Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 16, 2014

Dressed for success

Betty Korros/Don’s Mens Shop takes top honors during the 17th annual Northeast Kentucky Small Business Awards

CATLETTSBURG — From frozen yogurt to pizza, from formal men’s wear to T-shirts, area small business owners and advocates from Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties were recognized and applauded by their peers Thursday morning at the Boyd County Community Center during the 17th annual Northeast Kentucky Small Business Awards.

Rob Johnson of  WSAZ NewsChannel 3 again served as master of ceremonies and reminded the near-capacity crowd of the awards ceremony’s humble baginnings. The first one 17 years ago had only 15 to 18 people in a single room at the Chimney Corner Cafe, he said.

The event has since grown, with hundreds in attendance each year. Johnson also said the panel with the task of choosing the winners received a record 70 nominations for the different categories considered for the 2014 awards.

“Small business is about way more than employing a few people and paying taxes,” Johnson said, citing the role of small business in building communities, providing jobs and serving as the backbone of economic development.

Betty Korros, owner of Don’s Men’s Shop in downtown Ashland, was presented the top award of the day for Small Business Person of the Year, as well as the 2014 Downtown Business of the Year award. Citing her decades of service alongside her late husband, Don Korros, Johnson said Don’s Mens Shop originally opened with the couple working side by side in 1949.

The New Business of the Year Award was presented to Marty and Erica Myers, owners of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt in the Ashland Town Center Mall. Other nominees for the award were: Ranaye Middleton at Aaliyah’s Children’s Boutique, Ashland; Ronnie Estep of Estep’s Family Restaurant, Grayson; Kent and Gayleen Montgomery of Kentucky Antler Company, Rush; Janice Weber of Agape Home Builders, Grayson; Dan and Mindy Click of Grayson Gallery & Art Center; Philip and Lora Stewart of LMN Productions/The Greater Ashland Beacon; Tina Sanchez of Tina’s Tinting, Ashland; Maria Whaley of Ashland Regional Theatre; James Johnson and Mae Dean Torgrimson of JH Johnson & Associates, Russell; and, Debra Baker Harman of Olive Hill Council for Planning and Restoration.

 Kyle and Annie Robinson, owners of Print My Threads in Flatwoods, insisted their entire staff accompany them to the stage to accept the 2014 Emerging Business of the Year award. Other nominees in the division were: Scott Wamsley Jr. of BWH Security, Ashland; Julie and Jennifer Runyon of Jewlie’s, Ashland; Darrell Willis of D&R Metal and AG Supply, Greenup; Michelle Wallace of MaMa Hazel’s Bakery, Grayson; Steven Tackett of Tri-State Counseling & Psychotherapy, Ashland; Bryon and Linda Owens of Grayson Electronics/Radio Shack; and, Marcella Evans and Anita Watts of Mudpyz-n-Butterflyz Kids Consignment & Boutique, Ashland.

Melanie Tierney of Melanie’s Custom Bows and More in Ashland received the Retail/Wholesale Business of the Year award. Other nominees were Jeanie and Lisa Waugh of Beautiful Things, Flatwoods, and Lydia Crawford of Kentucky Automotive Center of Grayson.

Paul and Tom Grant, owners of Grant Inc./Giovanni’s Pizza were selected from a crowd of nominees for the 2014 Service Business of the Year award. Other nominees were Eric and Tabitha Coyer of Ambiance Salon, Ashland; Valerie Frasure of Crossroads of Hope, Ashland; Mark Dillon of Ink in a Blink, Ashland; Lucien Ross and Bea Rice of Ross Real Estate Services, Flatwoods; Tal Callihan of Callihan’s American Pub & Grill, Ashland; Nile Barnes of Fast Change Oil and Lube, Olive Hill; Michael Justice of Justice Enterprises, Catlettsburg; Margaret McCue of Ruffin’ It Pet Boutique and Grooming, Ashland; Phil and Cara Clark of Clark’s Martial Arts/Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu of Kentucky; George Bagnoli of Kyova 10 Theatre, Ashland; and, Allen Wilson of Wilson Fitness & Martial Arts, Olive Hill.

MJ Wixsom, DVM, of Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods was selected as the 2014 Business Professional of the Year. Chris Riffe of Riffe Contracting received the 2014 Construction/Contracting Business of the Year award.

Scott Porter and Jenny Harris of Porter’s Tire and Auto Service in Olive Hill claimed one of the two awards to businesses in Carter County with the 2014 Family-Owned Business of the Year. Mark Strother of  Commercial Bank of Grayson was Carter County’s other honoree, receiving the 2014 Small Business Champion of the Year.

Nancy Hutchinson of Kentucky Educational Development Corporation of Ashland accepted the 2014 Non-Profit Organization of the Year award.

“Small businesses account for more than 95 percent of our local economy,” said Kim Jenkins, event coordinator. “We are fortunate to have so many innovative, hard- working entrepreneurs who contribute time, energy and financial resources to numerous community and civic organizations.”

Additional information about the Northeast Kentucky Small Business Awards is available at nekysba.com or by calling (606) 329-8011.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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