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KOSBE recognizes its 2008 award winners

Staff Report • Jan 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Five area businesses and two individuals were recently recognized as winners in the 2008 Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship awards contest.

KOSBE, part of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, recognized businesses in five categories — one for a young entrepreneur under age 40; one for a new business in operation for at least 12 months but not more than 36 months; and three for business excellence in categories based on number of employees.

KOSBE also recognized one individual for his overall achievement, as well as one individual for his impact in the community.

Here are the winners of the 2008 KOSBE Awards.

Dr. Jerry L. Miller

An active family practice physician for 40 years, Dr. Jerry L. Miller was presented KOSBE’s inaugural Achievement Award for his years of work in health care.

Dr. Miller founded Holston Medical Group on Jan. 3, 1977. Today, HMG has grown to become the region’s largest multi-specialty group with 881 employees and 158 providers.

Dr. Miller received his medical degree in 1965 from the Medical College of Virginia and completed his internship at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Ohio. He started practicing medicine in 1966 in Nickelsville.

He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Practice, Association of Clinical Research Professionals, Tennessee Medical Association, Tennessee Association of Family Physicians, and the Medical Group Management Association. Dr. Miller also serves on a variety of boards and as a consultant to several national organizations.

Café N’Orleans

Café N’Orleans is the 2008 winner of the KOSBE New Business Award.

The restaurant was started by New Orleans natives Sherrie and Kenny St. Germain on Cumberland Street in 2007, and recently moved to 161 E. Main St., in the Kingsport Chamber building.

The St. Germains moved to Kingsport after losing their house and most of their possessions during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Sherrie , whose roots run deep in Louisiana, missed New Orleans and its flavored food. She dreamed of starting an authentic Cajun and Creole restaurant in Kingsport, and shared that vision with Roger Beal, a friend the family had met at church.

Together, the St. Germains and Roger Beal and wife, Laura, opened Cafe N’Orleans on Nov. 5, 2007.

Many of the restaurant’s entrees are generations-old recipes from Sherrie and Kenny’s mothers and grandmothers, some of whom spoke only Cajun French.

The café uses no MSG, and only all-natural hormone-free chicken and other wholesome ingredients.

All desserts are freshly made with the finest ingredients by dessert artist Laura Beal.

“I can’t thank Kingsport enough for being so receptive to what was just once a passing dream,” Sherrie St. Germain said.

Café N’Orleans is open for lunch Monday through Friday and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Catering and lunchtime deliveries are available.

For more information, call the restaurant at (423) 245-5400.

Elixir Media Group

Elixir Media Group was named winner of the 2008 KOSBE Young Entrepreneur Award.

Founded by Wes Leonard, Elixir Media Group is a full-service marketing firm offering an array of services, including graphic design, Web site development, Internet marketing, software programming, interactive CD/DVD creations, television animation and commercials, broadcast video and 5.1 Dolby audio suite, EDI/E-commerce solutions, and E-store fulfillment.

Leonard started the business as a teenager, and had three locations and five employees by the time he was 17 years old.

The first video his company produced was a documentary on the Carter Fold, which was aired nationally on PBS.

Located at 223 E. Center St., the business works with both large and small clients.

In addition to the KOSBE award, Elixir Media Group also won the Tennessee Governor Award in 2007 and 2008.

“We have clients ranging from home-based businesses to global corporations. The size of your business doesn’t matter to us. What matters is how seriously you take your business,” according to the company’s Web site.

“If you don’t value your business enough to have it professionally presented, well, don’t hire us! Because if it goes out with our name, it is going to be our best. We expect the same from our clients.”

For more information, visit http://www.elixirgroup.com/ or call (423) 245-1641.

Flowers By CopperCreek

Flowers By CopperCreek won the 2008 KOSBE Award for Business Excellence in the two to nine employee category.

Owned by Charles and Ethelee Phillips, Flowers By CopperCreek is located at 442 Shelby St., in a 1916 Tudor row house in the historic district of downtown Kingsport.

