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Success Stories

Olathe’s Custom Storefront, Inc. Starts Small Exports Big

Two basements and a storage shed are among their former small business sites, but 15 years later Jon and Camille Roberts house their small business in two Olathe, Kansas warehouses.  From these branded worksites 48 employees help them sell locally and export custom storefront branding materials to more than 16 countries. 

The Roberts, Custom Storefronts, Inc.’s owners and the company are being honored as the U.S. Small Business Administration Kansas City District Office’s Exporter of the Year.

The couple attributes their ability to move from basement to storefront and the new honor to their attention to detailed overseas shipping requirements, Kansas City shipping support and on-going help from the SBA-funded Johnson County Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC.). 

Custom Storefronts, Inc. designs and fabricates both wood and metal storefront systems for national roll-out... Read More

Architect One, a Topeka Woman-owned Firm, Wins SBA Kansas City District Small Business Person of the Year Award for 2017

SBA’s On-Line Learning Center helped Cassandra Taylor advance her knowledge of accounting and the understanding successful business models when she was considering buying in to a Topeka, Kansas based company called Architect One.  And, she introduced her co-owner to the SBA Online Learning Center, which has continued to help them through obstacles and growth ever since. Now, the Kansas City District SBA is honoring she and co-ownes with its 2017 Small Business of the Year award.

Michael Wilson opened Architect One twenty-nine years ago as a single person architectural firm.  Scott Gales joined him as a partner in 1993, Andrew Weichen in 2005, and Cassandra came aboard in 2007.  In 2015, Andrew and Cassandra became the full 50% co-owners of Architect One. 

In 2008 when the real-estate market crashed, architecture was one of the hardest-hit... Read More

Tepa logo

The Tepa Companies – Creating Sustainable Success

The rain just kept falling. So much rain that it threatened to cut off soldiers and civilians trying to drive into and out of Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A new bridge was under construction, and drivers needed help navigating the construction site through the rain and flood waters. That’s when the leaders of Medvolt, LLC, one of Kansas City’s newest construction companies and the project’s prime contractor, stepped in to help.

“It is not often you will see a contractor’s lead management staff wading through knee-deep water during torrential rains to help divert traffic safely around flood waters after dark and over the weekend,” said Jacob Wiegmann, Resident Engineer/Administrative Contracting Officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “But, such is the case with this contractor.”

This contractor, Medvolt, is an 8(a) certified small business and one of eight construction and professional... Read More

Joe Vazquez, Vazquez Commercial Contracting

Vazquez Commercial Contracting, LLC
2016 Kansas City District Small Business Person of the Year


Joe Vazquez, owner of Vazquez Commercial Contracting, LLC, thought he wanted to pursue a career as a CPA.  After earning an accounting degree, Joe believed that he was on his way to becoming a “big time” accountant.  However, after five years in the profession, Joe decided to change his career. He was burnt out!

His father-in-law owned a small construction firm performing mainly residential work. Vasquez had also gotten to know the construction industry in the course of conducting construction audits. His father-in-law knew how miserable he was in the accounting world and urged him to leave accounting and join him.  He told Joe, to come and work with him and to see what real work is about.

The father-in-law brought his son and Joe into the business as partners.  He took his business and split it three ways.

Soon after, the three partners started... Read More