The commercial cleaning business owners win the annual award.
PUNTA GORDA — Rob and Annette Lopez, Air Force veterans who operate ServiceMaster-CCS, won the Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award at a ceremony in Fort Myers.
BB&T-Oswald Trippe and BB&T Bank sponsor the competition each year to recognize small business owners who have overcome adversity and succeeded in private enterprise with the hope that others will learn from their experiences. More than 500 people attended the luncheon ceremony in downtown Fort Myers.
Rob Lopez, who started the business with his wife in 2007 with one employee, underwent seven brain operations after becoming gravely ill but kept running and growing his commercial cleaning business, even working from his hospital bed.
“ServiceMaster-CCS epitomizes the spirit and resolve of America's small businesses,” says Frederick Nerone, chief investment officer of Hodges University and Blue Chip Award judge, in a statement. “Most people are not aware of the sacrifices that are made by entrepreneurs as they don't like to talk about themselves or their achievements. ServiceMaster illustrates everything that is right about our small businesses and their unique ability to overcome adversity and create jobs.”
Today, the Punta Gorda-based ServiceMaster franchise employs 22 part-time employees and three full-time people. The company expanded into Lee County in 2009.