The shop specializes in fresh flowers for all occasions as well as silk floral arrangements for homes and businesses.

“A surprising discovery has been doing creative funeral work and recognizing the importance and appreciation of customers for something out of the ordinary for this event in their lives,” Charles Phillips said.

In addition, the shop features unusual gifts, greeting and note cards, gourmet mixes, custom gift baskets and gifts not otherwise available locally. One example is Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate — one of Oprah’s “favorite things” — straight from a landmark restaurant in New York City.

Another exclusive item is a series of note cards depicting famous quotes in calligraphy with flowers and plants, including an Old and New Testament group. Other gifts include a vintage line of beaded purses and pins.

Specializing in a garden style of fresh flowers, CopperCreek uses home decor containers and designs arrangements with a flair for the unusual.

Ethelee Phillips said the shop values customer relationships, and hopes to get to know its customers “so we can learn their preferences, and in doing so, can attend to their needs on a personal basis.”

“It’s like making a new circle of friends to enjoy our love of flowers and the seasons of the year,” she said. “We’re interested in making each order a special gift for the recipient.”

Examples of CopperCreek’s floral arrangements can be seen on the shop’s Web site at www.flowersbycoppercreek.com.

Flowers By CopperCreek celebrated its fourth year in business in September and plans to extend its offerings to a courtyard in the back for design classes, special celebrations and small group meetings.

For more information contact Charles Phillips at (423) 239-8454 or e-mail staff@flowersbycoppercreek.com.

Lake Pointe Advertising & Awards

Lake Pointe Advertising & Awards was recognized as the 2008 KOSBE Business Excellence Award winner in the 10 to 29 employee category.

Lake Pointe is one of the area’s largest providers of custom embroidered corporate apparel, personalized gifts and awards and imprinted promotional products. Locally owned by Larry, Betty and Brantley Burris, the business provides a full line of products and services to local, regional and national companies.

Lake Pointe’s corporate office is located one mile north of the Tri-Cities Regional Airport at 1996 Highway 75. This central position between Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport allows Lake Pointe to maximize service to the entire region.

Lake Pointe began business in May 1999 on Shipley Ferry Road with three full-time employees.

“The addition of in-house embroidery equipment a year later allowed us to have better control over product quality and offer unique custom embroidery and monogramming. We can customize and personalize embroidery to meet the specific needs and desires of our clients,” said Larry Burris.

In-house graphic and Web site designs have also contributed to the company’s growth. Lake Pointe now employs 14 full-time employees and one part-time employee with an annual payroll of $400,000.

In April 2003 a new facility was constructed at the company’s current location to house its increasing sales and administrative staff as well as provide more production space.

In January 2008, a 4,500-square-foot production and warehouse addition was completed, more than doubling the production area and providing 5,000 square feet of vertical warehouse space for new services.

With the latest addition the company has expanded a variety of programs designed for sales, safety employee incentives and employee and client awards.

Larry Burris said he accepted the KOSBE Business Excellence Award on behalf of his employees. “They are tremendous; their hard work has been vital to the success we have achieved.”

He also credited his customers. “We are thankful to the many businesses and organizations that have shown their confidence in us by allowing us to serve them,” he said.

For more information, contact Burris at lburris@lpointe.com or (423) 279-7733.

Interim HealthCare of East Tennessee

Interim HealthCare of East Tennessee won the 2008 KOSBE Award for Business Excellence in the 30 to 150 employee category.

Interim HealthCare is a provider for both intermittent home health by visit and continuous care by the hour for pediatrics through geriatrics.

The company is Medicare-certified, licensed by the state of Tennessee, and accepts most payors.

Interim HealthCare offers various services, including skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapy, home health aide, medical social services, and private duty nursing.

Under skilled nursing, services include health status assessments, disease management, wound care, cardiac care, cancer care, respiratory care, tracheostomy care, ostomy care, bowel and kidney care, NG and PEG feeding tubes, catheter care, diabetic management, medication management, injections, IV therapy, and total parenteral nutrition, central PICC line, and port care.

