Win a day with Michael Dell + $30,000!

Dell again is teaming with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to recognize successful small businesses using technology in innovative ways.
The Dell/NFIB Small Business Excellence Award, established in 2004, honors small businesses that instill the spirit of innovation and apply information technology (IT) to improve the customer experience. The 2005 award program begins today with the call for applications.
?Technology is a great entrepreneurial enabler and a cornerstone of growing businesses,? said Michael Dell. ?By making smart investments in technology, even small start-ups can expand their industry presence and reach new customers. This award program commends those small-business owners who are leveraging IT to take their organizations to that next level of success.?
Selected by a panel of distinguished judges, the winner of the 2005 award will receive $30,000 in technology and professional services from Dell; a ?Day with Dell? program with Dell executives, including Mr. Dell, to share best business practices; a lifetime membership to NFIB; and other prizes. Nine finalists will receive a Dell Latitude? notebook and a one-year membership to NFIB. Selection of the winner will be announced later this year.
?Small businesses have a history of innovations that have driven productivity and growth in our economy,? said NFIB President and CEO Jack Faris. ?NFIB is pleased to join Dell in recognizing small businesses who have the vision and creativity to use technology to make their businesses better for their customers.?
2004 Dell/NFIB Small Business Excellence Award Winner
One such business, Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc. of Greenville, South Carolina, was selected as the 2004 award winner. The company, a successful, second-generation, family-owned business with 54 employees, offers award-winning pre-designed residential plans, modification services, and technical support for builders, developers and designers. Gardner Architects was chosen as the winner over many other applicants because of the innovative use of the company?s user-friendly Web site ( in an industry where the Web is not widely used.
?Having the right technology in place has made all the difference in the success of our company,? said Angela Santerini, president of Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc. ?Winning this award from Dell and NFIB has not only allowed us to host our Web site in house and upgrade our operating systems, but also taught us about operational efficiencies and ideas for our continued business growth.?
Award Criteria
To be considered for the award, entrant must be a small business with 100 employees or fewer. The company must show how it has used information technology to drive a significant change and/or develop a competitive advantage in delivering superior customer value and experience, including customer case studies. For a complete description of the criteria, rules and regulations, and to submit an application, visit Submissions will be accepted online until March 31, 2005. No purchase or entry fee is required.