Business awards: Week of May 26

May 26, 2014 

Space Tango (Spacetango.com), a for-profit enterprise headquartered in Kentucky, focused primarily on the entrepreneurial space marketplace, is implementing the nation's first space business accelerator specifically for space enterprises and entrepreneurs. Space Tango has selected three companies for its inaugural program slated to begin in July.

The Space Tango Accelerator is designed for space-driven startups with a goal of helping new and growing businesses to innovate and develop novel applications for diverse markets.

The companies participating in the program are:

ConsiNet, headquartered in Morehead, is a ground station service provider for the rapidly growing global small satellite marketplace. ConsiNet is developing a unique network of ground stations to assist missions in achieving robust space to ground communications.

Vinvell, based out of Austin, Texas, is an international technology development and services company specializing in the space industry. The company's work includes developing the next generation STEM based educational material for colleges, high schools and middle schools utilizing space and space experimentation as the basis for advanced project design and access to space for their customers.

Aeolus AeroTech (AAT), based in Bangalore, India, is a research to product company that provides turnkey technical solutions and products in the field of advanced laboratory equipment, avionics and space sectors. It the first Indian private company to develop COTS products for CubeSat and related microsatellite missions.

Megan Meserve, vice president of Altrusa of Kentucky, has received the 2014 rookie of the year award at the Altrusa International District Six Conference held in Springfield, Ill. The rookie of the year award is given each year to a member who has joined the organization within the last three years and has demonstrated leadership skills in making their community a better place.

■ The Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, and The Center for Rural Development are accepting nominations for its 2014 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards program. Nominations will be accepted through June 5 and may be submitted online at Eiea.eku.edu. For more information, call (606) 677-6000.

James M. Clark, president and CEO of LexArts, will be honored by the Americans for the Arts for the Michael Newton Award for innovation in developing private sector partnerships for the arts and for long-term achievement in effective and creative fund-raising techniques. This is one of six Americans for the Arts Leadership Awards given each year to recognize excellence through the arts field.

Clark was honored for his work in cultivating private sector support for the arts throughout his career. During his time in New York City, he served in the Department of Cultural Affairs and later became the Executive Director of the Public Art Fund. After developing a graduate-level arts management program for the Pratt Institute, Clark joined Dayton, Ohio's Culture Works where he grew public funding from $1 million to $2 million a year.

Throughout his tenure at LexArts, Clark has focused on generating public and private partnerships to the benefit of artists and the community. His knowledge of public art led to the creation of LexArts' public art program and permanent installations of works like Dewitt Godfrey's Concordia and Bill Fontana's sound sculpture, Surface Reflections.

Under Clark's guidance, the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation (part of KentuckyOne Health), along with their major donors, invested more than $250,000 in artworks from Kentucky artists at a time when the economy was in a severe downturn. In addition, Lexington's Department of Environmental Quality & Public Works launched a public art initiative that invests nearly $100,000 annually to bring awareness to environmental issues.

This is the second consecutive year that a Kentuckian has received the Michael Newton Award. Barbara Sexton Smith, president and CEO of Louisville's Fund for the Arts, received the award in 2013.

Honorees will be presented their awards at the upcoming Americans for the Arts 2014 Annual Convention during the Opening Plenary session on June 13. Presentations will be live streamed online at Convention.artsusa.org.

■ A Christmas ale from a tiny brewery in northeastern Hungary has been awarded the Alltech Commonwealth Craft Beer Cup, the first professional beer competition in Kentucky. The competition saw 1,000 beers from 30 countries competing for the title. The top award was announced at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest recently in Lexington. The event drew 41 national and local craft breweries and nearly 4,500 craft beer enthusiasts. Following the success of the second annual international Dublin Craft Beer Cup in Ireland in February, Alltech decided to bring the contest home to the Bluegrass.

Zip's Christmas 2013 beer from Zip's Brewhouse out of Miskolc, Hungary was described by the judging panel as a "heavily spiced ale balanced with a malty sweetness, creating an ideal Christmas beer." The brew boasted cinnamon, ginger, star anise, curacao, nutmeg, lemon peel, among other spices. The small brewery is owned and operated by Zip Technologies, a brewery equipment supplier.

Award-winning brewers received gold, silver and bronze medals. Lexington's own Blue Stallion Brewing Co. won silver for its German Pilsner, Marzen and Oatmeal Stout, as well as a bronze medal for its Munich Dunkel Dark Lager. In total, 45 bronze, 36 silver, and six gold medals were awarded.

Back Construction, a Lexington remodeling contractor, has received a 2014 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer service. GuildQuality, an independent customer satisfaction surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award since 2005 to celebrate service excellence in the building, remodeling, contracting and home services professions.

Compiled by Dorothea Wingo

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