SBA Announced Kansas Small Business Person of the Year!

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Kansas City District Office  - March 2020

u s small business administration

Tonganoxie Based HMC Performance Coatings Company Owner Named Kansas Small Business Person of the Year!

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The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2020 Kansas Small Business Person of the Year is Mrs. Amie Tripp-Bristol, the president & CEO of HMC Performance Coatings, LLC in Tonganoxie, Kansas. 

Amie Tripp-Bristol doubled both the sales and the number of employees, from 10 to 23, of her company between 2016 and 2018.  She runs HMC Performance Coatings, after starting it 7 years ago, as a woman in a predominantly male industry – media blasting and powder coating. Media blasting removes existing finishes while powder coating is a dry finishing process designed to provide a durable protective or decorative finish on a wide array of products.

Not only is the company growing, but its rapid growth has necessitated many changes. First, the company kept outgrowing their space, which started as 3,600 square feet, and after adding space a little at a time over and over, finally secured a $1.8 million SBA guaranteed loan to add two additional powder coat batch lines and increase manufacturing space to more than 18,000 square feet. Over the years as orders poured in, the company struggled with hiring and cashflow to fund their growing payroll.  In 2013, Amie sought the counseling and training services of the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. SBDC counselor Jack Harwell helped Amie, a former special education teacher, by suggesting she hire a Lean Coach to shore up the company’s back room operations. The SBDC also helped her set and exceed yearly revenue goals, increase employment opportunities, meet the unique needs of clients and develop a continuous improvement mindset.

Amie worked with the local high school to create a work experience program for students of various backgrounds, who get to experience real-life expectations of an employer and to learn a hands-on trade. While they are at the company, Amie mentors the seniors selected to work at HMC to build their resumes and develop interview skills. HMC has hired two full-time employees from the program to work full time at HMC after graduation.

The company also focuses time and resource on like-minded industry programs such as Dirt Works Studio, taught at the University of Kansas, helping architect students design and build a project, and Van go, Inc., an arts-based social service agency that provides year-round after school and summer job training programs to underserved youth. HMC also contributes to Boy Scouts, local scholarships and a sponsorship of the high school’s antique car show. Amie and her husband, Shawn, also serve as a foster home for the Heartland Weimaraner Rescue.

Amie’s years as an educator armed her with the ability to coach her team for development and today, she leads the HMC team charge: “We didn’t get this far to get this far!”

HMC Performance Coatings is an exceptional example of how to create a successful small business,” said the SBA Kansas City District Director, Jon Malcolm Richards. “Amie Tripp-Bristol engaged the counseling resources of the Kansas Small Business Development Center  at Johnson County Community College and the SBA guaranty loan to leverage her own talent and drive into this remarkable success story. She is a credit to entrepreneurs everywhere,” said Mr. Richards.

Amie Tripp-Bristol has been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on May 3-4, where she will be honored with her individual award. During the ceremonies, the SBA will announce the 2020 National Small Business Person of the Year among the individual winners represented from across the U.S. and territories. Amie will represent the state of Kansas. Congratulations and best of luck Amie!

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SBA Kansas City District Office Directory

Jon Malcolm Richards, District Director, (816) 426-4903

Mike McWhorter, Lead Lender Relations Specialist, (816) 426-4916

Carolina Vargas, Lender Relations Specialist, (816) 426-4913

Sheila Forrester, Economic Development Specialist/PIO, (816) 426-4908

Ken Surmeier, Business Opportunity Specialist, (816) 426-4919

Springfield, MO Branch Office Directory

Ram Basnet, Branch Manager/PIO, (417) 889-6912

Lisa Zimmerman, Lender Relations Specialist, (417) 413-5793