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Success Stories

About nine years ago, Cathy Stafford had a vision for a new company, Ad-Venture Promotions. At that time, she was a single mother with a young son.  She had recently gone through a divorce and was still battling stage 4 colon cancer.  Despite these and other challenges, she started a new business in the laundry room of her home, with her son close by her side.  She worked harder than she had ever done before, growing the home based business steadily and profitably, despite dealing with many challenging obstacles along the way. 

The obstacles she incurred did not get in the way of her vision.  She eventually moved the business outside the home and later purchased an office building where the business now resides.  An SBA Express loan helped provide her with additional capital necessary for any rapidly-growing business and enabled her to add employees. 

Today, Cathy Stafford operates her promotional products business with that same passion and vision.  The company now... Read More

As president and CEO of T.E.M. Group, Inc., Tom Masterson has over 30 years of experience in all phases of the electrical industry. T.E.M. is an electric contracting company providing service in engineering, supply and electrical service maintenance of industrial, commercial and institutional facilities. Tom started T.E.M. in 1999 and worked out of his living room with operating capital from his personal savings. The company won its first major contract with UPS in Louisville for $300,000. Opportunities and revenue began to climb, and in two years, four employees grew to 30.

As the business grew, Tom took advantage of a number of U.S. Small Business Administration programs, including 8(a) and HUBZone certifications, and counseling from the Small Business Development Center, and he secured an SBA guaranteed loan. While SBA does not make direct loans to small businesses, the agency does offer a number of financial assistance programs for small businesses that have been... Read More

A native of Louisville, KY, Kena Samuels Stith is deeply rooted in her community.  Kena obtained her accounting degree from the University of Louisville.  In November 1999, with an accounting degree from the University of Louisville in hand, she opened SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm, Inc.  Kena’s corporate office offers comprehensive accounting and consulting services, including loan packaging, payroll, management, bookkeeping, and tax services.  She also has added several tax-focused locations in Louisville and in 2004 expanded with a payroll division called Payroll Network.  The Pre-Loan Business Packaging Preparation Division has been expanded as well.

Kena’s vision was to offer more than the usual accounting business, especially in the form of service, including to underserved communities of Louisville.  For example, while SKS was installing a POS terminal at a local restaurant, Kena realized the owner was short on help during a lunch rush. She helped wait on those... Read More

Mr. Donovan Wadsworth, founder of D&M Contracting, Inc., a military veteran, started the company in 2000, and, with his partner at the time, incorporated the business in 2004.  Since then, the business has evolved into a full-service restoration company that provides fire, water and wind damage repair services for locally and nationally-owned insurance companies. 

The innovativeness of their service and product offerings comes through both their unique specialty and their ability to provide excellent quality of work to many consumers.  They employ state-of-the-art estimation software that not only produces accurate restoration estimates for customers but also contains the groundbreaking ability to produce 3-D aerial images of the anticipated finished work.  Mr. Wadsworth built this business model as a way to not only offer this distinctive service but also to survive in such a challenging economy.  They have received extremely positive feedback from clients.

D... Read More