Success Stories

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

Roger and Dana Ward, Great Day Moving

If you have every moved, and most people have, you realize it can be a great day or a terrible day – depending on whether someone in charge knows what they are doing and gives orders like a drill sergeant to assure the job is done right! Roger and Dana Ward, of Great Day Moving, both have the tenacity and skills learned while in the armed services to make any moving day “great.”

After Roger returned from Iraq, Roger and Dana left the armed services and poured their life savings in late 2007 into the purchase of Marathon Moving and Delivery LLC, a fledgling company providing residential and commercial moving and furniture delivery services to the greater Kansas City area since 1994.  The business consisted of just one piece of property – a truck. And shortly following their purchase of it, their primary client, responsible for 70 % of the business’ previous revenue, announced they were closing their doors.  This turned Roger and Dana’ projections upside down and left them... Read More

Paradise Locker Meats employees

Trimble, MO...A glance at the firm’s full-service retail website is drool-inducing:  Dry aged pork chops, smoked Porterhouse pork chops, smoked boneless ham, Capicola-style ham — and that’s just the pork. That doesn’t even touch the dizzying variety of steak and beef from traditional to Wagyu (meat from Japanese cattle bred with Angus here in the U.S.), chicken, lamb, even, on occasion, alligator, buffalo, elk, kangaroo and rabbit.  Oh, the chickens? Amish-raised.

 “I would say our retail is close to 50 percent now. It’s risen a lot in the last couple of years,” says Teresa Fantasma, CFO of Paradise Locker in tiny Trimble, about 30 miles north of Kansas City off Route 169. (Fantasma means ghost in Italian — more on that soon.)

Growth is good. So is profit and expansion, aided by Rebecca Lobina, regional director of the Northwest Missouri State University St. Joseph Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC).

Lobina has counseled the Fantasmas since... Read More

Stronghold Data Staff

Caves and high tech normally don’t go together.  But they should.

Stronghold Data, an IT solutions firm in Joplin, has placed its state-of the-art, fully redundant data center, 85 feet underground guarded by several layers of physical security, video cameras, biometric and other ID requirements. All their data and state-of-the art hardware is as protected as that of NASA and can serenely weather any natural and most man-made disasters.

This security is vitally important for Stronghold’s far-flung clients in the insurance, financial, healthcare, law enforcement, manufacturing and other industries throughout the U.S. and from the Caribbean to Canada, in five main areas:

Small Medium Business (SMB) to Enterprise hardware and software sales Managed services and monthly contractual support Voice over IP (VoIP, a group of technologies that delivers voice communication and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol — chances are good your office phone uses VoIP) and... Read More