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2014 MED Week Award Winners
Women-Owned Businesses of the Year
CONSTRUCTION
RFB Construction  RFB Construction Co., Deborah Beachner
Pittsburg

RFB Construction, Co. was formed as a seeding and guardrail business in 1989 by Richard Beachner. Deborah joined the business in 1991 upon completion of her business degree. The company prospered and doubled in size each year for the first 15 years before the growth tapered off. Deborah used every credit line and credit/bank options that were available to her to fund the growth of the company. in 2012, Deborah became sole owner and continued with the business.

RFB Construction Company has had as many as 100 employees in the peak season running 9 crews at a time on multiple state, federal and private contracts as both a prime contractor and working as a sub-contractor.

Over the years, RFB Construction has diversified into an erosion control/landscaping company that includes concrete, fencing and signage contracts.
   
MANUFACTURER
Global Aviation  Global Aviation Technologies, LLC, Candace Cottner
Wichita

Global Aviation, an engineering, consulting and manufacturing operation, was founded in 2006 by husband and wife Woody and Candace Cottner. Woody had a vision to start the company after working in field service engineering at Learjet and having a distinct passion for system design, integration and electrical assembly. Candace's background included 10 years in the banking industry before she decided to join her husband in the development of the company. Candace and Woody invested $40,000 of their combined retirement funds and personal credit cards.

Global Aviation provides aircraft owners and operators with component and avionics upgrades for airplanes. They also specialize in manufacturing wire harnesses, as well as designing integration packages for radars, navigation systems, cabin lighting and flight deck upgrades. They currently have 11 full-time and 2 part-time employees.

Global Aviation Technologies is driven to help customers live the dream by filling their voids in customer, technical and product support by first listening to their needs and then providing exceptional and innovative engineering services and custom electrical assemblies.
   
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE 
New Birth  New Birth Company, LLC, Catherine Gordon & Kendra Wyatt
Overland Park
 
The New Birth Center's primary service is to provide primary care for women, which includes OB care during pregnancy. Kendra and Cathy met 8 years ago when Kendra was pregnant and wanted to have a natural birth. Cathy served as her midwife to assist in the process. Kendra worked 13 years for Cerner Corp and became sold on midwife-led birth centers as a corporate mom looking for the highest quality, most affordable, natural child birth option. Cathy worked as a nurse practitioner in the Shawnee Mission Medical Center and later left to help found Mercy & Truth Medical Missions.

With more mothers choosing midwife-led birth centers over traditional hospital deliveries, Kendra and Cathy took the leap to start their own center. Today New Birth Center has over 30 employees, of which 13 are fulltime. Currently they have 5 midwives with about 250 babies being delivered at New Birth, the only midwife-led birth center in Johnson County.

Their is a huge philanthropic component to the business and its their goal to have more birth centers that replicate their model.
   
RETAIL 
Prairiebrooke Arts  Prairiebrooke Arts, Brook Morehead
Overland Park

With eleven years of experience designing and training other designers, Brooke knew her passion was in visual branding of corporate interiors.

She invested $10,000 initially and housed the business in her home basement. In the summer of 1997, she leased and later bought a 1928 former car dealership and tire store. The 6,000 square fee, barrel-roofed building was transformed into a fine arty gallery with an investment of about $250,000. This project earned them the award for Excellence in Economic Restructuring in 1998.

In the fine art gallery, their design staff works with residential clients to select original work and custom framing for homes. Their corporate focus is to design, deliver and install art for business interiors.

They averaged between 7-9 full-time employees over the last three years. Their on-going goal is to strengthen their brand as a complete art resource and to continue adding the beauty and job of art to the lives of their residential and corporate clients. 
   
SERVICE 
Wilson Chiropractic
Wilson Chiropractic Center, PA, Rosemarie Wilson
El Dorado 

Dr. Wilson, a graduate of Kansas City's Cleveland Chiropractic College started her career off practicing with a doctor in Wichita as an intern and then as an associate. After attending many conferences and seminars and taking several business classes to help her understand the finances of running a business, Dr. Wilson started her business. Wilson Chiropractic started in 1994 in an old Smith building across from the Butler County Courthouse. She then moved two years later to a larger building. She eventually built her own office which was over $350,000 for the lot and the new building.

