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Somerset Alternate Work Site
675 Monticello Street Suite A
Somerset, KY 42501
United States
Phone: (606) 677-1713

For Women Business Owners, Persistence Pays Off

Almost Home Boarding and Training, LLC and All Pets Veterinary Center, LLC are co-located in a new facility dedicated solely for pet care services.  Almost Home offers pet boarding for dogs, cats, and exotic pets, Dog Day Out, Daycare, Dog Training classes and Grooming in a 10,000 square foot indoor facility.  All Pets Veterinary Center offers a wide array of veterinary services, using the latest diagnostics and procedures, including Surgical, Therapeutic and Preventative services for pets in a 5,000 square foot facility.

On October 13, 2003, Katie Carman (now Katie Peckenpaugh) and Kathy Schultz talked to the Louisville SBDC about business plan coaching and financial projection assistance for a $1 million project.  The loan was for land acquisition and construction costs to build a training and boarding kennel facility in Louisville.  An SBDC consultant had worked with the clients to develop a solid business plan and sound financial projections.  The clients submitted a business plan and loan package to several banks in 2004.  Not understanding the concept or the pet care industry, the commercial banks that were approached declined financing.  A specialty lending bank did approve the project later, but the land contract expired.  The owners were not offered an extension and therefore lost the financing arrangement.

Armed with a new location, an additional business partner, Dr. Melissa Jewell, a veterinarian, and a desire to see their dream fulfilled, the clients reconnected with the SBDC in January 2007.  The clients revised their business plan and developed new financial projections for a $2.4 million project with SBDC assistance.  At this time, KKM, LLC was formed (Katie, Kathy and Missy) for the purchase of the land and building.  This LLC owns both the land and the building.  Using a new business model, the project encompassed a veterinary center and boarding/kennel facility.  Kathy Schultz and Katie Peckenpaugh operate and own the boarding/kennel facility, Almost Home Boarding and Training, LLC and Dr. Jewell owns the veterinary business, All Pets Veterinary Center, LLC.  The clients submitted their loan package to a bank in October 2007 and received approval for a 504 loan package through the local SBA CDC, Capital Access Corporation, contingent upon zoning approval for the new location.  The CDC “was behind us from the very beginning.  They were a tremendous help and believed in this project,” said the owners.  In March 2008, the clients were featured in a Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper article discussing the zoning approval and the project.  Excited about the approval, the clients expected to close on the business loan in May 2008. 

An unexpected obstacle prevented the closing of the loan in June 2008.  In August 2009, the clients resolved the issues and needed the financial projections revised.  They worked with BB&T, an SBA Preferred Lender, to secure financing for their venture.  After revising financials for the project with assistance from the SBDC, the clients submitted the loan packages and received in-house approval.  Although internally approved, the clients endured even more delays.  Overcoming numerous setbacks, they officially closed their loan in February 2010.  The business opened at the new location in October 2010. 

The owners are active members in various area business associations.  They also work with the local animal rescue groups, offering training room for meetings, functions and fundraisers for animals and have helped many animal rescue associations.  Because of their commitment to animals and their community, they already have won recognition for Boarding, Training and Grooming categories in the “Best of Kentuckiana” regional contest, participate in the local animal events and donate gift certificates to support animals. 

Katie Peckenpaugh has an extensive background in veterinary services, was on the board of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America and volunteers for various committees of that club.  Kathy Schultz has worked at several Louisville veterinary businesses and has crucial back-office skills that she performs for the company, including social media marketing.  Kathy said, “Word of mouth has been the highest source of referrals for us!  We think that says a lot.” 
 

SBA Made the Difference

Toni Levy founded, and is now the president of Toni Levy and Associates, Inc. (TLA), the parent company for Toni Levy, CPA; Levy Construction and Building Supplies; Levy’s Electrical and Plumbing Supplies; TLA Workforce; and Levy’s Construction Company. TLA is woman-owned/minority owned.

Ms. Levy always wanted to be an accountant, and she set her goals accordingly. After graduating from college with a degree in Computer Technology and later an account degree, Toni Levy was employed by a local accounting firm, where she honed her skills. She also is a graduate of Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Executive Business Program. Upon earning her Certified Public Accountant credentials, her innate instincts for entrepreneurship took hold. In1998, with the U.S. Small Business Administration's financial guaranty on a 7(a) loan, she started her own accounting firm.  She later used the 7(a) loan program to expand her business.

As the leader of businesses in industries dominated by large corporations and strong networks, Toni has demonstrated the ability to compete successfully. After realizing little success in bidding on federal and state contracts, TLA applied for and was accepted into SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program for disadvantaged entrepreneurs in order to be more competitive on government contracts.  As a certified 8(a) firm, TLA has obtained large federal contracts and realized steady growth. The affiliated businesses are also an SBA-Certificated HUBZone Participant and classified as a Small Disadvantaged Businesses.

