DMACC Announces Small Business and Entrepreneurship Award Winners

Posted 9/21/2016

Businesses honored in five categories plus two entrepreneurs receive $10,000

Five businesses were honored and two entrepreneurs were awarded $10,000 Sept. 20 at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Small Business Awards. Almost 200 people attended the event at the DMACC Ankeny Campus FFA Enrichment Center that included a dinner, program and video featuring each award winner.

Businesses were honored in the following categories: Most Innovative, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Dennis Albaugh Award, Top Growth Company and Small Business of the Year.

The DMACC Foundation named Kelsi Ziemann Artistry (KZA) and BigDeal Car Care winners of the 2016 $10,000 Entrepreneurship Contest. The award is made possible by a generous gift to the DMACC Foundation by an anonymous donor.

KZA provides make-up services for weddings and other special occasions. DMACC alum and founder Kelsi Ziemann of Des Moines, has also formulated a long-wearing lipstick and designed a lipstick kit that connects coordinating colors of lipstick and lip liner. Ziemann said the lipstick kit will make it easier for buyers to shop for, store and locate the product inside their purse or make up bag.

“The money is instrumental in the success for my business. It will allow me to purchase my lipstick tube mold and the materials needed for my first round of inventory,” said Ziemann. “I'm so thankful for this opportunity to successfully launch my brand with the help of DMACC and the anonymous donor.”

BigDeal Car Care is a car care product company based in Adel. BigDeal Car Care produces environmentally friendly interior and exterior products like Tire Treatment, Odor Executioner, Leather Treatment and Wash n’ Wax. Co-owner Dylan Book recently completed an Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree in Chemistry from DMACC. Book is also a professional stock car racing driver.

“I plan to use $10,000 to get my products on the shelves of a super center, such as Walmart, Menards, or Dollar General,” said Book. “This would take BigDeal Car Care to the next level and also open many doors for my business in the future.”

Small Business Award winners are:

Small Business of the Year: Converse Conditioned Air is a Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Mechanical Contractor business based in Ames. The company started with one employee in 1999 and has grown to 38 people. Converse Conditioned Air has been named to the Best of Story County list seven of the last eight years.

Most Innovative Company: Lely is a global producer of robotic milking and feeding systems for the dairy sector, based in Pella. Founded in 1948, the Lely brand has played a major role in the advancement of farm equipment. Lely launched the Astronaut robotic milking system, a fully automated milking system with high-tech feeding, cow care and milk testing features.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: TJ Tollakson, Rüster Sports is a sporting goods manufacturer in Des Moines. Tollakson is a professional triathlete and two-time Ironman Champion. Rüster Sports manufacturers the Hen House bicycle case, a case that meets airline requirement standards and the Dimond Bicycle, a triathlon specific bike.

Top Growth Company: BirdDogHRis a talent management software and managed services company based in Urbandale. BirdDogHR helps companies attract and hire top talent; engage employees with goal setting and performance reviews and meet compliance reporting standards. In 2015, the company increased staffing by 35% and added 200 new customers and was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of America’s fastest growing private companies.

Dennis Albaugh Award: Clint Dudley, Shade Tree Auto provides mechanical auto repair for import and domestic vehicles. Shade Tree Auto has been named a American Automobile Association (AAA) Top Shop four years in a row. The company is building a new facility in Grimes that will triple current capacity.

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