Dr. Wilson currently has 4 full-time employees and 1 part-time. She also rents space to 3 massage therapists. In the future, she would like to include another chiropractor.

Dr. Wilson is very involved in the community through her participation with many local organizations as well as state organizations and has received numerous awards.

   
SUPPLIER/DISTRIBUTOR 
Premier Promotions Premier Promotions, LLC, Joan Carhart & Cindy Carhart
Leawood           
Joan started Premier Promotions, LLC as the sole owner in 1989 in New Jersey. In 2013, Cindy Carhart, her daughter-in-law came on board. As a Midwest distributor, they purchase most of their products from local Kansas and Missouri suppliers. 

Joan started in the business because she needed work that would allow her to work from home and make her own hours, as she was raising three children. So for two years, she learned about the world of advertising specialties. She attended trade shows and vendor meetings. She also shadowed seasoned sales associates, made sales calls and developed her own client base.

In 1987 she decided she wanted her own distributorship. She started Premier Promotions, LLC with $5,000 in savings. In 1993 she moved to Kansas and incorporated the business in this state.

Premier Promotions differentiate themselves from competitors by providing timely, personal service. They also draw from product knowledge gained through 25 years of experience in the industry.

In 2013 they launched a new website: promote24-7.com. The website features a wide selection of customized promotional products for every business need. In the future, they hope to grow the business through partnerships with contractors and provide catalog/fulfillment to their clients.
   

Minority-Owned Businesses of the Year
CONSTRUCTION
Agua Fina Agua Fina Irrigation & Landscape, LLC, Michael Dean
Kansas City, Kan.
           
Agua Fina was started at the Dean's kitchen table with Hector investing $200 and his father Michael putting up the family's life savings. Their success has been inspired by family and a determination to succeed when everyone around them told them that they couldn't compete with large firms on public projects.

Their dedication to excellent customer service and mission to be recognized as the premier irrigation and landscaping company in the area has helped them excel in the green industry and to be successful and profitable business now and in the future.

The company currently has five full-time employees and three seasonal employees. All of the staff of Agua Fina is from the local Kansas City, Kansas area and is 100% Hispanic.

Recently Agua Fina Irrigation & Landscape, LLC was selected by Channel 41 Action News and the Scipss Broadcasting Network as its preferred landscape contractor for the backyard beautification competition which began in August 2014.

Future goals consist of bidding on projects as the prime or general contractor.
   
MANUFACTURER
Mass Medica MASS Medical Storage, Aubrey Guezuraga
Lenexa

MASS Medical Storage was an existing company with quality products that the Guezuraga family purchased in 2012. Brothers Aubrey and David Guezuraga are the majority shareholders with Aubrey serving as the President/CEO and David as the Vice President of Engineering and Co-Owner.

MASS Medical is a leading manufacturer of Acute Storage which is made out of powdered coated metal, stainless steel and recycled wood products. Their customized storage carts and cabinets are for ORs, Cath, GI, Anesthesia, Radiology and other medical care facilities. These carts and cabinets are the standard of care at the John Hopkins, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General, Moust Sinai, Mayo Clinic and many more. In the state of Kansas, MASS Medical has its products at KU Med, Heartland Specialties in Overland Park, the VA in Leavenworth and Newman Regional Hospital in Emporia.
   
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE 
Chelsoft Soutions Chelsoft Solutions Co., Kiran Chelluri
Olathe

Chelsoft Solutions Co. is a global professional IT services company providing consulting and staff augmentation solutions to business organizations.

The owner, Kiran, was born in India where the seeds were sown for entrepreneurship at the age of 5 when he saw his mother start her own medical practice in the front room of their house. He would help her with the cash register and do accounts every night. 

Kiran came to the USA in 1998 to pursue his Master's degree. He started working at Sprint in Kansas City. Over a period of 10 years of service at Sprint, the dream to start a business grew.

