The Kansas Small Business Development Center presented its fifth annual Emerging and Existing Businesses of the Year Awards Ceremony at the state capitol building on March 11. Nineteen Kansas small businesses were recognized for their accomplishments and presented plaques by their Kansas legislators. These businesses were selected from more than 2,200 business that received KSBDC services in 2007.
The event opened with remarks from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who thanked the business owners for contributing to the economic prosperity of Kansas and encouraged them to help others who may want to go into business for themselves.
"You are being honored for your entrepreneurial skills and willingness to actually step up and create a business. That takes an enormous amount of courage, vision, business planning and willingness to take a little risk," she said. "I hope others can learn from you in the future."
Sebelius also thanked Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, for two decades of leadership. FHSU is the host university of the Kansas Small Business Development Center Network.
Wally Kearns, state KSBDC director, introduced guest speaker Antonio Doss, associate administrator of the office of Small Business Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C. Doss emphasized that the award recipients represent true entrepreneurism.
"You represent what is important to this country. You represent entrepreneurism. It is your drive, your energy, your commitment actually, that fuels this economy that makes this nation something special."
Doss recognized the award recipients for being willing to at some point in their lives make a choice to open a business.
"You decided, as the governor said, to take a risk. When you take a risk and go into small business, you know there is an opportunity to realize your dreams but also there is no guarantee."
This is a special year for the KSBDC, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The KSBDC has been an integral player in economic development in Kansas since its inception in October 1983. KSBDC clients create new wealth in Kansas by starting and growing businesses, creating and saving jobs and accessing capital. Since its inception, KSBDC has consulted with 82,000 Kansas entrepreneurs. In addition, 82,452 Kansans have participated in 4,863 KSBDC workshops.
Award recipients for 2007 are listed alphabetically with locations and owners.
A Box 4 U, Wichita, Jeff Lange.
Chavez Restoration, Lawrence and Topeka, Dan Chavez, Trinidad Chavez and Richard Chavez.
CHC Creative Remodeling, Lenexa, Kevin and Judy Transue.
Front Row Sports, Garnett, Roger and Sandy Sample.
Protown Glass & Body (also a 2006 recipient), Protection, John and Patricia Gean.
Sensei Salon LLC, Emporia, Marlina and Gary Poff, owners.
Smith Audio Visual Inc., Topeka, Larry Heilman.
Sunflower Home Health Inc., Garden City, Christa McKinney.
The Feathered Nest, Tibbetts Brothers Inc., Belleville, Lynette Beam.
The Western Times, Sharon Springs, Julie Samuelson.
Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates, Wichita, Beth Tully.
Fox Pavilion, Hays, Brooks Kellogg.
JC Mortgage & Title Company, Junction City, Brenda Gentry.
Johnny Brusco’s New York Style Pizza, Overland Park, Mike Gleason.
KC’s Cippi Salsa, Hugoton and Kismet, Kimberly and Christopher Sandoval.
Pony Express Service Center LLC, Hanover, John L. Diederich.
Sunflower Gymnastics LLC, Osage City, Emporia and Burlington, David and Stacie Doemland.
The Decorum, Pittsburg, Judy Dugan.
Wheat State Pizza LLC, Lawrence, Ryan Murphy.
The Kansas Small Business Development Center Network is a statewide network of business assistance centers. The network provides free, confidential, one-on-one consulting designed to find practical solutions to business problems. The KSBDC is administered by Fort Hays State University and is a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Kansas Department of Commerce.
The centers are located at Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Garden City Community College, Johnson County Community College, Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas, Washburn University (Washburn University in Topeka and an outreach center in Manhattan), Wichita Sate University (Wichita State University in Wichita and an outreach center at Cloud County Community College in Concordia).
Two new outreach centers recently opened at Allen County Community College in Iola and Independence Community College in Independence. These centers are a collaborative partnership with Emporia State University and Pittsburg State University.
For more information contact Anne Woods by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (785) 296-6514.