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2015 Women-Owned Business of the Year Award Winners
Kansas_Asphalt_Inc..jpg Kansas Asphalt, Inc., Jane Jeffries
Kansas Asphalt was started in 2003 by Jane Jeffries. After having trouble finding a contractor to seal and stripe the parking lot of her veterinary clinic, Jane eventually decided to do the work herself, along with her son Andy. Seeing a need for contractors in this space, she decided to begin offering a sealcoat service for driveways using yard signs and word of mouth. With an initial self-funded investment in a truck, seal coat drums, tools and paint, KAI was born.

Kansas Asphalt two divisions, one which serves as a regional commercial and residential paving service and one which provides parking lot maintenance and repair service nationally. The company has grown from three initial employees to 75 full-time employees today.

Kansas Asphalt won Target Stores Vendor of the Year in 2013 and has been featured in PRSM Magazine for its green initiatives.

Mid Star Lab
Mid Star Lab, Inc., Kari Wagner
Seeing a need for orthotic labs in Kansas, Kari Wagner and her husband Ron started Mid Star Lab out of a garage in Basehor, Kansas, in 1998. Initially, the company's primary business was manufacturing foot orthotics for podiatrists. In 2010, the company had the opportunity to work with the Veteran's Administration to expand their operations from manufacturing to fitting. Many veterans had previously been waiting up to a year for services, but Mid Star Lab was able to provide shoes and orthotics to its veteran clients with an average turnaround time of two weeks.

Mid Star Lab has 35 full0time employees and expects to double its number of associates in the next year. Growth opportunities include working with international partners throughout Asia and Mexico.

In 2013, Mid Star Lab won the 2013 Existing Business of the Year Award from the Kansas Small Business Development Center.

Shockey Consulting, LLC, Sheila Shockey
Shockey Consulting was founded by Sheila Shockey in 1998 as a public engagement, planning and municipal management consulting firm. Opening a business in engineering, a predominantly male field, presented a set of challenges for Sheila, as did convincing engineering firms and municipalities that professional outreach was the most effective means of gaining approval for civic infrastructure projects. However, she worked her network of contacts and put much sweat equity into getting her business off the ground.

Today, Shockey Consulting has 11 employees. The company develops comprehensive plans to invigorate downtowns and neighborhoods. Shockey helps educate and involve the public with its outreach plans, and has won several local, regional and national awards for its citizen involvement campaigns. The company competes not only against firms of similar size, but also against larger international engineering firms.

Shockey Consulting has won numerous awards, including a National Environmental Achievement Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Thinking Bigger Business 25 Under 25 Award for companies with fewer than 25 employees.

Harper's Fabric and Quilt, Co., Elaine Johnson
Overland Park
Elaine Johnson began working as a sales associate at Harper's Fabric and Quilt Co. in 1980, training hundreds of youth and adults in sewing and quilting each year. In 1994, she purchased the store from its original owner. Elaine led the store through a transition that included a new location in Overland Park, acquiring new inventory and emphasizing hobby quilting. She also added new equipment and hired additional trained staff.

Harper's staff of 12 includes factory trained service experts from all brands and models. The company words to keep its staff trained and its technology current with industry trends. As a small business, it has to deal with competition from larger firms. Harper's goal is to exceed its customers' expectations of service, selection and education and to attract clients from within Overland Park and across the region.

Harper's was named one of the top 10 fabric and quilt shops in the U.S. in 2008 by Better Homes and Gardens. In addition, Elaine and the company have earned recognition from the Kansas City Business Journal and Thinking Bigger Business Media.

Staffing Kansas City, Inc., Shelley Seibolt & Roses Ammon
Overland Park
Shelley Seibolt and Roses Ammon began working together at a staffing agency in 1992. Six years later, they decided to start their own staffing firm. They set out to build a company that would develop software and standard operating procedures that could help all clients find employment, while also creating a work environment that was supportive and rewarding for employees. After much planning and extensive work, they established Staffing Kansas City.

Staffing Kansas City and its five employees help more than 450 individuals find employment each year. Shelley serves as president and staffing coordinator, managing the candidates, while Roses serves as vice president and manages sales and marketing. In order to keep up with industry trends and developments, the company continually invests in training and technology, including its own proprietary software.

Staffing Kansas City and its employees are active members of the community. The business donates 10 percent of its annual profits to charities in the Kansas City area. It has won several awards, including being named one of the fastest growing companies and one of the best places to work by Ingram's Magazine.

International Express Trucking, Inc., Karen Duff
Kansas City, KS          

Karen Duff began her career as a buyer and international logistics professional with a Fortune 500 company. While working in the Kansas City market, she noticed a need for a U.S. Customs Courier service and established International Express Trucking in 1993 as the only such service in the Kansas City area. In 2001, Karen responded to the requests of her clients and expanded International Express Trucking's business to include international drayage.

Today, the company has 70 trucks servicing the six state Midwest region and boasts long-term partnerships with many major global businesses. International Express Trucking is the largest woman-owned intermodal drayage firm in the Midwest and has 18 full-time employees and 70 independent contractors. The company is planning continued expansion as it grows its footprint to include additional markets.

Under Karen Duff's leadership, International Express Trucking has won multiple National Highway Safety awards and workplace safety awards.           

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