23 Small Businesses Announced as Finalists in the 2011 Annual KOSBE Awards

October 25, 2011

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) today announced 23 area small businesses are finalists in the 17th Annual KOSBE Awards, competing for one of several prestigious awards.

KOSBE Award applicants were sought in the following categories:

  1. Business Excellence (under 10 employees)
  2. Business Excellence (10 or more employees)
  3. New Business (in business 12—36 months)
  4. Young Entrepreneur (owner is under 40 years of age)
  5. Innovation
  6. Small Manufacturer
  7. Woman-Owned
  8. Veteran-Owned
  9. Minority-Owned
  10. Impact (can only be nominated by a business competing in any of the above categories)

There were no applicants for the Small Manufacturer (or fabricator) or Minority-Owned business awards this year.

Inaugurated in 1994, the Annual KOSBE Awards is the longest running and most recognized small business-focused awards program in the Tri-Cities area. “All 23 finalists have demonstrated survival skills and in some cases, grown their business despite one of the most difficult economic climates in decades,” said KOSBE Executive Director, Aundrea Wilcox. “This year, we have received more applications than previous years; our business community should be very proud of that.”

Selections will be made based on customer relationship strategy, story of success overcoming adversity, community involvement, marketing creativity and presented strategies for growth.

This year’s awards chair, Janet Callahan, senior account executive with Bristol Motor Speedway said, “This listing of finalists shows that our region is attracting, retaining and growing all types of businesses which are critical to the continued development our local economy.” Callahan further stated, “We must celebrate small businesses and push them towards excellence.”

This year’s finalists are:

  • Aldebaran Financial (Peter Raber)
  • BabyCakes Cupcakery (Natalie Shortridge)
  • Back to Basics Massage Therapies (Margaret Helms)
  • Carriage House (Terri Willis)
  • Cheek Solutions, Inc. (Trever Cheek)
  • Dykes Trucking (Kim Dykes)
  • Fish Window Cleaning (Scott Forney)
  • F & L Limo & Livery (Sherri and Rodney Monroe)
  • Front Row Sports (Donald Lee)
  • HairBender’s Salon (Sheila Ferguson)
  • Hillhouse Graphic Design (Jane Hillhouse)
  • Hot Dog Hut (Ken Carrigan)
  • Korner-Copia (Mary-Beth Morgan)
  • Lake Pointe Advertising and Awards (Larry Burris)
  • Moon Tuxedo (Joni Haynes)
  • Preferred Tax-Free Retirement (Ron Bedford)
  • Rasnick Family Chiropractic (Ben Rasnick)
  • Salt Water Willy’s Bayou Café (Wayne Michelli)
  • Still Transfer (Chris Salyers)
  • Sophisticated Starlet (Jodi Strycharz)
  • Tal’s Auto and Truck Repair (Tal Musick)
  • The Utility Company (Dawn Bouch)
  • The Village at Allandale (Dava Snyder)

In addition to naming the winners of the business competition, KOSBE will also announce the recipient of the Impact Award for an outstanding individual and small business advocate who is nominated by a business who has entered the contest in one of the preceding categories. The individuals nominated for the Impact Award are:

  • Mr. David McClaskey (Pal’s Business Excellence Institute)
  • Mr. Don Royston (Dent K. Burk Associates)
  • Mr. Hank Brown (We Run Events)
  • Mr. Harvey Mitchell (State of Franklin Bank)
  • Ms. Jean Boggs-Rowe (Cumberland Marketing)
  • Mr. Jerry Sluder (Eastman Chemical Company Retiree)
  • Mr. John Lester (Dr. Reddy Laboratories)
  • Ms. Kathy Richards (AdviCoach)
  • Mr. Michael Strycharz (Sophisticated Starlet)
  • Ms. Natalie Shortridge (Babycakes Cupcakery)
  • Mr. Polk Chandler (Reliable Data Solutions)
  • Ms. Sheila Ferguson (HairBenders Salon)
  • Mr. Todd Miller (Holston Medical Group)

Winners and runner-ups from each category will be announced live at a special recognition event on Thursday, December 8, 2011 from 6 – 9 p.m. located at BANQ, 255 Broad Street, 2nd floor in downtown Kingsport. BANQ is located in the historic First National Bank Building.

The public is invited to attend.

General seating tickets are $35 per person, VIP/Reserved seating are $45 per person and both can be purchased online at KOSBE.org by clicking HERE or call (423) 392.8825. Tickets must be purchased in advance to be eligible for prized drawings including a pair of round-trip American Airline tickets to anywhere in the US.

Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased to attend.

2011 Annual KOSBE Award sponsors include:

Title Sponsor: SunTrust Bank

Top-Tier Sponsors: Brock Services, Pathway Lending, Wilson Worley Moore Gamble & Stout, KNETIC Young Professionals and American Airlines

Media Sponsors: Kingsport Times-News and Holston Valley Broadcasting

Award Sponsors: Eastman Chemical Company, WorkSpace Interiors, Triten Insurance, Thompson Metal Services, Food City and Dixie Pen Communications

Event Partners: Lake Pointe Advertising & Awards, Divine Catering & Café, Flowers By CopperCreek, Pristine Springs, Express Signs, Urban Synergy, Café eXcellence and Holston Distributing

Entertainment Sponsor: East Tennessee Eye Care

Red Carpet Sponsor: VIPSeen Tri-Cities

It is the intent of KOSBE to be the go-to organization in the Tri-Cities for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. In partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) at ETSU, KOSBE can more effectively serve the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For a complete listing of services, tools and resources, visit kosbe.org.

The cooperative agreement between KOSBE and East Tennessee State University is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Additional funding is provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state of Tennessee.

To schedule your free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online by phone or e-mail call Marybeth McLain at (423) 392.8825 or e-mail, mmclain@kosbe.org.

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office and your Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), visit tsbdc.org and kosbe.org or call (423) 392.8825. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook, Kosbe – The Small Business Connection, Twitter, @KOSBEConnection, LinkedIn group, KOSBE — The Small Business Connection and our YouTube Channel, KOSBEConnection.