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February 26th, 2010 - OKCBiz Staff

okcBIZ Best of Business 2010 winners

OKCBiz invited readers to select their favorite local, business-to-business companies within various industries. The following pages list the top five in each category.


Best CPA and Accounting Firm
Hyde and Company CPAs

Hyde and Company CPAs pride themselves on customizing accounting and tax services needed by clients, by doing as little or as much as they want or need.

“We match the level of experience or knowledge required to the project,” says Nancy Hyde, president. “We have added services, which our clients requested.”

Clients can outsource CFO services, executive accounting services, QuickBooks, troubleshooting and other consulting services through the company.

“We believe in using technology to make us more efficient, connected and save time, which saves them money,” Hyde says. “We believe our strengths include the ability to communicate difficult or complex income tax or accounting matters in an understandable manner,” Hyde says. “We are problem-solvers.”

Hyde and Company has served the Central Oklahoma market since August 2002, and has 19 employees.

Glenn R. Downing Inc.
Cole & Reed PC, www.coleandreed.com
Eide Bailly, www.eidebailly.com
Grant Thornton LLP, www.grantthornton.com
Best Office Furniture and Supplies Company
Scott Rice

With 65 employees and 50-plus years in the Central Oklahoma market, the folks at Scott Rice provide more than just office furniture and supplies. They offer the quality and tenacity of "Scott Rice people." And the culture they have created is the key driver for the business.

"For the past four years, Scott Rice has been selected as one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma," says George Basore, president and owner. "Why is this important to customers? It is Scott Rice associates who take care of customers and provide exemplary service. If Scott Rice associates are happy, motivated and enthusiastic about where they work, they are more likely to take care of customers, especially when contingencies develop or things don't go as planned."

And Scott Rice has the people, processes and products to fulfill its mission.

"We create effective workspace from the floor to the ceiling and everything in between," Basore says. "We are truly a one-stop, single-source provider. This saves our customers time and money, since they get quality work and have to manage fewer suppliers."

Admiral Express Office Supply, www.admiralexpress.com
Stow's Office Furniture, www.stowsofficefurniture.com
Copelin's Office Center, www.copelins.com
Bill Warren Office Products, www.warrenproducts.com OKCBIZ march 2010

Best Travel Agency
Journey House Travel Inc.

It's all about dedication to customer service, says Teresa Wilds, vice president of the travel company that has served Central Oklahoma for 71 years.

"We have very loyal clients as a result of our commitment to customer service," she says. Journey House Travel is a full-service travel agency offering corporate, leisure, missionary, group, meeting, foreign currency and destination wedding services.

As an American Express representative, its clients have the advantage of an independently owned, locally managed travel company with ties to the community, as well as the travel resources of American Express.

"Travel is our business," Wilds says. "Total customer satisfaction is our goal."

Travel Agents Inc., www.taiokc.com
Big Sky Travel Source, www.bigskytours.com
Bentley Hedges Travel, www.bhtravel.com
Prime Time Travel, www.primetimetrvl.com

Best Banking, Finance and Investments Company
Communication Federal Credit Union

Over the past 71 years, this credit union has grown to $680 million in assets and 50,000 members. Starting in Downtown Oklahoma City in 1939, Communication Federal Credit Union now serves the employees of companies such as AT&T, ONEOK Inc./Oklahoma Natural Gas, OG&E, SandRidge Energy, Chaparral Energy and Goodyear. It also serves employees of more than 300 other companies and several community charter areas in Oklahoma.

"Communication Federal Credit Union is among the most financially stable institutions in the nation, having received a prestigious five-star rating from Bauer Financial Reports for 20 years, more times than any other Oklahoma credit union with assets over $100 million," says Larry Shropshire, president and CEO. "Because the credit union is owned by its members, we have a sense of connection and trust, which is exemplified by our slogan: 'connecting with you.'"

