Mike Zaffaroni, The 2018 overall Small Business Leader of the Year
Photo credit: Renee Parenteau
Mike Zaffaroni, owner of Liberty Landscape Supply, was named the 2018 overall JAX Chamber Small Business Leader of the Year.
Liberty Landscape Supply is a supplier of landscape materials for homeowners and contractors with two locations in Northeast Florida and an online store. Zaffaroni purchased the business, formerly Fernandina Mulch & Stone, in 2007. Initially offering just 20 products, the business has grown to more than 1,800 items in their inventory.
“Mike is a tremendous example of how hard work grows companies,” JAX Chamber President & CEO Daniel Davis said. “We at the Chamber are proud to honor his dedication to doing business in Northeast Florida. Congratulations to Mike and the entire team at Liberty.”
In 2015 Zaffaroni entered the inaugural ‘Small Business Breakthrough Powered by Web.com’. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Web.com created the competition in an effort to help small businesses find new ways to boost their marketing and exposure and gain access to business leaders. Zaffaroni’s company went on to place second in the competition.
The Jaguars and Web.com supplied Zaffaroni with a runner-up package that included marketing, website development, in-game promotion, along with marketing advice to change the name of the company, which was changed to Liberty Landscape Supply that year. Zaffaroni says the competition was a ‘real breakthrough and turning point’ for the company and prepared it for growth. The combined annual sales for 2018 are on track to be an 800% increase from the year he purchased the company, and has grown from just two employees in 2007 to 31 this year.
Eleven Northeast Florida business leaders were selected as Small Business Leaders of the Year by the Chamber Councils, the Beaches Division and the Entrepreneurial Growth Division. Each of these business leaders then competed for the overall JAX Chamber Small Business Leader of the Year. In addition to Zaffaroni, who represents the North Council, the Small Business Leaders of the Year are:
- Lisa DiFranza, DiFranza Law, P.A., Beaches Division
- Clyde Yandell, Intelligent Office of Jacksonville, Downtown Council
- Kimberly Deas, Murphy Business & Financial Services, Entrepreneurial Growth Division
- Kathryn Murphy, Comfort Keepers, Health Council
- Chad Russell, Intuitive Reason, Jacksonville IT Council
- Kelly Harris, Village Bread Café Mandarin, Mandarin Council
- Jamie Glavich, Almost Home Senior Services, Inc., Professional Women’s Council
- Jason Johnson, Marlin Consulting Solutions, South Council
- Frank Brewer, Alpha Omega Global LLC, Transportation & Logistics Council
- Anne Stanford, The Blind Rabbit, A Burger & Whiskey Bar, West Council
The 2018 Small Business Leaders of the Year
The award was presented at the 5th annual Small Business Breakfast held at the Schultz Center and featured a Q&A with Ed Burr, president & CEO of GreenPointe Holdings.
More information about the JAX Chamber is available at www.myjaxchamber.com.
(Left to right) 2018 Overall Small Business Leader of the Year, Mike Zaffaroni, owner, Liberty Landscape; 2017 Overall Small Business Leader of the Year, Sarah Marie Johnston, owner and marketing director, Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails at the 5th annual Small Business Breakfast at the Schultz Center Tuesday.
About JAX Chamber
The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to live, work and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.