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Who are this year’s KOSBE Award winners?

From staff reports • Dec 6, 2019 at 12:27 PM

KINGSPORT — Successful small businesses were recognized Thursday night as the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) announced the winners of the 25th Anniversary KOSBEs.

The winners were:

2019 Manufacturing Business Excellence — GSM Filtration

2019 Marketing Business Excellence — Beyond Engagement

2019 New Business Excellence — The Salt Oasis Kingsport

2019 Retail Business Excellence — Duke & Fox

2019 Woman-Owned Business Excellence — Flight Athletic Academy

2019 Service Business Excellence — Appalachian Maid Services

2019 Construction Business Excellence — Patterson Homes

2019 Innovation Business Excellence — ActionVFX

2019 Food Business Excellence — The Main Street Pizza Company

2019 Pillar of Excellence — Hunter, Smith & Davis

2019 Young Entrepreneur Business Excellence — ARO Creative

2019 Gazelle Business Excellence — Mycroft Signs

2019 Veteran-Owned - Rowan Tree Care

More than 300 business leaders and entrepreneurs showed up for the awards gala held at the MeadowView Marriott, including all of Pal’s operators. The Pal’s organization was on hand to witness an honored guest, Hal Carmack. Carmack was presented with a special Hidden Gem Award, for his significant but quiet contributions including designing and building 26 of Pal’s distinctive hot-dog-shaped restaurants.

Don Royston received the 2019 IMPACT Award. Royston is well-known for his role as Santa Claus aboard the Santa Train. Royston was one of the original founding fathers who helped create KOSBE. Royston was also recently recognized with the prestigious Lifetime Member Award during the State of the Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast.

Taylor’s Martial Arts Academy received a $1,000 cash prize for their efforts and results while participating in KOSBE’s new Propel Mentor/​Protégé Program. The Propel program is a one-of-its-kind opportunity designed for woman-, veteran-, and minority-owned small businesses and disadvantaged businesses including rural, economic, or social disadvantage. The program provides business owners with one-on-one assistance to help them grow their business, and teams them up with a mentor (an established community business leader) and exclusive mastermind group.

“The award winners represent the best of the best small businesses in the region,” said Dustin Mohr, KOSBE chair-elect and chief operating officer at Martin Dentistry. “In an environment that is increasingly competitive, we have recognized the leading businesses and individuals that have impacted the small business community, the city of Kingsport, and beyond.”

The nominations, representing 46 businesses and eight individuals, were judged by an independent jury of industry experts. To maintain the integrity and quality of the competition, no staff from the Kingsport Chamber, nor KOSBE was part of the selection process.

About The KOSBEs

The KOSBEs promote economic impact by recognizing small businesses that are leading by example and making an extraordinary contribution to the communities they do business in. The winners exemplify leadership and excellence in overcoming adversity, and a passion for helping others succeed. Award winners serve as inspirational leaders to other local small businesses, and they model best practices that will progress the region as a whole. For a complete list of past winners, visitwww.kosbeawards.org.


The mission of KOSBE is to be the go-to organization in the area for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their business, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. For more information, call (423) 392-8811, or visitwww.kosbe.org.