The Center for Entrepreneurship conferred its first annual entrepreneurship awards in March. Awards this inaugural year were given in two categories, Emerging Entrepreneur and Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Emerging Entrepreneur is the highest award given to an entrepreneur who has been in business for five years or less, and Jason Chase, co-owner/CEO of Tech Team and TrueVoIP in St. Joseph, was named the 2017 Emerging Entrepreneur. He started (and failed at, he says) a number of businesses beginning at the age of 13 with a lawn mowing service.  Jason graduated with an MBA from Missouri State University in December of 2005, and has lived in St. Joseph since then. In 2009 he entered into the technology arena with a local business, Triggerfish. That eventually led him, alongside his colleague and brother-in-law Travis Hawkins, to forming Tech Team. Jason personifies true entrepreneurship and we congratulate him on his accomplishment!

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is the highest award given to an entrepreneur who has been in business for five years or more. The 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year is Bob Wollenman. Bob, a 1972 graduate of Missouri Western, has been associated with Deluxe Truck Stop LLC in south St. Joseph since 1979. Bob gives credit for his success to the growth of other companies in the area and is a tireless champion and supporter of the area’s business and entrepreneurial community.

If you would like to nominate an entrepreneur for either award, please complete the online nomination form here.