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Sunday, January 31, 2010

And the winners are ...



The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship recently recognized several businesses at the 2009 Annual KOSBE Awards ceremony. Here are the winners:

*Joyce Grills won the KOSBE Impact Award. Joyce is the owner of The Haggle Shop on Broad Street in downtown Kingsport, won the Impact Award for an outstanding individual and small business advocate.

*Edo Sushi Bar & Grill, owned by May Ling Hu-Lai and Benson Lai, won first place in the young entrepreneur category.

*Phil’s Dream Pit, took first place in the new business category.

*Clean + Safe Janitorial Services, LLC, owned by John Humphries, won first place in the business excellence category for businesses employing 10 or more people.

*Maxwell Coach Company, Inc., owned by Charles W. Maxwell, took first place in the business excellence category for businesses employing fewer than 10 employees.

Maxwell launched the business in May 2005, offering coach services throughout the region and beyond. Today the company operates two large capacity coaches — one equipped with 56 seats and the other with 50 seats — in addition to a 15-passenger van and a 7-passenger van.
“Maxwell Coach Company is committed to community enrichment,” Maxwell wrote in his contest application.
For the past four years, the company has provided transportation for children at the Kingsport Boys and Girls Club. It also provides transportation for seniors for special activities, including annually providing free transportation for a senior picnic.
For several years, Maxwell Coach has offered free transportation as a silent auction item for Friends in Need, the Ameri- can Heart Association, and the Kingsport Boys & Girls Club.
Last year, the company was selected by the city of Kingsport to transport city officials to Washington, D.C., to accept an award from Harvard University’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In addition to local community involvement, the company has been involved in relief efforts in Louisiana to evacuate victims of Hurricane Gustav, and in Mississippi to assist tree workers in Hattiesburg after Hurricane Katrina.
“As a service-connected veteran and minority owned small business, we face challenges and adversity daily,” Maxwell wrote in his contest application. “I believe and trust in God, who gives me the power to manage the stress from work and family in order to endure and overcome adversity. Adversity has made me the man that I am today and Maxwell Coach the company it is today. Since most businesses do not make it beyond four years, I am especially proud of the fact that we have continued to grow in sales volume and profitability.”
Maxwell was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Kingsport, graduating from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1986.
For more information, visit or contact Maxwell at or (423) 276-3677.
The runner up in this category was A Team Real Estate Professionals, owned by Pam Addington. A Team has remained among the top five agencies in Kingsport, and is 10th in Northeast Tennessee.