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Updated: January 10, 2022 / Best of Business 2022

Best of Business 2022: Multimedia services

Louis Papile, Jr. (left), president of Engraveables

Awards ceremonies, corporate events, local sports teams, and milestone gifts, often all incorporate the finishing touch of personalization to make the memento special for the recipient. Through his company Engraveables, Louis Papile, Jr., is happy to be part of peoples’ celebrations. 

Founded in 1984 by Louis Papile, Sr., Engraveables originally began as a sporting goods store. In addition to supplying sports equipment, Papile’s father offered engraving on the small trophies he sold. Over the years, customer demand for engraving superseded the sporting goods, so the family focused solely on that.

Papile joined his father’s business in 1998. He joked he worked harder for less money and no benefits.

“But it was the best thing I ever did. I wasn’t punching a timeclock anymore,” he said.

Papile proudly carries his family’s legacy, even after his father’s passing. Engraveables now is a third-generation business with Papile’s daughter on the team, but he hopes his baby grandson will one day take over.

“We pride ourselves on engraving whatever we can, not just what we sell. We will engrave anything,” Papile said.

The oddest things Papile has engraved include a $3,000 bottle of whiskey, an Olympic-torch-styled award, a copper water can, and a steel cooking pan.

The shop has a diamond cutter, a carbon dioxide laser, and sand-etching machine, meaning everything from painted surfaces to glass can be customized. The fiber laser is Papile’s latest addition and gives him the ability to engrave on metal surfaces such as titanium.

Engraveables’ showroom allows customers to see all the award options to feel the trophies. Papile said physically feeling the awards is a very important part of the purchasing process and is lost when people order online.

Over the years, the demand for engravings and trophies has shifted, with most of Papile’s work coming from corporate events and businesses.

The company has seen many ups and downs in the market since 1984, the worst being the COVID pandemic and competition with internet-based companies. Papile is convinced Engraveables’ reputation is what made his mostly word-of-mouth business succeed.

-- Story written by Sloane M. Perron

* denotes repeat winner

Best IT Services Provider

Cinch I.T.*
Location: Worcester,
Top executive: President Rick Porter
Founded: 2004
Employees: 46

Cinch I.T. opened five new locations throughout the U.S. in 2021, giving the company 11 spots across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, Michigan, and Utah. Cinch serves its clients best by focusing on its team, creating a culture of dedicated individuals who strive to provide the best IT support possible.

Notable runners-up: ClearCom IT Solutions, Inc., Machado Consulting

Best Commercial Printer

Curry Printing*

Location: Westborough,
Top executive: President Peter Gardner
Founded: 1978
Employees: 30

Curry has a strong focus on understanding clients’ needs so the company can help them achieve more and get better results, constantly striving to learn everything about the challenges clients face. At Curry, 2021 was a build-back year, trying to return to pre-COVID sales levels. This focus translated to understanding how clients were pivoting in the new normal. That translated into a resurgence in sales for Curry, which met its goals.

Notable runners-up: Miles Press, Inc., AlphaGraphics

Best Video Production Company

Pagano Media*

Location: Worcester,
Top executive: CEO Kathleen Pagano
Founded: 1981
Employees: 9

Pagano Media fuses design, digital technology and data to spark growth. It is a boutique digital marketing agency focusing on creating world-class branding, website design & development, video production, digital marketing campaigns, and live events. Last year turned out to be an important one for Pagano, as video helped clients overcome the challenges of COVID, while Pagano celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Notable runners-up: Studio Jade, PENTA Communications, Inc.

Best Advertising Agency

PENTA Communications, Inc.*

Location: Westborough,
Top executive: Founder & CEO Deborah Penta
Founded: 1989
Employees: 17

For more than 30 years, PENTA has served as a fully integrated strategic marketing partner, supporting numerous organizations throughout Central Massachusetts. In 2021, PENTA strategized with clients to help them improve strategies, and create and offer innovative services to sustain and grow, including reaching its clients’ customers to engage and strengthen communications during COVID.

Notable runners-up: Davis Advertising, Studio Jade

Best Web Design Firm

PENTA Communications, Inc.*

Location: Westborough,
Top executive: Founder & CEO Deborah Penta
Founded: 1989
Employees: 17

PENTA has been providing website design and development services to clients for more than 20 years. Customized designs, SEO strategy and ongoing analytics management, and the creation of sites focus on clients’ goals and exceptional visitor experiences. Every website has unique objectives, so every project fulfills customized goals and strategic creative solutions to achieve performance backed up by data analytics.

Notable runners-up: Worcester Interactive, Studio Jade

Best Virtual Assistance Company

Simplify, Simplify

Location: Worcester,
Top executive: Liz August, business+tech strategist & owner
Founded: 2019
Employees: 1

Simplify, Simplify helps service-based online business owners with tasks so they can save time, create more, and enjoy life away from the computer screen while still amplifying their businesses. In 2021, the firm expanded from one person to a team of freelancers all managed by the owner, Liz August. This allows the firm to serve more businesses by speeding up turnaround time and expanding knowledge of more platforms.

Best Sign Company

Sunshine Sign Co., Inc.*

Location: North Grafton,
Top executive: President & Founder Dave Glispin
Founded: 1986
Employees: 32

Sunshine Sign approaches its job as a special collaborative relationship meshing its clients’ visions with its expertise to deliver creative and functional signage solutions. The company marked 35 years in business in 2021, celebrating a family-like culture where everyone not only works well together but looks out for each other.

Notable runners-up: Serrato Signs, Gemini Sign Letters

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