Earlier today I was honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration as the 2013 South Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The following are my remarks from the awards ceremony in Columbia, S.C.
Thank you so much. I am truly humbled by this honor. The criteria for this award includes success early in an entrepreneur’s career, but also evaluates the potential of an entrepreneur. It is my hope and prayer that I live up to the potential the selection committee has seen in me.
Accepting an award is never complete without paying respect to those who made it possible. First I’d like to thank my colleagues at Engenius and ReWiGo who have been exceptional coworkers that I’m honored to serve with. Thank you to our clients at Engenius who entrust our team and who have been the root of our success. Thank you to the Board, volunteers, and supporters of ReWiGo who believe in the importance of safe, healthy homes for elderly, disabled, and low-income people. It is because of you that over two hundred Upstate families live in safe and repaired homes.
Thank you to the dozens of teachers, mentors, and fellow business leaders who have invested in me since childhood. Thank you to Scott Whelchel not only for his tireless support of small business men and women in the Upstate but also for nominating me for such an honor.
Most importantly, I would be nothing without my loving, supportive family who has taught me so much. My parents, Gary & JoBeth, deserve more thanks than I could ever give for the twenty-eight years they have guided me – and put up with me. Last, but by all means not least, thank you to my wife, Ashley: my rock, the love of my life, and the mother of my two children – Lydia, who has made the last two years of my life the best thus far – and my son, who we eagerly await welcoming into the world in the coming hours and days.
No success I have had would be possible without countless gifts from God, from whom all blessings flow. Finally, thank you to each of you for recognizing the need for young business talent, the countless hours you spend mentoring young leaders, and for investing in the future of our great state of South Carolina.