Everyone has favorite companies to do business with, whether it's a law firm that makes sure all your legal bases are covered or the meeting venue that makes you look like a star, even when your budget is less than stellar.
For the fourth year, Columbus C.E.O. asked our readers about the things that make Central Ohio's business scene great. We want to know where the best business services and products are located. What's the best bank? Who has the best computer training? Who gives the best real estate advice? And where's the best place to find temporary employees?
There are fun questions, too, including a search for the best suburb to do business. What's the best place to play a round of golf? And where are the best places to schedule a power lunch or impress a prospective client?
Starting with the June issue, we sent readers to our website, asking for opinions in more than 70 business categories. We tallied the results and are bringing them to you here.
Best Accounting Firm (more than 20 CPAs)
GBQ Partners had the most votes for the second year in a row. KPMG came in second.
Best Accounting Firm (less than 20 CPAs)
Susan E. Thomas CPA, Ltd. scored its second consecutive victory. Yankovich Adelman Johnson Stevenson was next in line.
Best Ad Agency
It's a three-peat for SBC Advertising, which edged out Fahlgren Mortine.
Southwest Airlines left its competitors on the tarmac for the fourth year.
Best Architectural Firm
Meleca Architecture, named one of the top 100 classical firms in the world by Classical Institute, drafted the most votes. The second-place finisher: pH7 Architects.
Best Audiovisual Production Company
Mills James Productions made it a clean sweep with four wins. Bartha again finished second.
Huntington National Bank edged out Chase for its second consecutive, and third overall, win.
Two Caterers earned two times the votes of Cameron Mitchell Catering.
Best Chamber of Commerce
The Columbus Chamber won again this year. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce was runner-up.
Best Charitable Organization
A Kid Again, which serves children with life-threatening illnesses, toppled last year's winner, Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
Best Charter Airline
Executive Jet Management, a NetJets company, flew to the top of this new category.
Ohio State University maintained its unbroken winning streak. Ohio University made a respectable second-place showing.
Best Commercial Real Estate Developer
Continental Real Estate Companies reclaimed its 2009 title. Nationwide Realty Investors finished a few votes behind.
Best Computer Training
DeVry University topped the list this year.
Best Conference Center/Meeting Facility (Hotel)
Another four-time favorite: the Hilton Columbus at Easton. The Hilton Columbus/Polaris was a close second.
Best Conference Center/Meeting Facility (Non-hotel)
Arena District-based sparkspace won again.
Best Continuing Education Offerings
Columbus State Community College and Ohio State University tied for first place.
Best Credit Union
BMI Federal Credit Union racked up a third category win.
Best Employee Benefit Firm
Accelerated Benefits triumphed this year.
Best Employer (more than 500 employees)
Workers said Nationwide was on their side.
Best Employer (less than 500 employees)
SBC Advertising, which finished second last year, came out on top.
Best Energy Company
American Electric Power was readers' favorite in this new entry.
Best Engineering Firm
Burgess & Niple Inc. drafted its second consecutive victory, with EMH&T Inc. and Metro CD Engineering in their second second-place tie.
Best Family-Owned Business
Carfagna's, selling meats and Italian foods in Northland since 1937, was the readers' choice.
Best Financial Advisory Firm
Libertas Wealth Management Group Inc. (formerly Koos Wealth Management Inc.) repeated the firm's 2010 win.
Best General Contractor
Messer Construction Company, founded in 1932, landed the top spot. Elford was next.
Best Home Builder
M/I Homes took its fourth category win.
Best Home Builder (Custom)
Bob Webb Group and Romanelli & Hughes Building Company tied for first in this new category.
Best Hospital/Medical Center
Riverside Methodist Hospital racked up its fourth win.
Again, the Hilton Columbus at Easton edged out the Hilton Columbus/Polaris.
Best HVAC Company
Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling was readers' top choice, as it was in 2010 and 2008.
Best Information Technology Consultants
Quick Solutions Inc. won again this year.
Best Insurance Brokerage
This year's survey brought our first three-way tie: Huntington Insurance, Wells Fargo Insurance Services and Willis.
Best Insurance Company
Nationwide, launched in 1925 by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, scored a fourth category win.
Best Internet Service Provider for Business
Time Warner Cable Business Class takes the cake for the third year.
