The Carmel Chamber of Commerce has named NextGear Capital and Salsbery Brothers Landscaping businesses of the year. The honors were among several awards given out during Wednesday's annual chamber awards luncheon.

December 12, 2013

News Release

Carmel, Ind. — NextGear Capital and Salsbery Brothers Landscaping shared the honors of being named Business of the Year at the Carmel Chamber's December 11 annual awards luncheon at Ritz Charles. Awards were also presented for Look – New Construction, Look – Renovation, Green, Most Valuable Volunteer and lifetime achievement. For the first time, a Young Professional of the Year was also recognized for leadership and passion for making a difference in our community.

Applause Business of the Year Award

The Applause – Business of the Year award is presented to a small to mid-sized business and a large business based on their success in growth and stability, commitment to quality, creative and unique solutions to challenges, entrepreneurial spirit and overall contribution to the community

Business of the Year – small to mid-sized business: Salsbery Brothers Landscaping, Inc.

The 2013 Business of the Year Award for small to mid-sized businesses was presented to Jeff Salsbery of Salsbery Brothers Landscaping, Inc.

In 1983, with five acres of land, Jeff Salsbery’s idea was to have the first business in Carmel that could provide both irrigation and landscaping. Fifteen years late, 40 acres were purchased in northern Hamilton County to allow them to grow its own trees and, today the business is a full-service company. In addition to the garden center, they provide landscaping, irrigation, lawn care and maintenance services; plans are underway to expand the garden center and add a greenhouse.

Salsbery Brothers Landscaping has been honored with awards from Breehob, Home-a-Rama and the Decorator’s Showhouse. The company is a strong partner for local organizations and events, including Carmelfest, Carmel’s Japanese Garden, Carmel Clay Historical Society, Hamilton County Humane Society, Eastwood School and more. They host school field trips and hayrides for schools and organizations, and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Business of the Year – large business: NextGear Capital

Brian Geitner, president, accepted the 2013 Business of the Year Award for large business on behalf of NextGear Capital, North America's largest and most comprehensive floor plan finance company for used car, truck, salvage, rental and specialty vehicle inventory.

The company began in 2005 as Dealer Services Corporation after seeing the need for an independent financing source for independent automotive dealers. With a total of 12 corporate employees and 26 field employees based strategically across the U.S., they rapidly became the largest provider of diversified inventory financing products for independent dealers. In the 2013 merger of Dealer Services Corporation and Manheim Automotive Finance Services, NextGear Capital was created and continues to expand its local footprint significantly in Carmel. Revenue for the NextGear Capital has grown 267% from 2010 to 2013 and employee growth is 201% in the same period. Unparalleled customer service, innovative technology and a unique employee culture are the keys to their success.

The people of NextGear Capital make a difference by investing in the local community, donating to the Outreach food pantry, contributing time and resources to Ronald McDonald House and supporting Chaucie’s Place and the Carmel Chamber’s Nancy Blondin Scholarship fund.

Young Professional of the Year Award – new in 2013

The Chamber's newest award, presented for the first time this year, recognizes a young professional between the ages of 21 and 40 who has demonstrated leadership and passion for making a difference in our community based on leadership, mentorship, community involvement and entrepreneurship.

Joshua Carr, Northwestern Mutual, was presented the Young Professional of the Year award. While building his financial representative practice, he manages the company’s internship program, hiring and mentoring 10 college interest each year to ensure their success. Under his leadership as Executive Board president for the Autism Society of Indiana, the organization has grown to ranking among the top 10 chapters in the country. He is a member of Carmel Rotary and a supporter of local arts efforts through The Scene, The Center of the Performing Arts’ young professionals organization. He was the first under-40 board member of the Carmel Chamber and has been a strong volunteer force behind the growth of the Chamber’s Arrows YP group.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Harold Kaiser Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to John Schuler in recognition of his lifetime commitment to business in the Carmel community.

A strong advocate for city planning that works, Schuler has served on the Old Meridian and Range Line Road Task Forces, along with the 116th Street Task Force and the 96th Street Business Coalition. He served on the transportation committee for the Indy Chamber and was a member of the U.S. 31 Coalition group. An early advocate for parks in the community, he coordinated the donation of land for Hazel Landing Park and Founder’s Park. He is a Patron’s Circle member of The Center for the Performing Arts, was a board member and board chair of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and the Carmel Chamber. As a board member of Janus Developmental Services, he serves on their transportation committee. In his career, he has served on the board of the Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association and was the winner of its President’s Award.

MV2 – Most Valuable Volunteer

The Chamber's Most Valuable Volunteer award, established to celebrate and recognize outstanding volunteer contributions by an individual who also works full-time, was presented to Ranjit Puthran of Allstate Insurance Carmel Agency.

Puthran's generosity has benefited many non-profit organizations including Gleaner's Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Carmel Dad's Club, Habitat for Humanity, Rotary of Carmel and the Carmel Farmer’s Market. He is a member of the Carmel Clay Public Library Board of Trustees and a board member of the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, volunteering for their October Feed the Fight fundraiser. Through his work, he makes a $5 donation to Riley Hospital for each new quote, and participates in Allstate’s Purple Purse domestic violence initiative and their “X the Text” community outreach to young drivers program.

Look Awards – Renovation & New Construction

Nominees for both Look awards were judged on the quality of work, appropriateness of the construction to its surroundings and the contribution of the project to the overall look of the community.

The Look award for Renovation was presented to Wedgewood Building Company for the remodel and expansion at 32 First Street Northeast. Originally a home built in 1933, it currently serves as the company’s office with open ceilings and exposed brick on the interior, flexible meeting space and a shaded patio.

The Look award for New Construction was presented to Kite Realty Group – Rangeline Crossing project, located at the northwest corner of 116th Street and Range Line Road. The development recreated a large retail area, blending substantial new construction with renovated smaller areas.

Carmel Green Award

The Carmel Green award recognizes a Carmel organization, company or association that is solving environmental challenges using innovative and green practices or by setting up creative partnerships to enhance the environment.

This year's winner is City of Carmel Utilities for their city-wide trash and recycling program, which increased recycling and reduced the cost of trash collection at the same time. Prior to the program, approximately 33% of Carmel residents participated in curbside recycling; participation is now 8

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