Women’s Business Center honors 3 local entrepreneurs

Estes and Associates LLC owner Kari Estes was recognized as the Cole County Entrepreneur of the Year by the Missouri Women’s Business Center. (Provided)

The Missouri Women's Business Center (MoWBC) recognized several local entrepreneurs during its fourth annual Women Who Own It Awards event last week.

Kari Estes, owner of Estes and Associates LLC, an accounting and tax preparation service located in Jefferson City, was named this year's Cole County Entrepreneur of the Year, a news release from MoWBC said. Estes' business offers full-service accounting, corporate and personal tax returns, payroll, property management accounting and more. The group has offices in Jefferson City, St. Robert, Richland and Lebanon.

Estes did not immediately provide a comment on the award.

Kim Silvey, owner of Silvey's Soap, was honored as Moniteau County's Entrepreneur of the Year for 2022. Silvey's business offers handmade soaps that sell online and in stores, including Hy-Vee in Jefferson City. She has been in business since 2015.

"Thanks to the Missouri Women's Business Center, to my loving and supporting family and of course all my fabulous customers," Silvey wrote on social media. "I was very inspired by all the award recipients and was truly honored to stand with them!"

Callaway County's honoree was Brooke Bartlett, owner of GoPo Gourmet Popcorn. Bartlett's business offers Missouri-grown popcorn and family recipes, with a storefront in Fulton and popcorn bar services for events.

"It was an honor to be recognized and represent Callaway County. Thank you to the Missouri Women's Business Center for a lovely evening," Bartlett wrote. "Thank you to Callaway Chamber of Commerce and Callaway Bank for all your support of local entrepreneurs in our town."

Licensed professional counselor Malissa Dowell was chosen as Audrain County's honoree, while Boone County's was Pasta LaFata owner Michelle LaFata. Angela Stegner and Diana Durham, co-owners of Momma Tied Boutique, were recognized for Cooper County, and Cortney Pettit of Tiny Tots Innovation was honored for Howard County. Osage County Entrepreneur of the Year Barbara Lauberth, owner of Barbara's Boutique Formal Wear for All Occasions, rounded out this year's list.

The annual event recognizes honorees from a pool of nominees in each Mid-Missouri county, highlighting their contributions to their communities and their business acumen.

MoWBC is an arm of Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) focused on supporting women, minorities and small businesses by providing resources and encouraging entrepreneurial success. It is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  photo  GoPo Gourmet Popcorn owner Brooke Bartlett was recognized as the Callaway County Entrepreneur of the Year by the Missouri Women’s Business Center. (Provided)
  photo  Kim Silvey, owner of Silvey's Soap, was recognized as the Moniteau County Entrepreneur of the Year by the Missouri Women’s Business Center. (Provided)