If you were to ask 2010 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award (EIEA) winners Shannon and Kendall Wright of Pike County what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, they would probably say, “Think big.”
Thinking big helped the brothers—owners of Wright Concrete and Construction Company based in Dorton, Ky.—grow and greatly expand their business through the years, and they are now recognized among the top entrepreneurs in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.
As EIEA award recipients in the For-Profit Business category, Shannon and Kendall Wright were honored for their business accomplishments and success as entrepreneurs before family members, friends, and invited guests on Dec. 10 at an EIEA Hometown Event held at Landmark Inn in Pikeville.
“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,” program emcee Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, said. “Shannon and Kendall Wright and Wright Concrete and Construction illustrate that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and provide perfect examples of how small businesses remain the backbone of our region’s—and the state’s—economy.”
Shannon Wright originally started the business in 1998 and was soon joined by his brother, Kendall, who stepped in to help with the day-to-day operations.
“We both are involved in the business, but Shannon is probably more involved in the business side of business and I am more involved in the actual operation of the business and what’s taking place out in the field,” Kendall Wright said. “We bounce a lot of ideas off each other. That’s how we came up with some of the niche, or specialty work, that we do for our customers.”
In response to customer needs, the company has expanded its services to include a drilling business, Wright Way Drilling and Exploration; a concrete construction supply company, Wright Way Supply; Wright Way Pumping, which provides concrete pumping services; Wright Way Ready-Mix; and Wright Concrete Underground, which provides concrete services inside mines.
“To be successful, you have to dream big,” Shannon Wright said. “You have to be able to have no limitations on what you feel you can accomplish.”
Other 2010 EIEA recipients include Amber Stone, owner of Body of Stone Fitness, London, Ky., Start-Up Business; and 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 for Rural Development.
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.