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Gilman Bowl goes to E. Thomas Harvey at Superstars luncheon

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WILMINGTON — E. Thomas (Thom) Harvey, III won the prestigious Gilman Bowl at the 21stAnnual Marvin S. Gilman Superstars in Business Awards Luncheon hosted by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 6.

“Since the beginning, I’ve gone into work every day with the mindset that we, as a company, are not perfect and can always look for ways to be better,” said Harvey, chairman and CEO of Harvey, Hanna & Associates (HHA), echoing remarks made earlier by Keynote Speaker Charlie Horn, founder of 5Lights Group and Horn Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware.

The Gilman Bowl was established as a tribute to small business leadership. The identity of the recipient of the Gilman Bowl was held confidential until its presentation at the awards luncheon.

HHA is a commercial redevelopment firm that owns and manages more than 6 million square feet of industrial, commercial, retail and hospitality property throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Under Harvey’s vision and leadership, HHA pioneered the redevelopment of the Twin Spans Business Park, Delaware River Industrial Park and Boxwood Industrial Park. As president of Dewey Beach Enterprises (DBE), Mr. Harvey also led the redevelopment of the Lighthouse Cove Resort project in Dewey Beach.

From left: Danielle Smith, Brett Gilman Smith, Martha Gilman, Thom Harvey, Robin Harvey, Peter Gilman | Photo credit: Dick Dubroff / Final Focus Photography

 Harvey also serves on the board of trustees of Goldey-Beacom College and the advisory board for the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware. In 2008 HHA expanded its community impact by creating its own in-house charitable organization, The Delaware KIDS (Kids in Distressed Situations) Fund, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing goods and services to Delaware’s children who are “at risk” or are currently facing distressed circumstances. Since its inception, The Delaware KIDS Fund has partnered with and provided direct financial assistance to The Bridge of Hope Food Bank (Wilmington), the Food Bank of Delaware (statewide), Our Lady of Grace Orphanage (Newark) and the Cape Henlopen Food Basket (Lewes/Rehoboth Beach).

During his keynote address, Horn laid out a success strategy for the packed audience of Delaware business leaders in the Hotel du Pont ballroom that included:

  • What’s Your Secret, meaning what do you do better than anyone else?
  • Answer the question what you would do if you had to restart your business from scratch. He suggested an after-hours whiteboard exercise where you list all your assets and then discuss how you would repurpose those assets if you had to start over.
  • Implement the “flywheel” promoted by Good to Great author Jim Collins that argues that good-to-great transformations never happen in one fell swoop.
  • Create a one-sentence summary of your business ““ two if you really need it, he said ““ that explains what you do, who you do it for, and what problem your business solves.

He then closed by talking about focusing on constantly being better, rather than focusing on being the best.

Then it was on to the awards honoring eight outstanding companies as Superstars in Business and Award of Excellence winners, segmented by employee size:

  • 1-24 Employees: Bumpers & Company; Award of Excellence: AlphaGraphics
  • 25-59 Employees: Ferris Home Improvements LLC; Award of Excellence: Whisman Giordano & Associates LLC
  • 60-150 Employees: Assurance Media LLC; Award of Excellence: Tidewater Utilities
  • Nonprofit: Exceptional Care for Children Inc.; Award of Excellence: Preston’s March

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