Beth Bish, Bluffton Pediatrics owner, wins 2015 Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition

Beth Bish, owner of Bluffton Pediatrics, LLC, is the first-place winner in the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs 2015 Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition, according to Brendon Matthews, BCE board president. This is the sixth year for the competition named in honor of former Bluffton entrepreneur, Ropp Triplett.

First place receives $4,000 in business-start up costs that may be spent over the next 18 months.

Alice Essinger, owner of Fresh Modern Fabric, Bluffton, is second place winner and recipient of $1,500 in business start-up costs.

Melinda Bowden, owner of 315 Walnut, Bluffton, is third place winner and recipient of $500 in business start-up costs.

Other start-up businesses in the competition were Alexandria Gratz-Collier, owner of Little Gold Kitty, Findlay; Levi Probst of Probst Family Farm, Bluffton; and Ramona Hauenstein, owner of Done on Demand Virtual Assistant, Lima.

Each contestant receives a free BCE “think tank” session, a $200 value. The think tank enables persons to meet for two hours with business professionals to discuss specific issues in their business start up.

Each contestant also receives a one-year membership in the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce, an $80 value.

Judging took place on March 11 and 12 following eight weeks of business plan classes. Kathy Keller, director, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Rhodes State College, Lima, instructed the course.

Each year’s contest is open to start-up businesses and emerging businesses in Allen, Putnam, Hancock and Hardin counties.

Contest sponsors

Major sponsors of the 2015 competition are: Allen Economic Development Group, Bluffton University and First National Bank. Additional sponsors are Citizens National Bank, Mustard Seed Café, Reichenbach and Steiner CPAs, Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer and Regula CPAs, Edward Jones (Bluffton), Bluffton-Ada Icons and Superior Energy Solutions.

 “The competition teaches entrepreneurs to write a business plan that will help them improve their existing business or to successfully start a new one,” said Brendon Matthews, BCE board president.

Contest judges

Competition judges were Dan Sheaffer, coordinator, Small Business Resource Center Findlay-Hancock County; Vanessa Greer, assistant vice president/branch manager, First National Bank; Robert Inniger, vice president/business banking officer, Citizens National Bank; and Dr. George Lehman, Howard Raid professor of business; business studies division chair; director of graduate programs in business, Bluffton University.

Dress rehearsal judges were: Kathy Burris, Kendra Nickel, Mary P. Steiner, Mark Alliman, Marlena Ballinger and Beth Boehr.

 

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