A soon-to-be husband and wife team earned top honors in the second annual EntrePaducah-Paducah Bank Business Plan Competition.
Dr. Becky Nastally and her fiancé T.J. Couey received a check for $2,500 Tuesday from contest sponsor Paducah Bank. Dr. Nastally is a board certified and licensed behavior analyst who specializes in the treatment of autism among children and young adults. She currently serves as an assistant professor in the Rehab Institute at Southern Illinois University. Couey is employed at Computer Services, Inc. (CSI), but will assist as the company's business manager.
"Working with autistic children is so important to me. So many autism patients have to travel long distances to receive this type of treatment. I am proud to have the opportunity to start our business and offer treatment right here in Paducah," Dr. Nastally said. Paducah Bank supplied the prize money for the contest for the second year. In making the check presentation, Paducah Bank President Wally Bateman expressed his gratitude to the couple for locating in Paducah and filling a local need.
Joe Framptom, Paducah Bank CEO, reiterated Bateman's statements adding, "They detected a niche that fits with their skill set and captured a need in the community."
Competitors in the contest were required to submit a written business plan which was reviewed by judges independent of EntrePaducah and Paducah Bank. Three finalists were selected to make their business "pitch" to a different panel of judges during a "live" round of competition. Bloom was the top scorer in both categories.
"It is very gratifying to work with business start-ups and help prepare them not just for competition, but to prepare them to open their business with solid, well-prepared research via their business plan," said EntrePaducah Executive Director Terry Reeves. Winners of the first contest in 2011 were Dream Green, a service that offers curbside recycling pickup.
"Our winners have found unique needs in the community and taken the risk to address those needs by opening their own business," Reeves added, "that's entrepreneurism at its best."