Small Business Development Center names 2015 ‘Rising Star’

Tennessee Small Business Development Center has named Modern Supply as its 2015 Rising Star Award winner. Pictured from left are Bruce Hayes, TSBDC small business specialist, Pace Robinson, CEO of Modern Supply and L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State Community College president.
Tennessee Small Business Development Center has named Modern Supply as its 2015 Rising Star Award winner. Pictured from left are Bruce Hayes, TSBDC small business specialist, Pace Robinson, CEO of Modern Supply and L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State Community College president.

The Knoxville office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, a division of Pellissippi State Community College, has named Modern Supply as its 2015 Rising Star winner.

The Rising Star award is the highest honor TSBDC has to recognize growing small businesses in the Knoxville area. The award honors business owners who have achieved sustainability and success and who contribute to the growth and development of Tennessee’s economy.

“Modern Supply exemplifies determination and courage in successfully adapting to overcome small-business hardships,” said Larry Rossini, senior director of Knoxville TSBDC.

Modern Supply is a kitchen, bath, and lighting supplier and a distributor of various plumbing, electrical, and heating and air systems. The business, established in 1949, has showroom galleries in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Johnson City.

 “During the recession, Modern Supply CEO Pace Robinson and president/COO Dottie Ramsey had to make painful business decisions about workforce reduction and the closure of two locations,” Rossini said. “Downturn adjustments surfaced again in 2013, and Modern Supply again faced serious challenges.”

It was at that time that Robinson sought aid from TSBDC.

Using analysis and marketing tools available to small businesses through TSBDC, staff worked with Modern Supply employees to assess the company’s financial health, define target markets and competitors, and determine action plans.

“Working together with a fresh perspective and new tools for success, Modern Supply is looking to usher in changes toward a prosperous future,” said Rossini. “In 2014, Modern Supply contributed an estimated $2.7 million and 12 new jobs in local economic impact.”

Robinson was more than satisfied with the help provided by TSBDC.

“I did not know what to expect when I first contacted the TSBDC. I have been pleasantly surprised with the level of professional knowledge and assistance I have received. I would recommend TSBDC to any small business facing a challenge that you feel you cannot solve by yourself.”

TSBDC is a network of professional business consultants with 13 centers throughout Tennessee. For more information, visit www.tsbdc.org. For more information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Download this press release: TSBDC Names Rising Star 2015