Innovative arrays of service and perseverance have enabled TLA to meet the ever-growing needs of the community it serves. When the business location became too small, Toni started a construction company and built a 12,000 square-foot facility which now houses her companies. 

TLA clearly reflects Toni's strong commitment to excellence. In addition to being a woman-owned/minority business, Toni has overcome major challenges to ensure business success, and the businesses have flourished.  She has been the recipient of numerous honors and recognition.  She received the 2000 business of the year award from the Kentuckiana Minority Supplier Development Council, the 2001 small business of the year award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Woman of the Year award from the National Association for Professional Women in 2006, and in 2007 was a Finalist for The Women Business Owner of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners.  She also was the recipient of the 2006 Louisville Defender Minority Business Achievement Award and listed among the most influential in the Who’s Who in Black Louisville.  Toni is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the board of Dress for Success – Louisville Chapter, and the Minority Business Input Committee for the Tri-State Minority Supply Development Council. 

Toni Levy has overcome many of life's challenges: student, wife, mother, entrepreneur, and community leader. Unequivocally she states that SBA financial assistance clearly made the difference in her being able to start and grow her businesses.

 

DMD Data Systems, Inc.

DMD Data Systems provides information technology sales and services throughout Kentucky and nearby states. The company has earned Premier Partner status with IBM and distributes Oracle and Cisco products. Customers include the University of Louisville, the Kentucky Lottery, public school districts throughout the state, Kentucky’s Office of the Secretary of State and Department of Juvenile Justice, the Kentucky Commonwealth Office of Technology, and many other accounts.

Dave Sevigny, President and Founder of DMD, began his technology career with IBM in 1985 as an engineer and quickly moved to sales. His industry concentrations were public sector and education. Dave left IBM in 1996 to form DMD Data Systems Inc. He has a BS in engineering from the University of Buffalo and an MBA from Duke University. Dave has consulted for customers in retail, education and the public sector.

Dave has encountered many challenges, particularly in the early years of the business. In 1996, there was a downturn in the IT industry. Also, company sales plummeted due to the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2002, Dave completed his MBA and began to apply this knowledge as well as experience from another business that he had started, and sales and profits began to steadily increase.

DMD has received SBA assistance through both the SCORE Chapter and the Bluegrass SBDC in Lexington. The company also has received assistance from the Bluegrass Business Development Center.

DMD Data System’s most outstanding qualities can be summarized into four categories: exceptional revenue growth; service excellence; an innovative, employee-friendly business model; and its corporate social responsibility practices.

Most of the growth began after DMD expanded in 2002 from a one-person shop to four, and eventually 15 personnel to date. The company has twice made the Inc. 5000 list (www.inc5000.com) of fastest growing private companies and the CRN (Computer Reseller News) Fast Growth 100 (www.crn.com) three times, which annually lists the nation’s fastest growing private and technology companies respectively. DMD was also most recently awarded the Overall Small Business of the Year by Commerce Lexington and Dave was recognized as the SBA Small Business Person of the Year in Kentucky for 2011.

DMD Data System’s policy is to work through customers’ concerns to achieve mutual satisfaction. In its 15-year history, DMD Data Systems has never lost a client due to a problem or failure of service, has had no known complaints filed against it for unethical behavior through the BBB and no lawsuits filed against it for customer claims. In fact, in a 2010 customer satisfaction survey administered by a third-party resource, customers were overwhelmingly very satisfied with DMD overall, highlighting DMD’s representative’s knowledge and understanding of their business.

DMD’s investment in the multimillion dollar Commonwealth of Kentucky Technology Innovation Center offers a "try before you buy" opportunity not found elsewhere in the Commonwealth as well as providing for client testing, training, education and customized workshops.

Dave Sevigny believes an entrepreneurial environment that minimizes fixed costs and rewards employees for performance is the key to long-term success. By giving successful employees the option of becoming shareholders, he has created a high-performance team. In fact, eight employees have minority ownership in the company. DMD also invites their employees/shareholders to develop new approaches and services and shares generously in each success. Employees are welcome to set their own schedules and perform work in the hours they choose.

DMD Data Systems contributes at least 5% of its profits annually to charitable programs and encourages employees to volunteer and take leadership roles in the community. DMD also allows employees to choose the organizations the company supports, take time off work, and matches their personal contributions to those groups. Contributions of $1,000 or greater have been made annually in recent years to the International Book Project, Eastern KY Reading Camp, the March of Dimes, American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women, Lexington Children's Theatre, and the Red Cross.

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