Entrepreneurial and Rural Leaders Honored

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Jeff Reynolds, jeffr@alltel.net, Phone: (402) 656-3091<br/>
Monica Braun, mbraun@alltel.net, Phone: (402) 643-2673<br/>
Elisha Smith, elishas@cfra.org, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext.1007


Lyons, Nebraska – During the Center for Rural Affairs’ MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success conference held last week in Kearney, several individuals were honored for their efforts, integrity, and leadership.

The recipients of the awards have demonstrated great leadership and entrepreneurial skills in their communities and have been integrally involved in the Center’s Rural Entrepreneurship Assistance Project (REAP) programs over the last year.

Those receiving REAP awards were: Juan Sandoval, Norfolk, NE - REAP Officer of the Year Lisa Budd, Gothenburg, NE - REAP Small Business of the Year Lori Warner, Beatrice, NE - REAP Friend of the Year Kevin Burnison, Humboldt, NE - REAP Extra Mile Award Bryan Heubrock, Winner, SD - REAP Achievement Award Janie Troxel, Fairbury, NE - REAP Entrepreneur Award

REAP Officer of the Year 2006
Juan Sandoval, BankFirst, Norfolk, NE

Juan Sandoval, Latino Banking Director, BankFirst at Norfolk, has served as the Treasurer for the Madison County Latino Business Organization (MCLBO) serving the Latino Business in Madison County since its inception in 2005. Besides the Treasurer’s duties, Juan has been providing educational presentations at several meetings.

Juan became involved with REAP after attending the REAP Business Plan Training course during the fall, 2005, he also helped recruiting business owners for this training. Juan promotes REAP and MCLBO to others on a regular basis. Juan notifies members and potential members of meetings through email and phone calls.

Juan recently taught the REAP Business Plan Spanish Training in Columbus and now he’s volunteering to do some presentations for this group also. In September, 2006, Juan agreed to serve a three year term on the REAP Program Committee as Advisory Committee Member.

REAP Small Business of the Year 2006
Lisa Budd, Daylight Donuts, Gothenburg, NE

For Lisa Budd of Gothenburg, NE being independent and being rewarded for an extraordinary work ethic were extremely important to her. Doing what she liked to do was also a major issue. What did she do about these priorities? She risked venturing into the ownership of a “Daylight Donut” franchise in Gothenburg, NE. The business was already profitable, but showed much more growth potential. With the benefit of loan and technical assistance from REAP, cooperation with the previous owners, and friendly assistance from a local realtor, Lisa purchased the business in the fall of 2004.

Customer volume has increased under Lisa’s management. Approximately 75 percent of her volume is deliveries to other small and large businesses in the Gothenburg and Cozad areas. Lisa has created a good balance between individual retail customers and business firms. Lisa is a young rural entrepreneur who has a very strong work ethic, is a responsible business person, and is doing very well at her business enterprise. Lisa is community-minded as well, and was recognized by local media after recent generous aid and food donations to travelers stranded in an early blizzard. Lisa worked with now retired REAP Business Specialist Phil Menke in packaging the loan for the business purchase.

REAP Friend of the Year 2006
Lori Warner, Beatrice Chamber of Commerce, Beatrice, NE

Lori Warner and the Beatrice Chamber of Commerce have been a great friend of REAP. Lori began her position at the Beatrice Chamber approximately two years ago. The working relationship between REAP and the Beatrice Chamber continues to grow. Lori and the Beatrice Chamber of Commerce is supportive and willing to work with REAP. REAP Business Specialist Janelle Moran has been holding REAP office hours each first Thursday of the month at the Chamber. The Chamber office promotes these hours and has had up to 5 contacts in one day there. The Chamber is also very accommodating, providing office space when needed in working with area clients.

The Chamber helped with the promotion of the trainings and the recent WBC kick-off in Beatrice. REAP has also held the “Minding Your Own Business” workshop at the Chamber. It is great to have a “friend” like Lori and the entire Chamber office in Beatrice!

REAP Extra Mile Award 2006
Kevin Burnison, Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD), Humboldt, NE

Kevin Burnison is a strong supporter and partner with REAP. Kevin encourages individuals he visits/counsels with to use REAP services. REAP receives many referrals in the southeast Nebraska area from Kevin.

Kevin is a strong promoter of small businesses in Southeast Nebraska. In the southeast Nebraska service area, Kevin has been one of the largest supporters and promoters of REAP services. Kevin has truly made a difference and impact on REAP’s awareness in southeast Nebraska, and is a great friend of the program!

