2014 Women-Owned Business of the Year Award Winners
|RFB Construction Co., Deborah Beachner
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.
|Global Aviation Technologies, LLC, Candace Cottner
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.
|New Birth Company, LLC, Catherine Gordon & Kendra Wyatt
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.
|Prairiebrooke Arts, Brook Morehead
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.
|Wilson Chiropractic Center, PA, Rosemarie Wilson
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.
|Premier Promotions, LLC, Joan Carhart & Cindy Carhart
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.