MONROE, CT —Lucie Voves, founder and CEO of Church Hill Classics, is the only Connecticut manufacturer and female business owner in the state to make Inc. 5000’s list of America’s fastest-growing private companies a record 11 times. In its 40-year existence, only 17 women-led companies have made the Inc. 5000 list that many times, putting Voves in rare company.
As the official awards vendor for Mansueto Ventures, owner of Inc. and Fast Company magazines, Voves not only wins Inc. 5000 awards, her company also manufactures them.
Voves started Church Hill Classics as a moonlighting venture in 1991, building custom frames in her basement. Today, the business is housed in a 62,000-square-foot complex in Monroe. Known online as diplomaframe.com, the company handcrafts custom frames and awards for over 1,600 colleges and universities, the U.S. military, Eagle Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
“We’re celebrating our 30th year in business, so I can’t think of a better anniversary gift. It’s an incredible honor to have made this list for a record 11th time,” remarked Voves. “This is a real tribute to the dedication and commitment of all of our employees who helped us navigate so many challenges in the past year.”
With families looking for meaningful ways to celebrate their graduates during the Covid-19 crisis, the loss of in-person commencements translated into a huge spike in diploma frame sales for Church Hill Classics, according to Voves.
To keep up with increased production, Voves said she nearly doubled her workforce and leased an additional 15,000-square-foot building to store raw materials.
“The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled,” Scott Omelianuk, Inc.’s editor in chief, said of the prestigious honor. “Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people.”
An entrepreneur, who champions female innovators, Voves also made headlines in 2020 when she was named chair of Union Savings Bank’s Board of Trustees. She’s the first woman in the company’s 154-year history to hold that position.
According to Inc. magazine, Voves is one of only 0.5 percent of Inc. 5000 applicants since 1982 to have earned the same recognition on 11 separate occasions.
A profile of diplomaframe.com can be viewed on the Inc. 5000 website at www.inc.com/profile/diplomaframecom and complete results can be found at https://www.inc.com/inc5000. In order to qualify for the Inc. 5000, companies must be for-profit, independent, and privately owned companies based in the U.S with annual revenues of at least $2 million in 2020.