Bank of Oklahoma, www.bankofoklahoma.com
MidFirst Bank, www.midfirst.com
Allegiance Credit Union, www.allegiancecu.org
Tinker Federal Credit Union, www.tinkerfcu.org

Best Advertising Agency and Graphic Design Firm
Graphic Art Center Inc.

Originally opened in 1952, Graphic Art Center Inc. has been under Greg Gilpin's ownership since 1989. He says the company's success is based on personal service.

"When you are dealing with GAC, you are going to be dealing directly with the owner," Gilpin says. "I will also make sure that you are treated in a very prompt manner. This business is all about deadlines, and I will do everything possible to be sure that the deadlines are met."

Gilpin is also conscious of the expense involved within his industry, which is why he seeks to give the best service for the dollar and get the best outside services for the best possible price.

"Customers appreciate the personal service, and I really appreciate the loyalty," he says of OKCBiz readers choosing GAC as No. 1 in its field. "I am also a good listener and attempt to incorporate the clients' suggestions, but I will also tell the client the truth if there is a better solution to their design problem, and will suggest some other options. But I am not so proud or arrogant to think that things should only be done 'my way.'"

Third Degree, www.thirddegreeadv.com
Cicero International, www.cicerointernational.com
Jordan Associates, www.jordanet.com
Visual Image, www.visualimage.net

Best IT, Web Design and Hosting Company
Merchant Metrix Inc.

After 14 years in the Central Oklahoma market, Merchant Metrix is a leader in the e-commerce software business, providing proprietary software that effectively increases search engine placements and visibility.

"Our patent-pending, search engine optimization tools aid in decreasing customer acquisition costs by 30% to 45% annually," says Lee Roberts, president and CEO. "Our customer retention tools empower business owners of all sizes to retain more customers and keep them longer. Annualized advertising savings with this tool set average 40% to 60%."

The company also released a real estate management system, which helps real estate agents more easily attract potential customers through search engines.

"Our approach to developing Web sites is to actively listen to our clients and find the hidden or unspoken goals and frustrations," Roberts says. "We also aid them in determining their return on investment for work we perform. This gives them a better idea of whether their proposed project will meet their expectations."

4ward Design LLC, www.4warddesign.net
Phase 2 Interactive, www.phase2online.com
Element Fusion, www.elementfusion.com
T&S Web Design, www.tandswebdesign.com

Best Health Care Company
Integris Health

This health care company has a longstanding tradition of providing the highest quality of care for the citizens of Oklahoma – both inside and outside traditional facility walls.

“Quality is our highest priority,” says Bruce Lawrence, president and CEO.
Integris brings outstanding health care services once only found in larger cities, including the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute, Integris Cancer Institute of Oklahoma and ProCure Proton Therapy Center, Cochlear Implant Clinic, Integris Heart Hospital, Paul Silverstein Burn Center, Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital and others.

“We will continue to look to the future and bring the most cutting-edge services to Oklahoma,” Lawrence says.

The Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village – the nation’s only charter school sponsored by a health care organization – community screenings, free clinics and health forums are just a few of the ways in which Integris gives back to the communities it serves across the state.

Mercy Health Center, www.mercyok.net
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, www.bcbsok.com
St. Anthony Hospital, www.saintsok.com
OU Medical Center, www.ouphysicians.com

Best Mailing Service Company
Comtech Design Print & Mail

Now in its 11th year of operation, Comtech attributes its extensive growth to the multitude of services it now offers, ranging from complete design services, including social media, to Web site design and standard print and layout. Printing ranges from digital to offset, and, of course, the original services of mail lists and mail services.

“Offering a multitude of services has proven better efficiency to our clients,” says Michael Morrison, founder and CEO. “And we listen to our clients. Because we listen, Comtech can strategically reinvest in ourselves, ensuring we keep pace with our clients’ varied and changing needs.”

A prime example of this is its recent expansion, offering more services that clients have requested. Comtech also has a staff of professionals who are well-versed in the industry and keep up with new trends, technologies and changing regulations.

