Campus News

Five small business awards presented by the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center


Contact 1: Bud Grimes


MARTIN, Tenn. — Five Small Business Awards were announced Oct. 23, presented by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at the UT Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center. The awards were given at a reception held at the university’s Holland McCombs Center.

Awards announced were: John Clark, First State Bank, Tennessee Financial Services Champion Award; Darlene Adkins, UT Martin, Faculty Star Award; Davis Automotive, Charlie and Karen Davis, Success Story Star Award; Monograms & More, Anita Allen Bell, Rising Star Award; and Final Flight Outfitters, Kelly Powers, Rising Star Award.

Awards information includes the following:

•John Clark is president/CEO of Community Bancshares, Inc., and president/CEO of First State Bank. The statewide Tennessee Financial Services Champion Award goes to an individual who assists small businesses through exemplary efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services. Under Clark’s leadership, First State Bank was a significant contributor and supporter of the UT Martin REED Center, which helps individuals start or improve small businesses.

•Darlene Adkins is a UT Martin accounting lecturer. The Faculty Star Award honors a UT Martin faculty member who provides time and expertise to TSBDC’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Adkins, who has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and auditing positions, serves as an accounting consultant and teaches QuickBooks classes for the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center.

•Charlie and Karen Davis are the owners of Davis Automotive in Martin. The Success Story Star Award honors one of the region’s small business successes and its role in the local economy. Davis Automotive, located at 709 Lindell Street, is Weakley County’s largest auto repair business. In October 2011, Charlie and Karen purchased and remodeled the former IGA/Save-A-Lot building located across from the former location, converting it into an auto facility with the latest equipment and diagnostic technology. As the business grew, the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center provided guidance and consultation for improving the online experience for Davis Automotive customers.

•Anita Bell is owner of Monograms & More in Martin. The Rising Star Award recognizes entrepreneurs who have demonstrated high growth potential and job creation to create a positive economic impact in the region. Monograms & More is an embroidery, screen-printing and specialty gift shop. This year, the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center assisted Bell in obtaining financing to complete a major interior renovation of the Monograms & More building.

•Kelly, Tripp and Ed Powers own Final Flight Outfitters in Union City and also received the Rising Star Award. Final Flight is a mail-order catalog company, E-commerce site and waterfowl retail store that specializes in high-end hunting products. The family business, which started in 1998 out of a storage trailer, now offers a product showroom covering more than 25,000 square feet. Final Flight currently has more than 30 employees.

To learn more about the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center, visit, or contact the office at 731-587-7333 to speak with a certified small business counselor.


PHOTO CAPTION – Five Small Business Awards were announced Oct. 23, presented by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at the UT Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center. Pictured at the awards reception are (left to right) Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor; David Bell, Monograms & More; Anita Allen Bell, owner, Monograms & More; Kelly Powers, Final Flight Outfitters; Landy Fuqua, director, REED Center; John Clark, First State Bank; Darlene Adkins, UT Martin; Charlie and Karen Davis, Davis Automotive; Walter Perry, Tennessee district director, Small Business Administration; and Dr. Ross Dickens, dean, UT Martin College of Business and Global Affairs.


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