He saw a big gap in providing quality IT resources to the fast growing software market. Thus, Chelsoft Solutions Co. was founded in 2010 as a home-based business. He started the business with his own investments with little outside help.

In 2010, they started with one employee. Today they have 30 employees and an office located in a commercial area of Olathe. Their long term business goals include growing to 250 plus employees by 2018 and becoming a premier employer for the local community.
   
RETAIL 
Tequilas Mexican Grill Tequilas Mexican Grill, Medardo Munoz
Garden City

Mr. Munoz immigrated to the United States, alone, at the age of 16 chasing the American dream. he was homeless for two days before getting a job as a dishwasher. He worked his way up to a cook and was offered a small percentage of the restaurant's ownership. Mr. Munoz then moved to Garden City where he opened his first restaurant, "El Camino", with a partner. Three years ago, Mr. Munoz left that partnership and opened his own business "Tequilas Mexican Grill".

Medardo opened Tequilas Mexican Grill with 11 employees and currently has 20 people full and part-time. Tequilas Mexican Grill consistently has jobs opportunities for the citizens of Finney County.

In the future they would like to relocate to a new facility with more space for staff, kitchen and customers.

Tequilas Mexican Grill has won the Garden City Telegram's "Readers Choice Award" for Best Mexican Food Restaurant numerous times.
   
SERVICE   
Goin Postal.jpg God's Distribution Enterprises, LLC dba Goin' Postal, Dr. Joyce Moore
Kansas City, Kan.

Dr. Joyce Moore, the principal owner of Goin' Postal is a medical doctor. She graduated from Fisk University and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. She was employed as a Diagnostic Radiologist for 30 years for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Leavenworth and retired in 2008. After retiring, she went back into private practice.

In 2009, Dr. Moore completed the Joseph Business School, an entrepreneurial program that believes in running a business using biblical principles. Her faith in God led her to open a Goin' Postal franchise in the Wyandotte County area, which she did in 2012.

Goin' Postal's core services are packaging and domestic and international shipping of goods and parcels. Goin' Postal has an advantage over its competitors because it is an authorized ship center for Fed Ex, USPS, UPS, DHL International and Freight Services.

Goin' Postal is also a one-stop convenience store that sells postage stamps, greeting cards, quick-study reference guides, office and parking supplies. They provide notary services, laminating, photocopies, faxing, rental of private mailboxes, secure shredding, passport photos and much more.

Currently there are two full-time employees and one part-time.

In 2014, Goin' Postal was awarded the New Small Business Finalist Award by KCK Chamber. Future goals include obtaining their SBA 8 (a) status and working to expand the business.
SUPPLIER/DISTRIBUTOR 
Evolv Evolv Solutions, LLC, Ronald Harland
Overland Park

In 2001, Evolv Solutions began with the basic concept of helping companies manage their printer/copier equipment needs and IT solutions. Ron, Jr. and Eric had the idea and the IT experience, their father Ron, Sr. had the experience and industry contacts to get the company off the ground. While developing their business plan they knew their primary focus would be Fortune 500 companies. One of the biggest obstacles the trio had to overcome was educating their target market about their services.

As the business developed, they began to research other growth opportunities. Through their relationship with the Kauffman Foundation and a group of MBE students, they embarked on a five-month project to research and write a business plan for the digital printing arm of the company.

Today, there are three components to Evolv Solutions: document management, equipment leasing and information technology. They are recognized as one of the leaded Managed Print Services providers in the country and support a range of clients across the country including commercial, municipal and federal entities.

Currently, Evolv has 20 full-time employees. They believe in conducting business in a fair and ethical manner with consideration to their employees, their partners and their clients.
   

Business Advocate of the Year
WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS ADVOCATE
Beechcraft Beechcraft Corporation, Bonnie Fullinwider
Wichita
           
Bonnie has been the small business program manager/supply chain compliance officer for Beechcraft Corporation for the past 9 years and part of Supply Chain for 17 years.

