Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. honored one individual and four companies during its annual dinner Wednesday evening at the Medford Red Lion.

Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. honored one individual and four companies during its annual dinner Wednesday evening at the Medford Red Lion.

Steve Vincent, Avista Corp.'s regional business manager for Oregon, received the Inspiration Award, which goes to a volunteer who inspires the SOREDI staff through his efforts.

"Steve has so much commitment and passion for what we do," said Colleen Padilla, SOREDI's senior business development manager. "He's always there helping with so much energy. He poured countless hours as well as money — representing Avista — into the formation of the Southern Oregon Angel Conference. He has a contagious enthusiasm about him for what we do in economic development."

Vincent is among the founders of the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network, which connects investors and entrepreneurs. The network seeks applications from the entrepreneurs and whittles the list down to a group of finalists. The finalists present their ideas to a panel that selects the winners of the funding.

In 2011, the investment prize was $155,000, but grew to about $300,000 as more investors joined in. This year's prize started at $165,000.

On Wednesday, SOREDI also presented the Collaboration Award to Rogue Federal Credit Union, Grange Co-op, Medford Food Co-op and Ashland Food Co-op, who joined together to create Rogue Co-ops.

The award went to a group of businesses setting aside competitive concerns for the good of one or more businesses and community.

Rogue Co-ops touches a combined 90,000 members in Southern Oregon and Northern California. The group vowed to put people ahead of profits and challenge each other to operate by ethical standards. They donated nearly $250,000 to community service organizations, charities and events during 2011.

Other nominees in the category were the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Motorcycle USA.

Classic Trolley of Medford captured the Tenacity Award, persevering through difficult times, gaining efficiencies and integrating lean processes, while building a stronger presence in the local economy.

Classic Trolley has been crafting replica trolley cars and concession trailers for nearly 20 years. The hand-crafted, hand-milled oak woodwork and solid brass hardware trolleys are shipped worldwide. With the help of SOREDI, Classic Trolley owner John Hagler was able to produce orders for Dubai during the recession, while building coffee stands for Dutch Bros. and Human Bean.

Recognition Specialties of Grants Pass, Cascade Peak Spirits of Ashland, Cielo Salon in Medford and Murphy Plywood's Rogue River operation were other nominees.

Playground equipment maker Krauss Craft of Grants Pass earned the Prosperity Award for its significant market, product and sales growth during the past 12 months.

Krauss Craft's beginnings go back more than two decades in Cave Junction when it began making playground equipment from secondary wood products. The company now uses state-of-the-art materials with a focus on municipal projects and schools. The company has gone through a recent expansion, using enterprise zone tax benefits.

Other nominees were: Cascade Metal Recycling from Grants Pass, Rising Sun Farms of Phoenix, Mycorrhizal Applications in Grants Pass and Murphy Plywood of Rogue River.

Global Caché of Jacksonville claimed the Ingenuity Award for companies or entrepreneurs who have created a new product in the marketplace or brought a previously unavailable product or service to Southern Oregon.

Since its inception in 2002, Global Caché has focused on open systems, industry standards, strategic partnering and product innovation to play a key role in the control and automation industry. The company provides Internet-based control systems for home and office.

Also nominated were: Terramai of Medford, Durolast Roofing in Grants Pass and E-Myth in Ashland.