LONDON, Ky. — At Body of Stone Fitness, their business slogan is simple—“Fitness that fits your life.”
But it takes commitment and determination to build a well-rounded health and fitness program for people of all ages and walks of life in Laurel County. Successfully doing so has earned owner Amber Stone recognition as one of the top small business owners and entrepreneurs in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.
The recipient of a 2010 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award (EIEA) in the Start-Up Business category, Stone was honored for her win at an Oct. 15 luncheon held at the Laurel County Courthouse.
The program was the first of four EIEA Hometown Events planned to honor each of the program’s award recipients in their home communities or other selected venues before an audience of their peers and invited guests.
“The Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards (EIEA) program was established in 2001 to recognize and honor excellence in entrepreneurs who demonstrate exceptional achievements in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” Larry Combs, director of business services at The Center for Rural Development and emcee at the event, said. “Body of Stone Fitness illustrates that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and is a perfect example of how small businesses remain the backbone of our region’s—and the state’s—economy.”
Stone was announced as an EIEA winner on Sept. 13 at the annual awards luncheon, which featured U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) as special guest at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. She was one of three finalists in the Start-Up Business category.
“It is an honor just to be nominated, but to win helps me to validate the hard work I have put into my business,” Stone said. “I am proud to be able to offer the kind of health and wellness services we do for the people of Laurel County.”
Body of Stone Fitness, located at 210 North Broad Street, Suite 400, in downtown London, is a fitness studio specializing in group fitness classes and personal and group fitness training.
Stone moved back to Laurel County in 2004 to start her own business. She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Morehead State University and has worked in the fitness industry for more than 12 years.
Other 2010 EIEA recipients include Shannon and Kendall Wright, owners of Wright Concrete and Construction Inc., Dorton, Ky., For-Profit Business; Kaye Bowman, Stacey Wilson, and David Bowman, owners of Community Medical Services Inc., Columbia, Ky., For-Profit Small Business; and Dr. Ron Hustedde, director of Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute and University of Kentucky (UK) Department of Community and Leadership, Lexington, Ky., Not-for-Profit Entity.
The EIEA program is sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, and The Center.
Awards are based on economic success of the enterprise, contributions to the community, and job creation and operational achievements as measured by innovative business practices, superior safety achievements, and superior technology.
For more information on the EIEA program, visit The Center’s Web site at centertech.com and click 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.