The region’s best were honored at the 5th Annual EDAWN Existing Industry Awards

Attendees at the Fifth Annual EDAWN Industry Awards held on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Atlantis Resort Spa Casino.

Attendees at the Fifth Annual EDAWN Industry Awards held on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Atlantis Resort Spa Casino.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) celebrated the contributions and successes of exiting companies in the Greater Reno-Sparks area at the 5th Annual EDAWN Existing Industry Awards.

Clear Capital, a Reno-based company that provides valuations, data analytics and technology solutions for the real estate industry, was presented with the 2016 Large Company of the Year award.

Kevin Marshall, president of Clear Capital, who moved his company from Truckee a few years ago, was humbled that the company was even considered for the award.

“We have a lot of clients or governmental agencies that come in and often have a preconceived notion of Reno. Once they get a look around, they say ‘We get it, we get why you’re here,’” Marshall said after the ceremony. “For us, this award validates our choice of moving our headquarters and a large portion of our staff to Reno.”

Drone America, a Reno-based autonomous aircraft systems manufacturer for a variety of applications such as search and rescue operations, was recognized as the 2016 Small Company of the Year award.

Mike Richards, Drone America’s president and CEO, said he was pleasantly surprised by the honor bestowed on his company.

“Drone America was founded on the principle of helping people through difficult situations,” Richards said. “For us to receive this award now after starting it in 2001, reflects that not only does Nevada have silver and gold in the mountains, but it has silver and gold in its people. What we have that is most important is the employees and supporters of Drone America.”

More than 50 companies based in Washoe County, the Tahoe-Reno Industrial center and Fernley were nominated for 15 separate categories, which ranged from areas such as investments in employees, partnerships in education or environmental awareness. Nominations were open to all companies with an established presence that are doing business in the area and that are served by EDAWN.

Speed of Air, for instance, took home the Small Business Leader in Sustainability Award. The Reno-based company develops technology to reduce air-polluting emissions in all types of fuels and engines for various industries.

“I know there’s a big movement for electric vehicles, which I agree 100 percent, but now its going through a transition. During that transition, we feel we can make a reduction in our carbon footprint that stresses our planet,” said Joe Malfa, president of Speed of Air.

One area Malfa would like to develop more of a relationship with is the region’s public transportation industry.

“If we can get our public transportation here inline with some of our products, I think we can make a difference,” he said.

The Industry Award ceremony was held Thursday evening, Oct. 13 at the Atlantis Resort Spa Casino.

Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of EDAWN, applauded all the companies for their contributions to the regional economy.

“The existing primary companies in northern Nevada make up the backbone of our regional economy. This event provides an opportunity for the community to thank these companies and let them know we truly appreciate their investment, commitment to the region and their many contributions to our economic vitality,” Kazmierski said in his opening remarks at the ceremony.

For a complete list of award nominees, go to


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