Success Stories

Photo of Strategic Communications Founder Kathy Mills (center) with SBA staff.

Brief description of the business: Strategic Communications is a value-added reseller of IT products and services, providing fully integrated voice, video and data solutions to healthcare, commercial, education and government sectors.

SBA Assistance: In business since 1994, the company received 8(a) certification in 2004. At that time, 95% of its business was in the private sector, so CEO and Founder Kathy Mills immediately assigned a dedicated person to pursue government 8(a) contract opportunities. Unfortunately, Ms. Mills did not have an 8(a) mentor and was unaware of the correct path to follow to be successful in obtaining awards. She did not engage with the SBA Kentucky District Office and was unaware of how SBA personnel could assist her business, so it took the company three years before obtaining a contract. Ms. Mills eventually contacted the Kentucky District Office 8(a) Business Development Specialist, Robert Coffey, who introduced Ms. Mills to a recent 8(a)... Read More

Photo of Scott Shinn

SBA Assistance: Scott Shinn is the President and CEO of Sustainment Solutions, Inc. (SSI) and the 2015 SBA KY Small Business Person of the Year. The company is a Veteran-Owned, HUBZone certified business and is a recent recipient of funding from the the STEP program for export assistance. Mr. Shinn also has received assistance from the SBDC in Lexington and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), which is administered now by the Kentucky SBDC Network. He volunteers for the SCORE-Lexington Chapter as well.

Veteran Owned Business: SSI is a Veteran-Owned Small Business owned by Scott and Amanda Shinn. As an Air Force veteran, Scott understands the value of veterans as employees, and most who work for SSI are veterans.

How Business Was Started: Mr. Shinn has over 20 years of Electrical/Military Discipline field experience. He career began in the U.S. Air Force in 1993, serving in Alaska and was later deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch.... Read More

Bardstown Mills Management Team

Bardstown Mills was incorporated in 1952 as an animal feed business. Prior to that, the company was a woolen mill that began in 1820 in the Bardstown, KY area. In 1890, the business was converted to a flour mill until the present company was formed in 1952.

This is the oldest operating business in the central Kentucky area and one of the oldest in state. Bardstown Mills buys grains from local farmers and has the only grain elevator in Nelson County. The company has the capability to manufacture feed for just about any type of animal and sells feed both wholesale and retail.

Bardstown Mills has continued its farming tradition with a new 15,000 square foot retail center that was financed with an SBA 504 loan. In the new building, the company offers a full line of local produce, honey, fresh eggs, farm supplies, feeding and watering equipment, fencing and gates, hay and straw, medications, animal health aides, pet supplies, farm toys, work clothing, boots, gardening... Read More

Marine Solutions and Amy Wilkins

Marine Solutions, Inc. (MSI) is a small, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) specializing in engineering and commercial diving. The firm is focused on building and maintaining waterfront, hydraulic, navigation and bridge structures. MSI combines marine engineering and construction experience, to provide clients with high-quality, innovative solutions for their facility by; assessing the problem, designing and then implementing the repair. MSI’s services are provided through a diversified staff of engineers, commercial divers and construction professionals with experience throughout the U.S. and abroad. MSI is majority owned by Amy Wilkins, PE, who seeks to exceed client expectations and to ensure that MSI is always in the forefront of the industry by providing unparalleled service and value through its highly motivated staff.

SBA Assistance: MSI management worked with the Bluegrass SBDC in Lexington, KY to develop their business plan and projections, obtain initial... Read More