Tech firms tie for award

By Alexander Coolidge
Post staff reporter

While their business may be technical, their success is not. Two Covington tech companies tied Tuesday in their bid to win the services award handed out by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in its annual Small Business Success Awards.
Computer-networking company C-Forward Inc. and consulting business Systems InSight Inc. shared the award in the services category. Jeff Hassan, the director of business development for Systems InSight, said the split honor between the two Covington tech companies spoke volumes about the local business sector.

“The economic vitality of the Covington tech corridor makes this is a great place to be right now,” Hassan said. He credited his company`s success to diversifying its customer services to help both large and small clients.

Brent Cooper, president of C-Forward, said his business has thrived by lavishing attention on small businesses that larger networkers ignore. As a result, his company has reaped loyalty from his 100 customers.

“Just because they`re small, doesn`t mean they aren`t great,” he said.

The awards were handed out during the chamber`s eighth annual celebration at Receptions Banquet & Conference Center in Erlanger honoring business leaders in four categories: retail, manufacturing/distribution, construction and services.

Flottman Company Inc., a printing company in Crestview Hills, won top honors in the manufacturing/distribution category. The company specializes in printing for pharmaceutical companies.

“It`s really exciting — we`re thrilled to get it,” said Sue Flottman-Steller, one of the family owners. “We`re a third-generation, family-owned company, but we`ve got longevity and some unique alliances.”

Newport`s Costume Gallery took home the retailer award. Starting in a garage in 1983, the company moved to a building on Monmouth Street, offering a large inventory of theatrical costumes for regional, stock, educational and local theaters.

Covington`s Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers PSC, a mechanical and electrical engineering firm, nabbed the trophy for construction trades. KLH is offering HVAC, electrical, fire protection, plumbing and communication technology consulting engineering services.