REMCO headquarters building



JOYCE SMITH, Staff Writer,The Kansas City Star

June 1, 1997 

The district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration has named Sam Gromowsky, owner of Almar Printing Inc., as its 1997 Small Business Person of the Year.

Gromowsky will be honored at the SBA's Small Business Award Ceremony Friday. Other business people also will honored, and several educational events are planned through the week.

Gromowsky started Almar Printing in 1966 with a printing press in a tiny office above a bar. In 1980, he moved to his current location at 7735 Wornall Road. Sales topped $1 million in 1996.

Other SBA honorees: Exporter of the Year: Dean and Priscilla Armstrong, owners of Roller Equipment Manufacturing Co. in Grandview. The company, known as REMCO, makes equipment used in the rubber roll industry. The company also was honored as the Missouri winner and regional winner for Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska.

Young Entrepreneur: Chris Moore, vice president of Wind Wizards Inc., Lenexa. Moore, 25, opened the kite business in 1991 with his mother, Carolyn Moore. The company has a location in Kansas City, North, along with a new one opening in the City Market.

Minority Small Business Advocate: Jerome Toson Sr., founder of the Entrepreneur DevelopmentCenter at Donnelly College. The center provides self-employment training and help. Toson also was the Kansas winner.

Women in Business Advocate: Barbara Cunningham, a business and industry specialist withUniversity of Missouri Extension. Cunningham is a charter member of the Home Business Connection, which provides networking, education and support to home-based businesses. She also is active with the First Step Fund, a business training and microloan program, and helped the program establish a mentoring system to work with its graduates.

Financial Services Advocate: Katherine Hunter, a vice president at Commerce Bank and an active member of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders and the American Business Women's Association.

She most recently was with NationsBank, helping small-business owners with starting or expanding a business. She also volunteers for several business education programs.

Small Business Week events Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, will speak at a seminar on ``Motivating Employees in the '90s. '' The seminar will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Johnson County Community College, College Boulevard and Quivira Road, Overland Park.

The cost is $49 and includes the book and a continental breakfast.

For more information or to make reservations, call 469-4445.

A panel discussion, “Women in Business: An Entrepreneur's Roundtable,” will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cultural Education Center at Johnson County Community College. Women entrepreneurs and professionals will talk about management practices, effective customer service, financial issues and pitfalls to avoid when starting and running a business.

The cost is $20. For more information or to make reservations, call 469-2323.

The award winners will be honored at a breakfast ceremony Friday at Rockhurst College, 53rd Street and Troost Avenue. The cost is $10.

For more information call Patty Ingram at 374-6760, Ext. 244.

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce held its Small Business Week celebrations in late April.