grandizio.JPGThe 25th Annual Excellence Awards: Honoring the Region’s Small Businesses are coming up in just a couple weeks, on November 1! Small businesses and small business owners are the backbone of the Greater Philadelphia business community (and make up about 85% of our membership), which is why we think it’s important to recognize some of our region’s most successful small businesses for their innovation, diversity, perseverance and entrepreneurial spirit. Each one of this year’s 11 winners has a great story to tell, and so each day leading up to the awards we’re going to profile a different honoree. Kicking off our countdown is Steve Grandizio, President of Friendly Mortgage….

Award: 2008 Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Company: Friendly Mortgage

Recipient: Steve Grandizio, President

Home-grown entrepreneur Steve Grandizio launched Friendly Mortgage in 2003 with his brother Chip, and since then his mortgage brokerage company has taken off, even while the industry has been declining. With a staff of 13 at offices in Old City and West Palm Beach, Florida, Friendly Mortgage helps its clients incorporate their mortgage into their overall financial strategy to increase their safety, liquidity, rate of return and wealth. Steve’s thing is making every client feel comfortable throughout the mortgage process- he describes his business strategy as the “180-degree opposite of impersonal, online mortgage lender.”

Steve’s commitment to the Greater Philadelphia region is evidenced by his work as co-founder and co-chair for Little Smiles of Pennsylvania, a charitable organization for children in local hospitals, hospices and shelters; chair of Covenant House, a national organization providing shelter and assistance to run-away youth; executive committee member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night 2007; and founder and chair of ThurMo Real Estate Networking Group. He’s on the Board of Directors of the Chamber and was last year’s chair of the Chamber’s Young Professionals Network (YPN). Steve also was named in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list this year and featured in its Best Places to Work issue in 2006.

Steve grew up in Media. He graduated from Wilmington College with a BA in Communications in 1993 and a Master’s in Science-Public Administration in 1998. And in between that time, he played professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals!