Decorative tile maker Questech Corp. recently garnered a 2006 New England Innovation Award from the Smaller Business Association of New England. With this honor, the Rutland, Vt.-based company joins an exalted list of New England luminaries including past winners Ben & Jerry's, Green Mountain Coffee and the Vermont Teddy Bear Co.
"It is truly an honor to be among this select group of innovative and successful companies," said Barry Culkin, president and CEO of Questech. "This award reflects our commitment to artistry and imagination, honoring our pledge to find original ways to make people's homes more beautiful and welcoming."
The company's lines include Cast Metal, Cast Stone and Natural Stone tile, all of which are protected by Q-Seal factory-applied sealer. The Cast Metal tiles are made using a metal casting process invented by company founder Roger Questel. According to Culkin, this process, which emphasizes environmental safety, "allowed us to launch the industry's first mass-produced cast metal tiles, creating an important category in the tile and home improvement markets."
The Smaller Business Association of New England is a nonprofit organization established in 1938 to promote small businesses. For two decades, the association has been holding annual New England Innovation Awards with an eye toward recognizing New England companies that demonstrate innovation in successful enterprises. A panel of 42 judges evaluated this year's 172 nominees, and Questech was among the six winners chosen. Top honors also went to: Aurora Imaging Technology, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Equal Exchange, iRobot and Insulet Corp.