The Fifteen Under 15

The Top 15 companies in Southwest Michigan with 15 employees or less


The 2019 Fifteen Under 15

Click a photo or title to read the business profile.

Hi, this is Pat Moody! Join me and local business leaders as we identify fifteen dynamic small businesses making a difference in our community.

Introducing the Fifteen Under 15, a prestigious new recognition program reserved exclusively for the best small companies and organizations in our midst who have 15 or fewer employees.


Starting Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019, you will find a nomination form here at

Do you know a powerhouse small business that is making a positive impact in our community? Fill out the nomination form and submit it. Nominations go to a committee who will select the Fifteen best small companies with 15 or fewer employees for 2019. Then on Wednesday, October 23rd, I will unveil the Fifteen Under 15 during Taking the Lead Show with Ray Gustafson on News/Talk 94.9 WSJM and detail each company being recognized and honored in a special section inside Plus, all of the Fifteen Under 15 companies and their teams will be invited to a cocktail reception where they’ll be recognized and receive a handsome wall plaque for display at their business.

Eligibility Requirements

The Fifteen Under 15 recognizes the type of small business that everyone would like to be – they’re the companies that are going above and beyond for their team and the community, setting the gold standard for others to aspire to.

No matter the industry or sector, we’d love to hear about those stellar companies among us with 15 or fewer employees that are making a difference at their workplace, excelling in their industry and making valuable contributions to betterment of Michigan’s Great Southwest. These companies clearly stand head and shoulders above all others in the region and have been able to excel at what they do regularly. Those selected for representation in the Fifteen Under 15 will be those that set the tone for what every good company or organization should ascribe to in Michigan’s Great Southwest.

To nominate a business or organization, please keep reading and pay attention to the pointers below for a successful and competitive nomination. Nominations close Friday, September 20th, at 11:59 PM.

The recognition event will take place the week of November 11th, 2019. All selected companies will also be featured in a special segment on News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, as well as in inside section at Moody on the

To submit a nomination, click the link to go to an online survey where you will be asked to answer 20 questions about the business being nominated. Be sure to read the following information, which explains requirements and eligibility. Don’t forget to share about your nominations and spread the word about this program on social media using hashtag #Moody15Under15!

Before clicking the link to fill out the nomination form, please read the following requirements and tips for a successful nomination:

– Nominations close Friday, September 20th, at 11:59 PM.

– Nominee companies or organizations must be headquartered in the following Southwest Michigan counties: Berrien, Cass and Van Buren.

– In order to be considered eligible, nominee companies must have 15 or fewer employees.

– Chosen companies are expected to attend the awards presentation, or have someone representing them, during the week of November 11, 2018.

– Selected companies are expected to provide a high resolution logo, and additionally be available for a short Q&A-style interview for the recognition on Moody on the in mid-October; failure to make time to complete these assets will result in disqualification from the program.

– Self-nominations ARE permitted for this program, but all entries will be scrutinized for completeness, correctness, and honesty, and decided by the committee.

– Nominations that are not substantially fully completed or that simply feature incomplete or cursory information will be at minimum given less than full consideration or at worst, be removed from consideration completely.

–  One single nomination for your nominee company is requested. Multiple entries do NOT enhance a company or organization’s chances. Nominations featuring identical responses will be removed; please refrain from repeatedly submitting the same nomination or asking others to so on your behalf.

– Only one company nomination is permitted in each questionnaire. If you wish to submit more than one company or organization, you must submit separate nominations for each entry.

– It is highly encouraged to submit nominated companies that are actively engaged in best practices, have outside interests in the community that they are passionate about, and include any information you have on achievements and recognitions they have been honored for elsewhere in the community, in their industry, or among their peer groups as evidence of their own drive for excellence.

– Each essay question should be answered in complete sentences. Do not use bulleted or hyphenated lists unless they are appropriate to the question asked.

– Companies and organizations may only be selected for a single Fifteen Under 15 program within a 12 month period and may not be selected for the same program more than once. If a company or organization is chosen for this program, then they are automatically ineligible for any follow-on Fifteen Under 15 recognition in the future.

– Nominations must be submitted through this online process only and will not be accepted via email, or any other format under any circumstances.

– Nominated companies or organizations will be contacted by the selection committee to verify their willingness to participate, and to see if they can attend the reception in November.


– A panel of independent judges will review each nomination submitted and assign a score to each entry. This is done privately, and the judges do not share information. The scores are totaled and compared to all entries submitted to help the selection committee determine the 15 honorees.

If your company or organization is chosen:

– Those who are chosen as the 15 honorees will be notified within 2-4 weeks after the entry deadline.  All companies or organizations will be invited as guests to the Fifteen Under 15 Cocktail Reception where they will have a table of eight reserved in their honor and be presented with their award. In addition the winners will be recognized in advertising promoting their recognition across Mid-West Family Broadcasting media properties.

Nominations are open on and after September 3rd.

The 2018 Fifteen Under 15

Click a photo or title to read the business profile.