Small Business Winners Announced for the 2011 Annual KOSBE Awards

Kingsport, TN, December 19, 2011 --( The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) has named the winners of the 17th Annual KOSBE Awards last night at the celebration ceremony held at BANQ in downtown, Kingsport.

Tal’s Auto and Truck Repair (Tal Musick) took First Place in the category for the Young Entrepreneur Award (owner is under age 40). Babycakes Cupcakery (Natalie Shortridge) was named Runner-Up for the Young Entrepreneur Award.

Rasnick Family Chiropractic (Ben Rasnick) took First Place in the category for the New Business Award (in operation for at least 12 months but not more than 36 months). Salt Water Willy’s Bayou Cafe (Wayne Michelli) was named Runner-Up for the New Business Award.

The Village at Allandale (Dava Snyder) took First Place in the category for the Innovation Award. Still Transfer Company (Chris Salyers) was named Runner-Up for the Innovation Award.

Hillhouse Graphics Design (Jane Hillhouse) took First Place in the category for the Business Excellence Employing Under 10 Employees Award. Ken’s Hot Dog Hut (Ken Carrigan) was named Runner-Up for the Under 10 Employees Award.

Aldebaran Financial (Peter Raber) took First Place in the category for the Veteran-Owned Business Award (a business that is at least 51% or more veteran-owned, managed, and controlled). There was no runner-up in this category.

F & L Limo & Livery (Sherrie Monroe) took First Place in the category for the Woman-Owned Business Award (a business that is at least 51% or more woman-owned, managed, and controlled). Back to Basics Massage Therapies (Margaret Helms) was named Runner-Up for Woman-Owned Business Award.

Lake Pointe (Larry Burris) took First Place in the category for the Business Excellence Employing 10 Employees and Up Award. Dykes Trucking (Kim Dykes) was named Runner-Up for the 10 Employees and Up Award.

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

Selections for the above categories were made based on customer relationship strategy, story of success overcoming adversity, community involvement, marketing creativity and presented strategies for growth. Applications were reviewed by a panel of seven judges who collectively made their selections based on information provided in the application and private interviews.

The recipient of the Impact Award for an outstanding individual and small business advocate was presented to Kathy Richards (AdviCoach). Kathy Richards is a Business Coach, CPA, Quickbooks Guru and Problem-Solver. Earlier this year, Kathy was named AdviCoach Franchisee of the Year. She has served as a member of the KOSBE Volunteer Council for the past two years. According to Mary-Beth Morgan, owner of Korner-Copia, “Kathy has always offered suggestions and honest opinions. She has offered marketing ideas and has been a huge referral source for me and my business.”

Each winner and runner-up received a KOSBE award on stage, will receive recognition during Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE events, digital award emblem to display on their company literature and website, spotlight on Kingsport Chamber and KOSBE websites, social media channels and recognition in the Kingsport Times-News. Past winners are often first in line for free marketing opportunities, special interviews and public relations exposure.

In addition, a Judge’s Choice Award, The Caped Crusader Award, was presented to KOSBE Executive Director, Aundrea Wilcox for her dedication and commitment to the Kingsport small business community. “Every year the judging is more difficult than the previous year simply because of the number of applicants who demonstrate a high degree of customer focus and insistence on quality,” said Larry Maston, Lead Judge and Individual Certified Public Accountant. “Aundrea has been a key contributor towards building these businesses,” he continued. “Because Aundrea offers quiet leadership and wise counseling often at a high personal cost, the judges felt that special recognition of her contribution was long overdue.”

Also during the ceremony, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Miles Burdine and KOSBE Chair Steve Swinney of First Bank and Trust presented Bill Gatton, owner and general manager of Bill Gatton Chevrolet-Cadillac and Bill Gatton Honda, with an appreciation gift in recognition of his dedication to small business and future commitment to local community development. Gatton’s interactive discussion at the event, which was moderated by Jim Bailey, television personality and former news anchor, was centered around five key areas of focus: Innovation, Perseverance, Sticking to Gut Instincts, Stamina/Staying Power and Adaptability.

2011 Annual KOSBE Award sponsors included:

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, Holston Distributing and Action Rentals and Sales.

Entertainment Sponsor: East Tennessee Eye Care

Red Carpet Sponsor: VIPSeen Tri-Cities
The awards ceremony was recorded by Times Digital Group, a web design media marketing group in Tri-Cities, and will be shown on YouTube, and the City of Kingsport's government access channel, MyTown Channel 16 TV, in the coming months.

Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship KOSBE
Marybeth McLain, Small Business Services Marketing Manager
(423) 392.8811