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Hamilton citizens named National Small Business Persons of the Year

Missouri Star Quilt Co. founders Alan Doan and sister Sarah Galbraith were named the 2015 National Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They also won Missouri Small Business Persons of the Year.

The brother-sister pair founded their quilting business in 2008 in Hamilton, Mo., an hour outside of Kansas City. Since opening, the business has seen tremendous growth, now occupying more than 100,000 square feet in 15 buildings and employing 148 people, making it one of the largest employers in Caldwell County.

Their business strategy involves a brick and mortar shop in downtown Hamilton that attracts tourists throughout the year, thriving e-commerce that ships products every day to customers around the world and quilting tutorials on YouTube.

For more information, read this article from The Kansas City Star

ExCEEDing expectations

Communities in Missouri have regained a voice at the local, regional and national level, through MU Extension's ExCEED program. As a nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary program focused on partnership with communities and regional collaboration across the state of Missouri, ExCEED enables the revitalization of economies through innovative engagement techniques designed to jumpstart community development.

Building resilience in Missouri communities

ExCEED ignites a sense of ownership and resilience within the community, enabling active participation representative of the whole community, during all phases of the process. The program encourages communities to analyze and synthesize their assets (rather than focusing on needs or shortcomings). In short, ExCEED fosters more informed citizenry and increases local community capacity for sustained development. By targeting activation of core community assets, ExCEED empowers Missouri communities to engage with funders, foundations and stakeholders — in pursuit of resilient economies.

At all phases of the engagement process, ExCEED works with communities, one-on-one, to discover the central vision articulated by the people on the ground — local citizens and neighbors — what we call "the well-springs of community knowledge and history." With respect for local context, ExCEED infuses concepts of economic sustainability and resilience into each community-based strategic visioning session and all action-planning workshops. Participants of these ExCEED workshops invest quality time into the long-term planning process; after all, project implementation takes place by community, for community while ExCEED remains dedicated to providing auxiliary support, tracking progress and celebrating transformative change triggered by local constituents.

Capturing the Show-Me spirit

The ExCEED program uses a grassroots community engagement model that emphasizes regional collaboration and cooperation, galvanizing citizens across county lines to rediscover Missouri's potential for renewal. The program's magnetic, bridge-building initiatives stoke momentum on the ground and animate the combined energies of local, regional and national stakeholders, strengthening economies across the greater Missouri area. ExCEED joins with communities just like yours — celebrating renewed "Show-Me" spirit across our region.

For more information on ExCEED's community-based efforts, please feel free to read the ExCEED 2013 Annual Report (PDF) and visit our Services page to learn more about our engagement techniques. We welcome your inquiries and hope to meet your community soon!