In physical and occupational therapy, many services can be provided at home to speed recovery from illness, injury or surgery.

The company’s home health aide services provide assistance with bathing, grooming and dressing.

Medical social services are provided by a master’s level social worker who can provide information and referrals to community resources, as well as help with financial planning, long-range planning, and psychosocial and emotional support for adjustment to illness, grief and loss, and family conflict.

And Interim HealthCare provides skilled nursing and certified nursing assistant services from four to 24 hours a day. The patients are technology dependent and functionally disabled patients. By providing these services, family members are able to get the rest they need and also take care of their own needs.

Interim HealthCare of East Tennessee has offices in Morristown and Gray. For more information, call the Morristown office at (423) 587-8771 or the Gray office at (423) 928-8771.

Charlie Dotson

Local businessman Charlie Dotson with TCI Group won the 2008 KOSBE Impact Award.

Dotson was nominated for the recognition by Paige Goforth, who won a 2007 KOSBE business award for her company, Tutoring Solutions.

In her nomination letter, Goforth wrote that Dotson “was instrumental not only in helping to build my business but also my self confidence.”

“The first conversation that I ever had with Charlie convinced me that he was a man of integrity and character. When my husband first decided that I should move my business out of the house and into a “real place” I began looking for property close to the school system I was serving at the time. I saw a building on Eastman Road that I was interested in. Charlie’s bright yellow TCI sign was in the window so I called him from my cell phone to ask general questions — how much space, how much money, etc. He asked me all sorts of questions about what type of business I was starting. He then proceeded to tell me that particular building just wasn’t the place for me but that he would help me find a place more suitable and more affordable.

“He could easily have rented that space to me without taking a particular interest in the how’s or why’s but he didn’t. He has continued to give me invaluable advice and guidance. He has donated office equipment and supplies to help with my homeless student initiative. He has mentored me through rough times and has also shared in my success. His encouragement and faith in my business has enabled me to endure growing pains that may have otherwise caused me to give up. He truly has been like a second father to me. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Charlie!”

Dotson is a regional partner with the TCI Group — Jerry Petzoldt Agency, LLC, and is licensed to practice commercial real estate in Tennessee. He has comprehensive commercial real estate experience, including facilities management, site selection, design, project management, and master planning.

A Kingsport native, Dotson was manager, Corporate Real Estate, at Eastman Chemical Co. A graduate of Tusculum College, he is certified as a Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) by the National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives, is a Certified Facilities Management Administrator through the Building Owners and Management Institute, and is a member of the International Development Research Council.

He is chief manager and owner of Global Integrators, LLC, which provides master planning, site selection, design and project management services to corporate clients with emphasis on international projects.

Dotson has been active in various community organizations, including the United Way, Kingsport First Night, and Kingsport Tomorrow.

The KOSBE Awards were sponsored by Blue Ridge Physician Group, Indian Path Medical Center, Clark & Company Development, Integrity Capital Management, Leinbach Building Services, Rodefer Moss & Company PLLC., Triten Insurance & Financial Services Inc., Blackburn Childers & Steagall PLC, and the Kingsport Times-News.

The Young Entrepreneur Award was sponsored by Clark and Co. Finalists for the award were Urban Synergy and Bahama Breeze.

The New Business Award was sponsored by Integrity Capital Management. Finalists for the award were Region 1 Golf Packages and Sugar Mama, a waxing and beauty studio.

The Business Excellence Award in the two to nine employee category was sponsored by Leinbach Services. Finalists for the award were Bristol Kingsport KOA and Hillhouse Graphics.

The Business Excellence Award in the 10 to 29 employee category was sponsored by Blackburn, Childers and Steagall. The category had no finalists.

The Business Excellence Award in the 30 to 150 employee category was sponsored by Rodefer Moss & Co. That category had no finalists.

The Impact Award was sponsored by Triten Insurance. Finalists were Steve Lahair of Chef's Pizza and Bill Testerman of Blakely Mitchell.

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