Twelve entrepreneurs from nine Kentucky counties have been selected as finalists in the 2015 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards program and will be recognized at a regional awards luncheon in September at The Center for Rural Development.
The EIEA program — honoring excellence in entrepreneurship since 2001 — recognizes and promotes small business owners and entrepreneurs in the region who have exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit by creating and managing a successful business enterprise.
This year’s EIEA finalists and their respective award categories are:
Young Entrepreneur — Abby Scott, team leader, Lake Cumberland Kids in Somerset; Aaron Roberts, owner, Yard Farmers, LLC in Somerset; and Kelsey Sebastian, owner, Kelsey’s on Main in Jackson.
Start-Up Business — Kim Gardner, owner, Class 101: College Finance and Planning Eastern Kentucky in Berea; Lidia Godbey, owner/fitness instructor, Turn it Up Dance & Fitness Studio in Somerset; and Blaine Staat, co-owner, Staat’s Bakery in Liberty.
For-Profit Business — Theresa Chambers, owner, Starwood Mountain, Inc. in Manchester; Debbie Dutton, owner, Life is Sweet Café in Somerset; and Garry Conley, owner/president, Minuteman Press of London.
Not-for-Profit Entity — Joe Crawford, executive director, Estill County 21st Century in Irvine; Dr. Eric Loy, chief executive officer/medical director, Cumberland Family Medical Center Inc. in Burkesville; and Dr. David Snow, director, Kentucky Innovation Network in Pikeville.
The program is open to small business owners and entrepreneurs in 55 Kentucky counties, and award criteria is based on the economic success of the enterprise, contribution to the community, and operational achievement.
The EIEA program is sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation and The Center for Rural Development.