The Columbia Chamber of Commerce announced the five finalists for the 2007 Small Business of the Year, and the Columbia Women’s Network announced the winner of the ATHENA Award in conjunction with the Business Conference & Showcase on Tuesday.

The winner of the business award will be announced in May during the Small Business Week luncheon.

The finalists and principal owners are:

• Athena R. Anthony Development Corporation, 6150 S. Sinclair Road, Rob and Christi Wolverton

• Image Technologies of Missouri, 20 Business Loop 70 E., Lynda and Steve Baumgartner

• Les Bourgeois Vineyards, Rocheport, Curtis Bourgeois

• Paternity Testing Corporation, 300 Portland St., Kim Gorman

• Sydenstricker Implement Corp., Mexico, Mo., Eddie Sydenstricker

The winner of the ATHENA Award is Stephens College President Wendy Libby, who was nominated by past winners Vicki Dunscombe of Boone County National Bank and Susan Stalcup-Gray of Isabel’s Country Mustard.

The Athena Award recognizes individuals who excel in their field, participate in the community and inspire and lead women to achieve to their full potential.

Libby, who was credited with Stephen’s dramatic turnaround, said all she really wanted to do when coming to Columbia in 2003 was “to inspire women.”
Pat Hostetler of MBS Textbook Exchange and the Athena Award winner in 2005, announced the award and said afterward that Libby “has made Stephens become much more of a part of the community. As soon as she arrived she became involved. The former president didn’t really connect with Columbia.”

Libby is a board member in the Chamber of Commerce, Regional Development Inc., or REDI, and United Way of Central Missouri. Boone County National Bank Chairman Steve Erdel said in a video testimonial broadcast during the award ceremony that when Libby arrived, Stephens had a $3.5 million annual deficit, declining enrollment and a deteriorating campus. Now, enrollment is up 46 percent and campus buildings are being renovated.

“She has enriched our community with her leadership,” Erdel said.

Recent News

Four Companies Welcomed into Tech Accelerator

The Missouri Innovation Center introduced its first cohort of companies in the Mid-MO Tech Accelerator, a seed-level investing fund managed by the MIC. Last night, the MIC...

Startup Weekend, Pitch Competition Kick Off Innovation Week

  Mid-Missouri’s Innovation Week (also called Bringing Up Business) commenced over the weekend, with entrepreneurs and businesspeople taking over the Veterans United building on...

#como2fortco Leadership Visit: Day 2

Business Times Company President Erica Pefferman is in Fort Collins, home of Colorado State University, for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s leadership visit. She’s hearing from...

#como2fortco Leadership Visit: Day 1

  Business Times Company President Erica Pefferman is in Fort Collins, home of Colorado State University, for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s leadership visit....

How to Get Certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

This article appeared in print as part of “The Smaller Bidder.”  MBE/WBE Certification Minority- and woman-owned businesses can get a boost from state and...