REAP Achievement Award 2006
Bryan Heubrock, Bryan’s Painting and Cleaning Sales and Service, Winner, South Dakota

In June of 1992 Bryan started a part time home based painting and cleaning business. The business was started to provide income for the Heubrock family in addition to Bryan’s full time job as a custodian in the local school system. The company’s main emphasis during the first years was painting during the summer months with a few cleaning customers year round.

In 1997, the REAP program decided to pilot a REAP Peer Group Association in South Dakota resulting in a local REAP Group being formed in Winner, SD. Bryan was one of the original members, served as an officer in the association and attended the REAP Basic Business Training. Desiring to grow and expand the cleaning business Bryan used the REAP Peer lending program through the association on two occasions to purchase additional equipment for the business.

In 2000 due to personnel changes, Bryan was faced with finding new employment or going full time with the cleaning and painting business. Bryan decided it was time to make the step to full time business owner. A building was rented on Highway 18 and transferred from the home based location. At this time Bryan utilized the REAP Direct loan product to purchase additional equipment and expand the cleaning product lines to include retail sales.

2002 saw the opportunity for Bryan to purchase an existing building that needed to be moved. There was a lot available east of the current business location. Again the REAP Direct loan product was utilized in collaboration with a local bank to relocate the business.

In the fall of 2002 an article in the local newspaper stated – “Today, special thanks goes out to Bryan Heubrock of B & J Painting and Cleaning. If you haven’t notice the corner of 7th and Highway 18 lately, take a look the next time you’re driving into Winner from the East. Then, remember what that corner looked like before he moved the building onto a new foundation and groomed that lot to be a very pleasing addition to the city. First impressions are important, and that corner is one of the first things people see when entering the city. Leadership comes in many forms, but leading by example is the most effective way. So thanks, Bryan; you showed us how to do it.”

Transition from a part time home business to a full time main street business has proven a successful business venture for Bryan. In 2004, the business became an agent for U-Haul Rentals and Bryan is planning his next business expansion. The business has expanded its customer base east and west of Winner as well as providing services to customers in north central Nebraska. The business employs a full time office manager, two full time employees and several part time employees. There are two equipped vans and one pick up lettered with the business name to transport employees and equipment to the cleaning locations.

Bryan has always been willing to listen and learn from other successful business owners. He also continues to keep abreast on new technologies and cleaning products to provide the most up to date products and equipment in meeting the businesses customer’s needs. Bryan is a true entrepreneur and successful business owner.

CFRA Entrepreneur Award
Jaine Troxel, Doozy’s at Fairbury, NE

Jaine Troxel was the Manager of Doozy’s in Fairbury in early 2002 when it was located with the Tabitha facility. The decision was made to close it but Jaine saw the opportunity to become a business owner. She worked with then REAP WBC Director and Business Specialist Glennis McClure to develop a business plan. A building was available for rent in downtown Fairbury on the square which would greatly increase her chances of success by being accessible to business people and shoppers. On September 3, 2002 Doozy’s opened its doors at 417 D Street in Fairbury. Menu items include pizzas and sub sandwiches made with homemade bread, salads and homemade soups. The majority of Doozy’s customers come from a radius of 30 miles. However, she has annual customers from Texas and other far away states when they come for hunting season or other area events.

Ms. Troxel accessed the REAP Microloan Program for assistance in developing a Business Plan and obtained a loan for beginning inventory. The completed Business Plan helped her obtain a loan through the Fairbury reuse fund. She also participated in meetings and trainings with fellow area businesses.

The opening of Doozy’s in downtown Fairbury provided customers with a choice for their dining pleasure. Doozy’s also caters which provides another service in the community. Jaine has employed eight (8) people-mostly high school age and one mentally challenged person. Future plans include a possible expansion with a meeting room.

The Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project was selected by the Small Business Administration to create a rural women's business center, the first such program in Nebraska. For REAP, the Women’s Business Center provides an opportunity to enhance its outreach to potential women entrepreneurs and its work with small businesses across Nebraska. Course outline and additional information can be found at the REAP website: www.cfra.org/reap

The REAP WBC is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S Small Business Administration.

Further information about REAP can be obtained by calling Jeff Reynolds, REAP Program Director at (402) 656-3091 or jeffr@alltel.net. The REAP website can be viewed at www.cfra.org/reap.

For more information visit: www.cfra.org.

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The Center for Rural Affairs is a private nonprofit specializing in strengthening small businesses, rural communities, and family farms and ranches.

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