As the individual responsible for Beechcraft's supplier diversity program (and now the Cessna program), Bonnie develops and administers the small business subcontracting plan. As part of that role, she is the primary contact for potential businesses including women and diversity suppliers. While coordinating internal and external outreach to include small businesses, Bonnie assists individuals internally to find capable small businesses for acquisitions and represents the company at small business government, industry, and trade associate conferences. She also provides internal training to make sure that the company meets and exceeds its commitments to women and minority business goals. She gives contact information to decision-makers, references, introductions, encouragement and daily support to women and minority potential and active suppliers.

Bonnie has received many minority advocate awards over the years. The most recent being in 2013 where she was honored by the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development council for Outstanding Support and Outreach Effort for Inclusion.
   
MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESS ADVOCATE 
Carol Wei.jpg Mid-America Asian Culture Association, Carol Wei
Olathe

Carol emigrated from China to American in 2007. Now residing in Olathe, she is the President of Mid-America Asian Culture Association, a nonprofit she founded to cultivate interest in Asian Culture and to provide support and promote Asian-owned businesses located in Kansas and the Kansas City metro area.

Carol works full-time each week communicating with Asian organizational leaders, many of who own area small businesses. She plan activities, attends business events and seeks Asian business owners and corporate sponsors to help accomplish her goals and vision. 

In 2013, Carol organized the first "Asian Cultural Festival". Fifty two vendor booths representing a wide variety of Asian-owned businesses participated. More than two thousand people attended the festival. This festival provided a platform to discuss business ideas and opportunities.

In 2014, Carol won the National Small Business Influencer award in the leadership category. Her next project is to develop an event to serve as a trade fair for Asian owned businesses and provide a unique venue for people to meet the owners of the Asian businesses in person.
   

Young Entreprenuer of the Year
Daryl Bugner Design Brilliance, LLC, Daryl Bugner
Lawrence
Daryl started Design Brilliance Creative Marketing in March of 2013, after graduating from college where she majored in Visual Communications. Previously she worked for other companies in the marketing and design industry for 9 years gaining expertise in her field as a Graphic Designer and Art Director.

Daryl was encouraged by many local business owners who knew she had the talent, resources and experience to open her own design and marketing firm. 

One of the hardest obstacles is just being young. However, once a client meets with Daryl, they immediately feel comfortable with the amount of knowledge she provides on a wide range of subjects.

For Daryl, future goals include expanding her office to employ multiple designers, developers and account managers. Currently Daryl employs one part-time Graphic Designer and multiple other contract employees.

She was awarded the AIGA KC A7 & Award for Design and is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Lawrence.
   

Corporation of the Year
KCPL KCP&L
Kansas City, MO

Operating from headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, KCP&L has evolved into a full-service energy provider and resource.

The company was founded in 1882 and has become one of the Midwest's most affordable energy suppliers. KCP&L services approximately 825,000 customers located in western Missouri and eastern Kansas.

The Supplier Diversity program was established in 1986. Today, Terry Bassham, current President and CEO states "KCP&L is proud to say they will follow the same philosophy they did twenty-seven years ago and that is what continues to ensure the success of their supplier diversity program."

Diversity initiatives are integrated at KCP&L in its strategic vision and core values. The Supplier Diversity Team is responsible for providing guidance and assistance to the Supply Chain leadership; identifying and introducing suppliers to buyers, plan manager and business unit personnel and attending procurement supplier diversity conferences and business opportunity fairs.

KCP&L also has procurement advocates that support the supplier diversity team. This group of buyers ensures inclusion of diverse supplier in the bid process. In 2014, a Supplier Diversity Task force was formed. This task force looks at ways to increase spend with diverse suppliers and to enhance the Light Source Mentoring Program.

The Mentoring Program seeks to nurture emerging minority and women-owned businesses in the community. Mentees are paired with a senior KCP&L leader who provides business advice and counsel, connects them with training options and helps expand their network of contracts and business opportunities.

Currently, KCP&L has 123 suppliers that they buy good or get services from in the state of Kansas. Of those 123 suppliers, 14 are women-owned, 86 are minority-owned and 23 are veteran-owned companies. In 2013 they spend over 55 million with minority, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses.
Sprint will continue to lead the efforts in recognizing the economic importance of utilizing minority suppliers in the communities where they work and live.
   


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