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Cassie Williams, Michael Rodriguez, and Stephen Taylor present Stephanie Wadsworth, third from left, with a framed certificate acknowledging D & W Contracting of Richmond as one of the region's top small businesses in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. Stephanie stepped in for her husband, Donovan, who became ill shortly before the start of the EIEA Hometown Event.

After seeing a steady decline in the remodeling housing market, Madison County entrepreneur and small business owner Donovan Wadsworth changed his business plans.

“Our focus changed from a very broad scope residential remodeling business to a more specialty restoration company,” said Wadsworth, owner of D & W Contracting Inc. of Richmond. “We still complete a few remodeling or new construction jobs each year for various clients, but we specialize in two main categories.”

The business, which opened its doors in 2004, does restoration work in fire, water, and wind damage and home modifications for disabled veterans and workers compensation injuries.

As an entrepreneur, who started a business virtually from the ground floor up, Wadsworth was presented the 2011 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award (EIEA) in the For-Profit Small Business category.

Stephanie Wadsworth stepped in for her husband when he became ill shortly before the start of the program to acknowledge D & M Contracting’s win at an EIEA Hometown Event and catered lunch held earlier this month at June Morning Event Hall in Richmond.

The EIEA program, sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, and The Center for Rural Development, celebrates the success and achievements of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and not-for-profits in 55 Kentucky counties.

“The Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards program was established in 2001 to recognize and honor excellence in entrepreneurs who demonstrate exceptional achievements in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” said EIEA Hometown Event emcee Michael Rodriguez, director of business services for Eastern Kentucky University’s Small Business Development Center. “D & M Contracting Inc. illustrates that the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and well.”

The 2011 EIEA “Decade of Distinction” awards luncheon and program was held Sept. 12 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. Other award recipients were Jonathan Huston, president of, Corbin, For-Profit Business; Sandra G. Dingus, owner, president, and CEO of Drug Testing Centers of America in Paintsville, Start-Up Business; and Cheryl and Mark Martin, co-owners and instructors of Appalachian Foothills Therapeutic Equestrian Center, McKee, Not-For-Profit Entity.