Maureen Denlea won for Fundraiser Who Knows How to Shake the Trees
Best Go-To Lawyer When You’re on the Wrong Side of the Law
“Is that a compliment?” defense lawyer Craig Cooley asks when informed of his win. Cooley has worked every kind of case from capital murder to reckless driving in his 37 years of practice. He won’t always get you off the hook, but he’ll certainly provide counsel and help minimize the damage. “Good lawyers look for the elements of the crime and what the commonwealth can prove,” he says.
2. Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen
3. Hayden Fisher
Event Planner Who Won’t Crumble Under Pressure
After nearly 11 years in business, the founders of Echelon Events have learned not to over-think the process. “It’s not brain surgery. It’s not curing hunger. It’s a fun thing, so you just need to learn to take things lightly,” says Tracey Leverty. She and partner Jessica Corbett plan 20-plus events each year in the Richmond area, including festivals, 5Ks and corporate shindigs.
3. Wendy Wyne/Fête Studios
Public Relations Person or Firm to Hire When Facing a “Situation”
What’s worse than having a “situation” that draws public scrutiny? Not having a plan of action ahead of time, says Brian Ellis, owner and executive vice president of PadillaCRT public relations firm. “Today’s media is just so fast,” he says. “With the social channels out there, you have to be able to respond rapidly.”
2. The Hodges Partnership
3. Posh PR
Seamstress or Tailor for a Drastic Alteration
1344 Gaskins Road, 741-0992
Life happens, and sometimes that bridesmaid’s dress ends up too tight. Bring it on. Or that prom dress feels too poofy? No problem. After 57 years as a tailor, George Livaniou, owner of George’s Alterations has seen it all. “Ladies sometimes order dresses that are too tight, and they come in almost crying, so we fix it,” he says, matter-of-factly.
2. Patti P Tailors
3. Vincent’s Custom Tailor Shop
Shop That Knows How to Make a Furniture Chip or Scratch Disappear
Tinker and Co.
2409 Westwood Ave., 359-1843
Whether it was caused by kids, pets or spouses, Tinker and Co. owner Tony Coleman can help you make the dings, dents and scratches on your furniture disappear. But that’s just a fraction of what his 39-year-old business can do. “We’re a whole lot more than making a scratch disappear,” Coleman says. “
2. Tie: Gates Antiques; Owen Suter’s Fine Furniture
3. Tie: Accent on Wood; Harrison Higgins; Virginia Wayside Furniture
Trainer Who Can Make the Unruliest of Pets Behave
Amanda Nepomuceno /Holiday Barn Pet Resorts
900 Southlake Blvd., 794-5401
Clients call Amanda Nepomuceno of Holiday Barn Pet Resorts the “Midlothian dog whisperer.” But training the dogs is often the easy half of the job. “Communicating with the owners how important it is to be consistent is the most difficult part,” she says. “Dog training doesn’t happen at the flip of a switch. You have to follow through.”
3. Valerie Paul/Impawsible Pups
Store That Finds Just the Right Outfit Last-Minute Outfit
11812 W. Broad St., 364-6900
An on-site stylist can assist even the most frantic fashion-forward customer at Nordstrom. Simply fill out a budget and let them save you the struggle of sifting through the sale racks. “Our salespeople work hard … and part of that is helping customers who come in for a last-minute purchase,” says Nordstrom spokesperson Kelly Skahan.
2. Lex’s of Carytown
3. Saks Fifth Avenue
The Handyman or Handywoman Who'll Fix That Chronically Broken Thing
What can’t Mr. Handyman contractors fix? See if you can stump them. Since 2001, the repair and maintenance business has provided homeowners with a Swiss Army knife’s worth of services, including faulty plumbing repair, drywall patchwork of holes and kitchen facelifts.
2. Mr. Fix-it
3. Aaron Ogburn
The Mechanic Who Can Always Diagnose That Weird Sound Your Car Is Making
Greg McClellan/Paradise Garage
14 S. Allen Ave., 358-5902
Greg McClellan, who bought Paradise Garage in 1999 from the original owner, says that helping customers understand the repairs he performs on their vehicles is the most fulfilling part of his job. But he couldn’t do it without support: “Having a good group of employees is key to being successful at anything,” he says.
2. Allen Tire
3. Tie: Carroll’s Auto Services; Jackson’s Exhaust and Automotive Services; Wallace Automotive
Fundraiser Who Knows How to Shake the Trees
Fundraising is a puzzle for Maureen Denlea, and she has her strategy down pat: Work backwards; think of what you need and want; think of objections people would have to donating; think of a persuasive response. Living in a philanthropic area makes solving the puzzle easier, she says. “Richmond is amazing in that regard.”
2. Alan Hutson
3. SPCA Fur Ball
Best Person to Re-string a Necklace
Tie: Vera’s Fine Jewelers; Schwarzschild Jewelers
Vera’s: 16701 Midlothian Turnpike, 794-5671; Schwarzschild: 3124 W. Cary St., 355-2136 or 1111 E. Main St., No. 800, 643-8121 or 11800 W. Broad St., No. 1312, 967-0800
A snapped strand of pearls is a quick fix for the folks at Vera’s Fine Jewelers, says store manager Bebe Carnahan. Schwarzschild Jewelers is prepared for the task, too, although they’ve yet to make a radio ad about it
2. Tie: Adolf Jewelers; Carerras Jewelers
3. Tie: Bangles and Beads; Steven’s Jewelers
Best Person to Fix a Watch
3124 W. Cary St., 355-2136 or 1111 E. Main St., No. 800, 643-8121 or 11800 W. Broad St., No. 1312, 967-0800
Across its three Richmond locations, Schwarzschild Jewelers has four professional watchmakers, says co-owner Lane Schiffman, who’s the great-grandson of a German watchmaker. The Schwarzschild’s team can handle most any repair, he says, and “if we can’t fix it, we’ll be very honorable about it and help them take the best course of action to have it repaired.”
2. Adolf Jewelers
3. Cowardin’s Jewelers