburg has no shortage of savvy business people, and two were recently recognized with national awards for leadership in their industry, while a handful of others were lauded for their volunteer efforts.

For the third year in a row, Hill Country Memorial Hospital was named one of the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics. The award places the local, rural facility in the top one percent of hospitals after an exhaustive survey of more than 2,800 around the nation.

Patient satisfaction, length of stay, safety, operating margin, readmission rates and other factors make up the study. With HCM’s focus on community wellness, this stellar organization looks far beyond its bottom line.

HCM stays engaged in this community, even as it establishes itself as a national leader in healthcare, among rural hospitals for sure, but, as its ranking points out, among all facilities anywhere.

We are constantly impressed how much HCM learns from its own mistakes, then works to improve them. There are lessons for any size business in their processes.

Schneider’s 72 Degrees Air Conditioning and Heating recently won the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics. Those awards recognize companies that “go above and beyond” in dealing with their customers, employees, vendors and their community.

Schneider’s was chosen in the 11-49 employee category in the 79-county service area that serves Central, Coastal, Southwest and Permian Basin parts of the Lone Star State. That means this local service company placed ahead of thousands of potential winners in this small business category.

The award is chosen for those that exemplify ethical behavior and display integrity in all aspects of their operations. One of the judges — made up of business professionals, a media representative and business and leadership professors — gave the company a perfect score in all areas.

Good customer service doesn’t just happen. It takes effort, commitment and making it a top priority. Congratulations to the Schneiders and their employees for this recognition.

Lastly, we congratulate the business leaders who took home awards from last week’s Chamber of Commerce banquet. You can find them listed elsewhere in this edition, but they all are stellar examples of community servant leaders who quietly work to better our town. Though none of them work for the accolades, we sincerely thank them for what they contribute in both their careers and their volunteerism.

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