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Business, nonprofit leaders named finalists for 2010 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards

By: Sharon Dodson, The Center for Rural Development
By: Sharon Dodson, The Center for Rural Development

Finalists in the 2010 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards (EIEA) program have been announced and will be recognized at the program’s awards luncheon—featuring special guest speaker U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05)—on Sept. 13 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky.

The EIEA selection committee has named three finalists in each of the four awards categories that honor businesses or not-for-profit organizations for exemplifying the spirit of entrepreneurship and playing an important role in growing the economy of Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

The 2010 EIEA finalists and their respective categories are:

For-Profit Business
· Shannon Wright and Kendall Wright, owners, Wright Concrete and Construction Inc., Dorton, Ky.
· Tommy and Gwen Mitchell, owners, Rocky Top Log Furniture, Lancaster, Ky.
· William P. Hardy, director of planning, Carhartt Inc., Irvine, Ky.

For-Profit Small Business
· Kaye Bowman, owner, Community Medical Services Inc., Columbia, Ky.
· Frances D. Snowden, owner, Ravenna Florist and Greenhouse, Ravenna, Ky.
· Timothy Howard and David Howard, co-owners, Howard Engineering and Geology Inc., Harlan, Ky.

Start-Up Business
· Amber Stone, owner, Body of Stone Fitness, London, Ky.
· Nick Noble, president and co-founder, The Fortress Group Inc., (doing business as Park Mammoth Resort, Park City, Ky.
· Sandra G. Dingus, owner, president, and CEO, Drug Testing Centers of America, Paintsville, Ky.

Not-for-Profit Entity
· Dr. Ron Hustedde, director, Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute, UK Department of Community and Leadership, Lexington, Ky.
· Dr. David Worthy, CEO, Grace Community Health Center Inc., Gray, Ky.
· Ken Russell, president, Horse Cave Development Corporation, Horse Cave, Ky.

Winners in each category will be announced at the EIEA awards luncheon, set to begin at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 13 at The Center, located in Somerset at 2292 South U.S. 27 at Traffic Light 15. All finalists will also be recognized.

Rogers, who has represented Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District since 1981, will deliver a special guest address at the event. Larry Hayes, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, will deliver the keynote address. Dr. Robert Rogow, dean of Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Business and Technology, will serve as this year’s emcee.

In addition to the award finalists, winners in the EIEA Collegiate Competition and The Center’s youth Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) Business Concept Competition also will be recognized at the luncheon.

The awards program is sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, and The Center for Rural Development.

Tickets to the event are $20 per person and may be purchased by contacting The Center at 606-677-6000 or via e-mail at enea@centertech.com. Reservations must be made by Aug. 31.

Award winners are determined by the economic success of the enterprise, contributions to the community, and job creation and operational achievement as measured by innovative business practices, superior safety achievement, and superior technology.

For more information on EIEA program, visit The Center’s Web site at www.centertech.com and clink on the EIEA link. A video library of previous EIEA award finalists may be viewed on the KEAN (Kentucky Entrepreneur Accelerator Network) Web site at www.kyean.org or through a link on The Center’s Web site.

To be eligible for EIEA competition, businesses must be located in one of the following 55 Southern and Eastern Kentucky counties: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Boyle, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Taylor, Wayne, Whitley, or Wolfe.

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