Small Business of the Year 


Highbridge Springs Water was named the 2022 Small Business of the Year at an August luncheon, the recipient of this year’s Commerce Lexington award in the Business Success Category. Highbridge Springs was chosen from three different category winners.  

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022, Highbridge Springs Water Company bottles and delivers pure, limestone-filtered drinking water from a natural spring fed by an underground aquifer above the Kentucky River palisades next to High Bridge in Jessamine County. Linda Griffin currently serves as president of the company, but it was her father, Bill, who purchased an inactive quarry in the mid-1970’s to possibly use in a warehousing capacity. He later realized that to use the space, he had to figure out how to address moisture issues caused by water gushing from the ceiling. Thus, Highbridge Springs was born.

Today, Highbridge Springs is one of the oldest women-owned companies in the state, has 35 employees, and bottles over 20,000 gallons of water per day, which is delivered to customers in Central and Southeastern Kentucky and shipped into eight neighboring states.

Additional Category Winners include: 

VOLO Careers International, Minority Business Award 

Led by CEO Everett Bracken, VOLO has been helping its clients close the gender gap by identifying a large pool of extraordinary women and historically underrepresented groups for every senior-level search.  

Business Success Award: Highbridge Springs

Astral, Entrepreneur Award

Astral’s customers include everything from individual studio owners to the largest boutique fitness company in the world, while its partners span individual apparel designers, nationally-recognized brands, and overseas raw materials suppliers. Astral was founded in 2015 when Megan Brooks saw a problem at one fitness studio and sought to find out how broad it was.

Greenhouse 17, NonProfit Community Impact Award 

GreenHouse17 is the state-designated provider of domestic violence services in the 17-county central Kentucky region (formerly known as Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program).  

Lexington-based Rubicon Goes Public

Rubicon was founded in Lexington by its current Chairman and CEO, and ninth-generation Kentuckian, Nate Morris. The company maintains its global headquarters here in Lexington. 

Rubicon Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: RBT) (“Rubicon” or “the Company”), a leading digital marketplace for waste and recycling and provider of innovative software-based products for businesses and governments worldwide, officially began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in August.

Rubicon CEO, Nate Morris

Morris says, “This is a great day for Rubicon, a company I started right here in Kentucky with a $10,000 line of credit and maxed out credit cards,”  adding, “It is a great day for Kentucky, because it shows that a world class technology company can be founded and thrive right here in the Commonwealth, and that innovation isn’t limited to the East or West Coasts.”

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton says, “The company’s decision to locate here was an important milestone in the growth and development of our tech sector. As recycling and sustainability become more and more critical to our world, the need for Rubicon’s digital solutions for waste and recycling grows.”

Lexington Councilmember Amanda Bledsoe says,  “I have been thrilled by their investment in our community and many partnerships across the state.”

Commerce Lexington Inc. President and CEO, Bob Quick says “Rubicon’s innovative solution to waste and recycling management is changing the way the world thinks about achieving a more sustainable future.”

Woodford Webb, President of The Webb Companies adds, “We are thrilled to have them in Lexington as well as City Center.”

Nate Morris was the first Kentuckian to be named to Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list.