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Catalyst Center presents ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ awards

MADISON – The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship celebrated progressive thinking individuals with the sixth annual “Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.”

More than 140 attendees opened Zoom for the virtual event “but didn’t miss any of the nail-biting moments or genuine contestant reactions,” Holly Brockman, Women’s Business Center Project Coordinator, said.

Catalyst CEO Lisa Davis Mays and her ‘Catalyst Dream Team’ found creative solutions and skillfully presented this year’s awards with pizazz and style. They surprised award winners with balloons at their homes or offices. The crew brought cameras to record segments that they incorporated in the awards ceremony.

The winners own/operate or work for diverse companies:

* Entrepreneurial Champion Award — Larry Lewis with Project XYZ. Owns a proven track record of volunteering, mentoring, investing or collaborating.

* Youth — Brailynn Camille Granville of Madison, The Ausome Kid. For a school-aged entrepreneur with business savvy at a young age who is working toward their dream. Brittnie Granville assists her daughter.

* Emerging — Megan Nivens Tannett of Madison, Flourish. Given to an entrepreneur in business for less than three years with a record for sustainability with room for growth.

* Creative — Michelle Givens, Image in a Box. Focuses on the retail, arts, entertainment or culinary industry with record for sustainability.

* Nonprofit — Amy Roark, Give256. Possesses spirit that inspires the organization’s growth and development.

* Female — Alice Lessmann of Madison, Signalink Inc. Presented to outstanding businesswoman in North Alabama. The Women’s Business Center will submit Lessmann’s name to compete nationally for Small Business Administration’s “Small Business of the Year” award.

* Veteran — Marvinia Adams of Madison, Adams Dry Cleaning (Martinizing). Given to outstanding military or veteran entrepreneur in North Alabama. Adams has a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “I enjoy taking care of customers and showing they are important. (My) elective service is one that people choose to have done. When they do, their expectation is for us to care about their garments,” Adams said. “I want to bring back good customer service.”

* Pandemic Pivot — Karen Mockenstrum, Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater & Academy. Added this year to commend an entrepreneur who has tackled setbacks from COVID-19.

* Entrepreneur Of The Year — Jamie Miller, Mission Multiplier. Awarded to individual with more than three years in business with history of strategic direction, future growth and community involvement.

* People’s Choice — April Chiosky, AMZ Importers. Received most votes on social media.

For more information, visit catalystcenter.org.

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