KSBDC, Topeka entrepreneur to recognize 16 Kansas businesses

The Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) has announced the 2011 Emerging and Existing Businesses of the Year. Each of the eight KSBDC selected one emerging and one existing business for the award.

In total, 16 Kansas small businesses will be recognized at a ceremony in Topeka on Tuesday, March 13. The businesses were selected from more than 2,500 entrepreneurs who received KSBDC services in 2011.

"The businesses were selected after careful consideration by our regional directors and consultants," said Greg Panichello, KSBDC state director. "The continuing difficult national economy has provided numerous opportunities for small businesses to adapt and prosper in response. Collectively, we feel these 16 small businesses are excellent examples of small business adaptation and success in challenging times."

During the last two months, business owners participated in video interviews, which will be presented at the awards ceremony. In addition, the award recipients will be presented with a plaque by their state legislators. The award recipients will also be recognized by the Kansas House and Kansas Senate. Resolutions recognizing the business owners will be presented by Sen. Tom Holland D-Baldwin City and Rep. Don Hill R-Emporia. Both are KSBDC Advisory Board members.

The keynote speaker for the event is Martha Bartlett Piland, president and chief executive officer of MB Piland Advertising & Marketing, Topeka. In 1998, she started the company with an innovative new philosophy -- Fat Free Advertising™. Her goal was to provide small- and medium-sized clients with "big agency" strategic planning and creative experience. She utilized the expertise of KSBDC consultants when she was starting her business.

"The professionals from the KSBDC provide a depth of expertise to anyone thinking about starting a business. I think they've seen it all, so they have great perspective," she said. "I appreciated their sound advice in MB Piland’s startup phase, and as an established business owner, I find the KSBDC a good resource for objective feedback and opportunities for continued learning."

Emerging and Existing Businesses of the Year:

Studio K Photography
Kelli Higgins, owner

AT-HOME Health Care Inc.
David and Teresa Hurlocker, owners

The Kitchen and Closet Solution
Dustin Rupke and Brent Seib, owners

RoadRuner Manufacturing LLC
Brad and Marie Skolout, owners

Project Fitness LLC
Joey Kelch, owner
Garden City

The Main ARTery
Jeani Gustafson, owner

Emily Hart Bridal
Emily Miller-Brown, owner

hr-haven inc.
Belinda Waggoner, ownerOverland Park

The Wreath Depot
Steve LaForge and Jim Bennett, owners

Risley Chiropractic
Scott Risley, owner

Phelps’s Hog Heaven
Rick and Carol Phelps, owners

Kids Kingdom
Mona and Leland Hull, owners

Billy Vanilly
Allyson Fiander, owner

Renaissance Cellars Winery
Tim Akers, Eric Stevenson, Marcia Stevenson and Rich Stevenson, owners
St. Marys

Clearwater Engineering Inc.
David and Diane Cool, owners

Grassland Gardens Nursery & Flower Farm
Trish Remley, owner

For more information, contact Anne Woods, KSBDC assistant director of marketing and training, at 785-296-6514.

The Kansas Small Business Development Center Network is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Kansas Department of Commerce. KSBDC is nationally accredited through the Association of Small Business Development Centers by congressional mandate.

KSBDC receives funding from and partners with higher education and economic development organizations to provide Kansas entrepreneurs with no-cost business consulting and resources for starting, maintaining and growing their businesses. The statewide host for the KSBDC is Fort Hays State University. For more information about the KSBDC Network, contact 877-625-7232 or www.kansas.gov/ksbdc.

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