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Entrepeneurs Win Business Awards
story & photo by Ned Hunter
February 6, 2007:  The Jackson Sun

Entrepeneurs Win Business Awards

Five business owners won in the category of Emerging Business
By NED HUNTER

Winners of the 2006 Emerging Business Awards

The 2006 Pinnacle Awards for Emerging Business went to five companies. Pictured left to right are: Michael Laffoon, co-owner of Trinity Solutions; Angie and Steve Smith, owners of Sensational Scents; Rachel Dickson, owner Dickson Gallery of Fine Art; Leigh House, owner of Preferred Plus Mortgage; John Mauney, co-owner of Trussmark. The annual awards are sponsored by the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. The event was held at Union University.

On the surface, it is recognition by their peers for a job well done.

Beneath that, it is a tribute to the tenacity, perseverance and raw courage it takes to walk away from a steady pay check and assume the debt needed to build the dream of owning a business.

Those messages and others are the essence of the Pinnacle Awards in the category of Emerging Business that were presented to five Jackson business owners at noon on Monday at Union University.

"It's a leap of faith when you start your own business," said John Mauney, who with his wife, Susan, owns Trussmark, Inc. Started in 2005, the company provides budgeting scheduling, design and contracting services. "But I didn't want to get to retirement and say, 'What if?' and not know."

The annual awards are sponsored by the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.

There also is a category of the Pinnacle Awards awarded to businesses at least five years old. Those awards will be presented at 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Fairgrounds Park on Thursday.

An estimated 671,000 small businesses were opened nationally in 2005, according to the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation in Washington, D.C. More than 280 small businesses were opened in Jackson in 2006, not including those involved in construction, according to records from the city's Department of Revenue.

Leigh House, owner of Preferred Plus Mortgage, agreed with Mauney. House said the right opportunity is always worth the risk.

"When an opportunity arises, take it," said House, whose voice wavered with quiet humility. "It's better to try and fail than not try at all."

Still, winning the chamber's Emerging Business award often comes down to a sense of first-year victory and validation.

"It's a great recognition for a lot of hard work and community involvement," said Michael Laffoon, co-owner of Trinity Solutions. The company offers Internet technology solutions, including back-up data storage and disaster recovery planning. The company recently changed its name to ATA Technology.

Visit jacksonsun.com and share your thoughts.

- Ned Hunter, 425-9641

 

 

 

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