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Click here to view photographs of the 2012 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards (EIEA) recipients, finalists, and other highlights at this year’s luncheon and regional awards program.

2012 EIEA Young Entrepreneur winner Hong R. Zhang Durandal

Fifteen small business owners, entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations in Southern and Eastern Kentucky were recognized for their successful business accomplishments and helping grow the region’s economy at the 2012 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards (EIEA) program.

The regional awards program, held Sept. 10 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, honored the top three finalists in each of the five EIEA business award categories for exemplifying the nimble and creative spirit of entrepreneurship.

The EIEA program—honoring excellence since 2001—is sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED), and The Center.

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of America, engineering ideas that create jobs, stabilize the economy, and expand community industries,” U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) said in a special videotaped message to this year’s EIEA winners and finalists played at the luncheon. “Southern and Eastern Kentucky communities depend on entrepreneurs as a key component in enhancing economic development opportunities and providing families with good paying jobs and reliable benefits.”

The 2012 EIEA award winners and finalists in their respective business categories include:

For-Profit Business EIEA Award Recipient
Masato Sugimura, Lincoln Manufacturing USA, LLC, Stanford, Ky.

Finalists: Anthony and Julie Roberts, Servpro of Pulaski and Laurel Counties, London, Ky.; and Bob and Tom Hutchison, McDonald’s of East Kentucky, Paintsville, Ky.

For-Profit Small Business EIEA Award Recipients
Jeff Parmelee PT and Terry Randall PT, Total Rehab Center, Somerset, Ky.

Finalists: Shane Baker, CEO, Co-Owner, and Dr. Patrick Heist, CSO, Co-Owner, Ferm Solutions, Inc., Danville, Ky.; and Sarah Culbreth and Jeff Enge, Owners and Potters, Tater Knob Pottery, Berea, Ky.

Start-Up Business EIEA Award Recipients
Scott Maddux and Shane Richmond, Wildcat Harley-Davidson, London, Ky.

Finalists: Nick Noble and Nate Noble, Park Mammoth Resort, Park City, Ky.; and Troy Lay, Daniel Tolson, and Michael Carpenter, Owners, Alternative Energies Kentucky, LLC, Danville, Ky.

Not-for-Profit Entity EIEA Award Recipient
Grace Community Health Center
, Gray, Ky.

Finalists: Bobby W. Grant, President and C.V.O., Twin Lakes Family Wellness Center, Albany, Ky.; and Jeff Rubin, Executive Director, and Jerry K. Palmer, PhD., Board Secretary, Body Recall Inc., Berea, Ky.

Young Entrepreneur EIEA Award Recipient
Hong R. Zhang Durandal, Owner, and Peter H. Hackbert, Mentor, Energy Hunters LLC, Berea, Ky.

Finalists: Jared Sizemore, Owner, Juggling Jared, Pineville, Ky.; and Todd Duff, Owner, LowGap Outfitters, LLC, Hindman, Ky.

“Despite the uncertainty of the economy, this year’s award recipients, representing a range of industry sectors, demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit in the region is alive and well,” said Stephen Taylor, EIEA committee chairman and development director for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation.

EIEA nominations are accepted from within a 55-county region of Southern and Eastern Kentucky. Nominees are judged on the economic success of the enterprise, contributions to the community, job creation, and operational achievement as measured by innovative business practices, superior safety achievement, and superior technology.

Contributing partners for the 2012 EIEA luncheon and regional awards program were A T & T, Forcht Bank, and Forcht Group of Kentucky, Gold Sponsors; Outdoor Venture Corporation, Silver Sponsor; Innovation and Commercialization Centers, Schafer’s Catering, and Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, Bronze Sponsors; and Appalachian Development Alliance, Citizens Guaranty Bank, Eastern Kentucky University Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program, Five Talents Financial Group, Richmond Chamber of Commerce, and Rockcastle County Chamber of Commerce, Friends Level Sponsors.

For more information on the EIEA program, contact The Center for Rural Development at 606-677-6000 or EKU’s College of Business and Technology at 859-622-2334.

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