Black Enterprise August 2012 : Page 67
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR The Innovator of the Year Award is given to the business ﬂour-ishing in an innovative industry or approaching entrepreneur-ship in a groundbreaking manner via its products or services. WINNeR FAMILY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR The Family Business of the Year is awarded to the family-operated business exemplifying the combined experience and expertise needed to excel in a key industry. Christopher and Dr. Lezli Levene Harvell Dental Kidz L.L.C., Newark, NJ www.dentalkidz.com Christopher and Lezli Levene Harvell have proven a socially conscious business can be profitable and be a community asset. Their Newark, New Jersey-based pediatric dental care practice utilizes a business model that accepts payments from subsidized healthcare programs. The husband-and-wife team started Dental Kidz in 2008 intent on eliminating oral health-care disparities in inner cities and to provide oral health education. In 2009, the couple opened a newly constructed and modernly equipped 8,000 square foot pediatric facility. The practice has 12 employ-ees and about 6,500 active patients Dental Kidz has grown revenues from $476,000 in 2009 to top $1.6 million in 2011, with 2012 projec-tions at $2 million. WINNeR WINNeR 67 Kerry S. Harris Angel 7 Industries L.L.C., San Antonio, TX www.angel7industries.com Kerry S. Harris is a multiple patent-holding inventor. Today, as director of Angel 7 Industries, the former U.S. Navy pilot and Marine Corps. oﬃcer is responsible for developing pro-prietary gear used by military and law enforcement oﬃcials, everything from combat helmets to tactical equipment to optical systems. Revenues climbed to $2.5 million in 2011 for the holding company and think tank. Harris vows that Angel 7 Indus-tries will “never produce less than the best” when it comes to design-ing gear such as protective eyewear. “You can look forward to continu-ous ‘cutting-edge’ products and innovations from Angel 7 Industries serving military, sports, medical, and consumer markets,” says the 42-year-old entrepreneur. Small Business Wins Big! A tradition at EC is the Small Business Awards Luncheon. Hosted by Ariel Investments, conference goers congratulate small businesses recognized in four categories. BE NEXT AWARD The BE Next Award is given to fearless entrepreneurs ages 21 to 35 who are tapped to be future business leaders. WINNeR TEENPRENEUR AWARD The Teenpreneur Award is given to entrepreneurs age 19 or younger committed to the tradition of black business achievement. Amber Liggett Amber’s Amazing Animal Balloons, Beaver, PA www.ambersballoons.com Amber’s Amazing Animal Balloons was born when Amber received a balloon kit for Christmas from her grandparents at age 9. Today, the 16-year-old Liggett operates a business that entertains youngsters at birthday parties and corporate events. Within her creative skill set, partygoers enjoy creat-ing balloon animals and shapes, face painting, making sand and spin art, applying temporary gel tattoos, and storytelling. Liggett even provides "balloons to go," which are custom deco-rations pre-made and sold as takeout orders. Her revenues topped $5,500 in 2011. Liggett is now looking to grow the business and is thinking about new oﬀerings. “Not only am I in the process of adding party packages to my repertoire, I am training other young people to work with me,” she says. be AUGUST 2012 • WWW.BLACKENTERPRISE.COM Teman Evans and Teran Evans DIOSCURI L.L.C. New York City www.dioscuri.us Twins Teman and Teran Evans studied architecture at Har-vard University Graduate School of Design, and upon gradu-ating in 2004 launched their design company, DIOSCURI. Their high-gloss wooden bracelets, known as the Fruit Salad collection, were listed among Oprah’s favorite things. This garnered the duo shelf space in 200 stores around the globe. DIOSCURI has evolved to specialize in the realms of interior and jewelry design along with brand consulting. The 32-year-old brothers did roughly $750,000 in revenues in 2011 and project to reach $1 million for 2012. The twins are currently in negotiations for a reality TV series showcasing the behind-the-scenes aspects of their business. “We also have an upcoming meeting with Beverly Johnson to discuss how we might collaborate,” Teman says.