The eighth annual Johnson City Press Readers’ Choice Awards wrapped up last week with a new element of honor for 152 of the area’s best-loved businesses.
A Best of the Best Banquet for winners in 76 business categories selected by thousands of Johnson City Press readers was held Tuesday night at Holiday Inn, 101 W. Springbrook Drive.
Attended by nearly 100 of the competition’s 156 winners and finalists, the banquet included a red carpet entrance for the honorees and words of congratulations from special guests Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Bill Darden from the office of U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, Miss Johnson City Lily Crouch, Keith Wilson, president of the Northeast Tennessee Media Group and publisher of the Kingsport Times-News, and the celebration’s host, Johnson City Press Publisher Justin Wilcox.
“It was truly a pleasure to see our readers come out in droves to support local businesses and for us to have the opportunity to take it to the next level with a banquet to honor these folks,” Wilcox said.
Conducted in late July and early August, this year’s one-week Readers Choice balloting period saw more than 4,000 ballots cast, up more than 25 percent over the previous year’s awards.
Results were tabulated by volunteers from the Johnson City Seniors’ Center and the winners announced at Tuesday night’s banquet.
Bill Cummings, advertising sales manager for the Press, said the winners included companies of all sizes, from large retailers like Zak’s Fine Furniture, which swept the awards with wins in four “Best of” categories, to small businesses like The Edge Gymnastics and Cheerleading, which claimed this year’s Best Gymnastics title.
Cummings said the banquet received rave reviews from the winners in attendance, and he joined Wilcox in complimenting the news group’s Events Marketing Team and its director, Traci Williams, for coordinating the event.
A complete list of the winners and finalists along with many expressions of appreciation for their customers’ support was published in a special 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards section inserted in Friday’s Johnson City Press.