The selected judges have been chosen for their knowledge and expertise of small business ownership and management and their understanding of current small business trends.
• Ms. Carolyn Pierson Cook—Owner, Absolute Communications
• Ms. Angela Conner—Vice President/Community Development Manager, SunTrust Bank
• Mr. Ken Frohlich—Owner, GTS Refreshment Services
• Mr. Keith Joy—Director of Small Business Programs, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• Mr. James Phillips—President, KNETIC Young Professionals
• Mr. Lawrence C. Maston (Lead Judge)—Individual Certified Public Accountant
• Ms. Jacqueline Merritt—Small Business Development Specialist, SBA
• Ms. Rachel Ralston—Attorney, Hunter Smith & Davis, LLP
• Mr. Ronald Wade—Enterprise Specialist, State of TN ECD Business Enterprise Resource Office
• Mr. Calvin Wright—Executive Director, Downtown Kingsport Association
A total of seven awards will be presented for Young Entrepreneur (under age 40), New Business (in operation for at least 12 months but not more than 36 months), Woman-Owned, Minority-Owned, Business Excellence (employing Under 10 Employees), Business Excellence (employing 10 Employees and Up), and the Impact Award to an individual small business supporter and advocate. Winners from each category will be announced live at a special recognition event on December 2, 2010, 6:00–9:00 p.m., at BANQ which is located in the heart of Downtown Kingsport in the historic First National Bank Building, at 255 Broad Street –2nd Floor, Kingsport, Tennessee.
Preceding award presentations, keynote speaker Michael J. Reedy, Co-founder and immediate past President and Chief Operating Officer of Pegasus Global L.L.C. and Founder and Chairman of Reedy Creek Vineyards, will share a stirring and educational message that will touch all entrepreneurs and small business owners. Michael Reedy is a graduate of Tennessee High in Bristol and Virginia Tech. He and his family moved back to the area in 2006 after spending several years in the Washington DC metro area, which is presently the headquarters of Pegasus Global, a defense and security solutions company providing integrated communications and countermeasure platforms to the US Department of Defense and other domestic and international entities. The Reedy Creek estates represent the largest commercial vineyards in Tennessee, with over 100 acres currently under vine on several unique and distinctive soil compositions within the Reedy Creek Basin. The estates currently supply quality winegrapes to the preeminent wineries in Tennessee and the Mid-Atlantic.
SunTrust Bank is the Title Sponsor of the 2010 Annual KOSBE Awards. Top-Tier sponsors include: American Airlines, Brock Services, KNETIC Young Professionals, Pathway Lending, and Wilson Worley Moore Gamble & Stout PC. Media sponsors are Holston Valley Broadcasting Group and Times-News. Award sponsors are Clark & Company Custom Builders, Eastman Chemical Company, KNETIC Young Professionals, Leinbach Services, The Plastic Surgery Center of East Tennessee, Triten Insurance & Financial Services, and WorkSpace Interiors. East Tennessee Eye Care will be this year’s entertainment sponsor. Other event partners include Café Excellence, Divine Café & Catering, Elixir Media Group, Express Signs, Flowers by CopperCreek, GTS Refreshment Services, Holston Distributing, Lake Pointe Advertising & Awards, Pristine Springs, and Urban Synergy.
When attendees buy advanced tickets online to the celebration event for $35 per person, they are eligible for prize drawings including a pair of roundtrip American Airlines tickets to anywhere in the USA. For more information and to buy tickets visit KOSBE's web site, www.kosbe.org, or call (423) 392-8811.
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The mission of KOSBE is to actively assist in the establishment of new small businesses and the growth and development of existing small businesses in Kingsport, Tenn. KOSBE is a nonprofit economic development organization.