In 2009, Comtech was recognized at the “Metro 50” gala as the third-fastest-growing, privately owned company in the greater Oklahoma City metro area, reflecting a growth of greater than 600% in the last three years.

United States Postal Service, www.usps.com
Oklahoma Direct (OPUBCO), www.opubco.com
FedEx, www.fedex.com 
Presort First Class, www.presortfirstclass.com

Best Commercial Real Estate Company
Sperry Van Ness/William T. Strange & Associates LLC

With a mission to be the best commercial real estate services provider in Central Oklahoma, it’s no surprise that OKCBiz readers named Sperry Van Ness/William T. Strange & Associates LLC No. 1 in its category.

“We put our clients’ interests above our own,” says Tim Strange, managing director. “We have the best group of energetic, young, enthusiastic advisers and terrific support staff who strive to be and do their best every day. The bottom line is we deliver the best results for our clients, and it shows in our more than doubling our market share in 2009 over 2008.”

Sperry Van Ness/William T. Strange has served the Central Oklahoma market for six years and employs
10 people.

NAI Sullivan Group, www.naisullivangroup.com
Price Edwards & Co., www.priceedwards.com
Grubb & Ellis/ Levy Beffort, www.grubb-ellis.com
Gerald L. Gamble Co., www.geraldgambleco.com

Best Staffing Service Provider
Express Employment Professionals

The largest privately held staffing firm in the United States, Express Employment Professionals is wholly franchise-owned. The firm has been in the Central Oklahoma market since 1983 and boasts 225 employees in the metro area alone.

“Our franchise owners have a unique sense of service to our client customers. Each year, we help more than 20,000 people in Oklahoma secure a new job,” says Robert A. Funk, founder and CEO. “Each of our employees views our work as a service to our community. Our effort is fueled by our desire to help our family, friends and neighbors. We work equally hard at building trust with our client companies, knowing that helping people succeed can be our mutual mission.”

Accel Financial Staffing, www.accelfinancial.com
Mark Ryan Associates, www.markryan.net
Principal Technologies Inc., www.principaltechnologies.com
Accord Human Resources, www.accordhr.com

Best Promotional Product Company
Moisant Promotional Products

With eight employees and 20 years in the Central Oklahoma market, Moisant Promotional Products is known for its innovative ideas, product knowledge and customer service.

“We know how to make things happen,” says Teresa Moisant, owner and president.

Smith Dryden, www.smithdryden.com
Sturdi Stitches, www.sturdistitches.com
ImageNation Promotional Group Inc., www.myipgi.com
Robyn Promotions, www.robynpromo.com

Best Commercial Law Firm
McAfee & Taft

The firm’s reputation, as well as its future, is wrapped into two things: its culture and its clients.

“Clients are second-to-none,” says Richard D. Nix, managing director. “They provide us with the types of projects and meaningful work that make this place such a challenging and exciting place to practice law. Second, we have a longstanding culture of collegiality and cooperation that began with our founders more than 55 years ago.”

McAfee & Taft has served the Central Oklahoma market for 58 years now and employs 300 people, 154 of whom are lawyers. And even as it has evolved from a small, entrepreneurial practice to a large, full-service firm, its culture has remained largely unchanged.

“We recognize there is a difference between being Oklahoma’s largest law firm and Oklahoma’s ‘go-to’ law firm,” Nix says. “We strive for the latter, and, to the credit of our lawyers and staff, we’ve risen to the challenge as evidenced by our growing client base, the types of high-profile projects and cases we’re involved in, the quality of talent we’ve been able to attract to our firm, and the recognition we receive from our peers and our community.”

Hartzog Conger Cason & Neville, www.hartzoglaw.com
Mulinix Ogden Hall Andrews & Ludham, www.lawokc.com
Pate, Kempf & Knarr
Crowe & Dunlevy, www.crowedunlevy.com
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