Social Driver, a D.C.-based digital innovation firm, has been named a Top Family Business in the nation’s capital by SmartCEO magazine.

Thomas Sanchez, CEO and co-founder, and left in photo, and Anthony Shop, chief strategy officer and co-founder, and right in photo, attended the award ceremony with family, professional and community members. Sanchez and Shop, who are married, launched the firm five years ago.

At Social Driver, stated the agency, family members — most recently, a niece and a cousin — participate in the application and interview process as any other employee would. “We were excited about how well each performed, and their interactions with other staff. It gave us hope for incorporating future family members into our business. As with all new team members, we look to qualifications, but also aptitude and interest, and we provide mentorship and training,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez also has been named a Minority Business Leader by Washington Business Journal, received “The Innovator” award from the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the mayor of D.C. appointed him as an advisor to the District government.

Shop is the first new media professional to be elected to the prestigious National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He founded the Club’s popular “Get It Online” digital media series, which has hosted luminaries from CNN and the White House.

Social Driver was named the seventh fastest-growing agency in the U.S. (The Agency 100) and one of “DC’s Coolest Companies” (DCInno). Last year, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce named it “Supplier of the Year.”

“Family firms make up more than 80 percent of all businesses in North America. Their impact on creating jobs and the economy is undeniable. Not only are they driving innovation, change and stewardship, they are also representatives of the American dream,” said Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, president, SmartCEO. “We are proud to recognize Greater Washington’s top family businesses for their impact on the region and their continued dedication to helping it grow and prosper.”

(Anthony Shop is one of the featured presenters at Capitol Communicator’s PR Summit DC on June 10.)

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