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Going to college as an adult comes with all kinds of concerns, but one of the largest is: How will I pay for classes and earn my degree?

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Small Business Leader of the Year

Each year the JAX Chamber salutes the entrepreneurial spirit of Jacksonville’s small businesses with the Small Business Leader of the Year Award.
 

Criteria

A nominee must:

  • Be a member of the JAX Chamber in good standing 
  • Be an owner, partner or shareholder of at least 25% of the business
  • Be active in the day-to-day management of the company
  • Be established locally in the same business for at least three years
  • Demonstrate professional business acumen and leadership
  • Have gross revenues of less than 5 million dollars per year for the previous three years

Fill out the SBLY Nomination Form.

  

2020 overall SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR

 

Ben Johnson

Martin Coffee Company

President

 

Ben Johnson, president of Martin Coffee Company, was named the 2020 JAX Chamber Overall Small Business Leader of the Year. Johnson is the third generation to lead the company following his grandparents and father in the family business. 

Martin Coffee Company was founded in 1957, by Fred Martin and his wife Amy, who opened a roasting plant in downtown Jacksonville offering just two blends of coffee –– regular and decaffeinated. When Ben Johnson was named president in 2009, he knew the product line had to be diversified. Today, the company offers 20 different varieties of coffee that meet the changing tastes of current customers. 

 

After being named president he set out to bring the company up to speed, while building on the foundation his family created. He transformed the entire operating system –– one that had only been hand-written in paper ledgers ––  adding a website and company email, online ordering system and digitizing the delivery schedule and routes. Today, every aspect of the company is digital and employees have been retrained to use the new technology. Those changes brought growth –– the company now averages 30 new clients a year and has seen annual sales grow by 21% in the last three years. 

 

“Ben started with a traditional, successful family business but knew he needed to make critical changes – some visible, some behind-the-scenes – to modernize and grow the company,” JAX Chamber President and CEO Daniel Davis said. “That’s what innovators do. They are continuously looking at opportunities and listening to their customers to stay one step ahead, and that’s why Ben has been so successful.”

 

2020 SMALL BUSINESS LEADERS OF THE YEAR

 

Arlington Council

Katie Little

Allstate Insurance

 

Beaches Division

Greg DiFranza

Kamp K-9 Jax Beach

 

 

Downtown Council

Ben Johnson

Martin Coffee Company

 

 

Entrepreneurial Growth Division 

Alfreda Boney

Perfectly Suited Career Consulting

 

Health Council

Jim Satterwhite

Venture Pointe, Inc.

 

Impact JAX

Jon Cagan

Cagan & Cagan, PLLC

 

 

Jacksonville IT Council 

Aaron Enos

Sensible Recycling, Inc.

 

 

Mandarin Council 

Stephen Hudson

Digital Mark Company, LLC

 

 

North Council 

Earl Kelly

EK3 Technologies

 

Professional Women’s Council

April Murdaugh

Woman To Woman Financial

 

  

South Council

Peter Denholm

Supporting Strategies - Northeast Florida

 

 

West Council 

Charles Johnston

HeartWired Digital Solutions

 

Transportation & Logistics Council

    Robert Fox

    North Florida Warehouse FTZ