American WeatherStar, a firm that makes commercial and industrial roof restoration coating systems, took top honors Thursday as the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.
Two other firms were honored as finalists — Port City Industrial and TC Boiling & Piping.
Winners are evaluated on five criteria —business operations and impact, financial position, innovation and entrepreneurship, customer service and market strategy and community involvement.
American WeatherStar was founded in 2004 by Brian O’Donnell. In 2020, he moved the business to Irvington in southern Mobile County. Since then, sales have doubled and the number of employees has grown from 30 to 50.
In March 2023, the firm broke ground for a larger manufacturing facility and also purchased five more adjoining acres for future growth.
The chamber particularly noted WeatherStar’s FAST Academy, praising it as “a training program that provides commercial roofing professionals with a comprehensive overview of their fluid-applied roof restoration system. The program helps professionals expand and diversify their businesses.”
O’Donnell said, “I’m so proud for the company and proud for my family. The emotions that I have for that team and the work that they put in every day, they mean the world to me. To see that explosion of growth not only in top line revenue but in hiring the people and bringing on more team members, to allow us to continue to grow, and to have it all culminate today and for everybody in the company to get an award like this is amazing.”
Port City Industrial, one of the other two finalists, helps companies with material handling needs, dealing with products including loading dock equipment, conveyor systems, roll-up doors, modular office systems, warehouse fans and pallet racking.
TC Boiler & Piping, the other finalist, offers mechanical and construction services such as critical alloy welding, demolition services, plant maintenance, turnaround services, hydro testing, structural fabrication and installation.