first_imgThe Small Business Administration awards celebration will be held this evening, June 10, 2009, from 4-7 pm under the Discover Jazz tent at Burlington Waterfront Park. The awards program is presented by Vermont Business Magazine and the SBA.The principal award will go to Mark Bonfigli, CEO and Founder of Dealer.com, Burlington, who is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2009 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year. Bonfigli was selected for outstanding leadership related to his company’s staying power, employee growth, increase in sales, innovation and contributions to the community.Bonfigli’s company, Dealer.com, is a leading provider of online marketing solutions to the automotive industry. Dealer.com offers award-winning website design incorporating dynamic video, user-friendly management tools, search engine advertising and metrics and web analytics. Dealer.com’s suite of online marketing solutions creates a 360 degree view of auto dealers’ online and traditional marketing investments and results. Dealers can easily track spending and determine which activities lead to the highest return on investment, allowing them to streamline advertising and marketing efforts to increase sales.Bonfigli founded Dealer.com in 1998 to offer automotive dealers a “best in class’ solution for their Internet marketing needs. At the time, the Internet auto market was dominated by two large companies, but Bonfigli persisted. Despite difficult times in the automotive industry, 2008 saw the highest annual revenue increase in the company’s eleven-year history, for a five-year growth rate total of 1,225 %. According to Bonfigli, more of the top 150 largest dealer groups in North America use Dealer.com Internet marketing services than those of any other provider.Bonfigli attributes the company’s success to employee creativity and hard work, under his guidance, and Dealer.com provides over 200 full-time employees with high wage jobs, training and the potential for career growth. Dealer.com permits employees to work flexible schedules and provides numerous seminars and workshops related to career growth, personal financial planning, nutrition and other topics. The company recently opened the doors to its new 60,000 sq. ft. headquarters featuring a state-of-the-art health club, indoor basketball court, indoor tennis court, indoor track and an organic foods café. The building is LEED certified, meaning it is environmentally responsible, and incorporates solar panels and natural light to help limit carbon emissions. “Dealer.com employees drive our success and are the heart of the business,” commented Bonfigli. “The company would not be so successful without the many talented and hard-working people dedicated to offering our clients the best service and technology. I am honored by the award and share it with everyone who is part of the Dealer.com team.”Firmly committed to helping improve the community by giving back, Dealer.com supports local charitable events and holds regular fund raisers to benefit local charities. In an innovative partnership with the state of Vermont and VT HITEC (Health Care and Information Technology Education Center), the company provided job training to local Vermonters and overcame the difficulty of finding highly skilled IT workers in the area. Bonfigli has more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience in the auto industry, including 10 years as the co-founder of EARTHCARS, Inc., a New England-based automotive retailer. Bonfigli was named as a Finalist in the 2007 and 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the New England Region and his company has received numerous recognitions including the Deloitte & Touche Tech Fast 50, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, the Inc 5000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S., and several automotive industry awards for being the leading Internet marketing solution for auto dealers.As Vermont’s Small Business Person of the Year, Mark Bonfigli will compete for the national title at National Small Business Week ceremonies in Washington, D.C., May 17-22. Mr. Bonfigli will be locally honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration on June 10th at a ceremony presented by Vermont Business Magazine, Waterfront Park, Burlington. Cost is $35 per person.The Burlington Small Business Award celebration will also honor the following winners of the 2009 Vermont Small Business Champion Awards: Jim Sault, General ManagerPorter Music Box, RandolphSmall Business Exporter of the YearTara Lynn Scheidet, OwnerTara Lynn Studio, SuttonSBA Young Entrepreneur of the YearJohn Vincent, OwnerVincent’s Drug & Variety Store, WaterburyJeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small BusinessGail Wheel, President & OwnerWheel House Designs, Inc., Hyde ParkMicroenterprise SuccessMatt Cota, Executive DirectorVermont Fuel Dealers Association, MontpelierFinancial Services ChampionMajor Randall K. Gates, State Family Program DirectorVermont National GuardVeterans Small Business ChampionSteven Paddock, Assistant Director, AgribusinessVermont Small Business Development Center, MiddleburyHome-Based Business ChampionMary Peabody, Community Development SpecialistUniversity of Vermont Extension, BerlinWomen in Business Championlast_img

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