Rising Star Awards Honor Small Business Owners


Chattanooga, TN — The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) of Chattanooga State Community College honored small businesses and business owners during the Rising Star Awards Banquet on November 6 at the Walden Club.

Honoring owners for their economic development contributions to the community, the awards are decided by the TSBDC staff and are based on overall business management, jobs created and retained, as well as capital infusion.

Rising Star Award recipients for 2013 include Pearl’s Foggy Mountain Café, Joy and Dan Hickey; Manufacturing Repair & Overstock, Inc. (MRO), Russell Looper and Justin Wilson; RMJ Tactical, Ryan Johnson, Richard and Carrie Carmack; Senior Tech, LLC., Rich Mak and Phil Sieg; and Variable, Inc., George Yu.

Also recognized as 2012 Business Person of the year was Jennifer Stone of International Coffee Group, LLC (formerly Stone Cup Roasting Company). International Coffee Group, LLC started from a boutique coffee café to a coffee roasting business. From there, it turned into a bustling wholesale business. International Coffee Group, LLC has received numerous accolades, including a Cup of Excellence award. Stone has had three coffees ranked within the top 15 in the nation by CoffeeReview.com, including an Ethiopian coffee ranked number one and an Espresso ranked number two. The company was also recognized as the top roaster in Tennessee. International Coffee Group, LLC, under the leadership of Jennifer Stone, has become a thriving Chattanooga small business.

Helping small businesses succeed is a hallmark of TSBDC, however it would not be possible without the support of volunteers who provided one-on-one counseling and informative business seminars. Volunteers recognized included: Frank Anthony, Chuck Fisher, Joe Honey, Ken Mallett, Kevin Stophel, Lynn Talbott, and Ronda VanBillard.

Returning advisory board members also recognized were Jim Callihan, Trip Farmer, Jim Frierson, Steve Hiatt, Travis Lytle, Jeff Olingy, Linda Mosely, Mike Sarvis, J. Kevin Stophel, Mical Traynor, Alicia Brown Oliver, Tim Spires, and Ben Ubamadu.

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, visit http://www.chattanoogastate.edu/our-campus/tsbdc/ or call 423.756.8668.