For the second year, readers thought Brickman had the greenest thumb. Peabody Landscape Group came in second.
Best Law Firm (more than 50 attorneys)
Schottenstein Zox & Dunn Company took home its fourth category win. Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease finished a distant second.
Best Law Firm (less than 50 attorneys)
The Law Office of Thomas Taneff defended its 2010 title, with Williams and Petro Company next on the docket.
Best Litigation Firm
Schottenstein Zox & Dunn Company nabbed its second award of the year. As of Jan. 1, the firm will merge with Ice Miller.
Best Manufacturing Company
Worthington Industries claimed its fourth category win. Honda of America Manufacturing again placed second.
Best MBA Program
Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business was the runaway favorite for a fourth year. Franklin University made a respectable second-place showing.
Best Medical Managed Care Plan
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield bested two-time champ UnitedHealthcare of Ohio this year.
Best Online Degree Program
Franklin University earned more than double the votes of any other institution in this new category.
Best Public Relations Firm
Fahlgren Mortine was again the top choice for getting ink and polishing your rep.
Best Real Estate Agency (Residential)
Real Living HER was the top listing for the third year in a row.
Best Real Estate Brokerage (Commercial)
CB Richard Ellis reclaimed its 2009 title.
Best Recycling Firm
Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc. crushed two-time champ Grossman Environmental Recycling Inc.
Dave Fox Remodeling returned to the top spot, which it won in 2009 and 2008.
Best Retirement Community
Wesley Glen Retirement Community, the 2009 honoree, was the favorite. Friendship Village of Columbus finished a handful of votes behind.
Best Temporary Employment Agency
Help wanted? Readers said Dawson Resources was their go-to choice for the second year.
Best Auto Dealer
Déjà vu. Germain Motor Company edged out Roush Honda in a repeat of the 2009 results.
The Diamond Cellar, with stores at Easton and on Sawmill Road, still shines brightest for voters.
Best Mobile Phone Service Provider
Verizon Wireless dialed up a fourth category win.
Best Office Equipment Dealer
Staples secured a solo win after tying for first last year. Continental Office Environments was close behind.
Best Office Furniture
King Business Interiors overtook three-time champ Continental Office Environments.
Best Place to Buy a Custom Suit
Tom James, which has a local office on Dublin Road, sewed up a victory in this retailored category.
Best Printing Company
West-Camp Press Inc. claimed its third consecutive category win. Hopkins Printing placed second.
Best Promotional Products Company
Family-owned Artina Promotional Products left its imprint on this new category. LogoSpeed Promotional Products was next in line.
Best Sign Company
Associated Graphics Inc. and Columbus Sign Company tied for the top spot.
Best Women's Clothier
Nordstrom edged Talbots by a single vote in this new category.
THE FUN STUFF
Best Bar for an After-work Drink
For the third year, Bar Louie was the top choice for a toast.
Best Charity Event
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure reclaimed its 2008 and 2009 titles. Pelotonia finished second.
Voters can't get enough of Starbucks. Stauf's Coffee Roasters was the next most popular caffeine fix.
Best Community Leader
Derek Grosso, president and founder of the Columbus Young Professionals Club, earned a second win. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman took the No. 2 spot.
Best Country Club
Scioto Country Club was the top choice four years running.
Best Golf Course (Private)
Muirfield Village Golf Club bested the 2010 champ, Scioto Country Club, by a few strokes.
Best Golf Course (Public)
Ties aren't possible in golf, but Golf Club of Dublin and Longaberger Golf Club finished in one here. Columbus-owned Champions and Raymond Memorial golf courses tied for second place.
Best Networking Organization
Columbus Young Professionals Club bested GetDot to defend its 2010 win.
Best Orthopedic Practice
OrthoNeuro, which has four area locations, won this new category. Cardinal Orthopaedic Institute and Ohio Orthopedic Center of Excellence tied for second.
Best Outdoor Dining
German Village hotspot Barcelona edged out a win over nearby Lindey's.
Best Place to Take a Prospective Client
Lindey's received triple the votes of the second-place finishers.
Best Power Lunch
Lindey's was the hands-down favorite for the fourth year.
Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, which has four local eateries, reclaimed its 2009 and 2008 titles.
Best Suburb to Do Business
The city of Dublin received almost twice the votes of Westerville.
Reprinted from the November 2011 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.