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Finalists named in area business makeover contest

BY DAVID ZOELLERdzoeller@paducahsun.com

The three finalists in the Xtreme Business Makeover competition conducted by KeeFORCE have been identified, and the winner of the prize package valued at just under $45,000 will be announced next week.  

The finalists include two Paducah businesses, Lundberg Medical Imaging and Posh Academy, and Wren's Pet Lodge of Benton. The winner will be announced at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Emerging Technology Center at West Kentucky Community & Technical College. This is the fourth year the contest has been held. Last year's winner was Occasions Unlimited.

"We look for a business that has had some success, but just needs a boost to go from ordinary to extraordinary," said David Morse, director of marketing for KeeFORCE. "We had a lot of qualified applicants, which makes it harder for the judges."

This year's competition was launched in January. Applicants had until March 7 to go on line and fill out a short application. The only criteria were for applicants to have been in business at least two years, have a minimum of three employees and be located in the Jackson Purchase area, Morse said.

Qualifying applicants answered a 17-question survey about their business and participated in an on-site interview with KeeFORCE. Five independent judges then reviewed all the material, narrowed the field down to three and selected the winner.

This year's prize package comes from 22 businesses. KeeFORCE is donating one year of its Xtreme Support Help Desk Plan, which provides network help for up to 10 computers and one server. Capstone HR is lending a hand with HR consulting and reviews, and EntrePaducah will offer consultation services, while 1187 Creative is providing $5,000 worth of branding and marketing services. The Four Rivers Business Journal is giving print ads to the winner. WPSD Local 6 and WKMS are both giving on-air advertising.

FNB Bank is giving $500 to the winner as well as consumer loan discounts. Frick Investment Group and Money Concepts will provide financial planning and monitoring for one year, and Glisson Vineyards added an office party for 20 guests with alcohol discounts. Williams, Williams & Lentz, CPA will provide an overview of the winner's bookkeeping system, and Turner Communications will review all communications policies with recommendations. Workforce Solutions at West Kentucky Community & Technical College will add four hours of leadership training to the list.

The prize package also includes a free ad on iList Paducah's website, business structure reviews by Long & Long, LLC, stationary materials from Minuteman Press, an advertising package from MyLocalConnect.com and on-hold messaging services from Omni On Hold Messaging. The winner will also receive a risk management workshop with Peel & Holland, $500 of products from Petter Business Systems, $1,000 worth of imprinted merchandise from Rene Advertising Specialties, Inc., and a specially designed website from Solution Media Group.

Lundberg Medical Imaging is an independent diagnostic imaging center utilizing MRI, CT, ultrasound, mammography and general X-rays to enable referring health care providers to diagnose and treat patients. Posh Academy is a unique preschool that provides a forward-thinking approach to early childhood education. Wren's Pet Lodge is a pet grooming, training and boarding business.

The Extreme Makeover competition is a community goodwill project, according to Morse.

"Our philosophy is if we help the (business) community grow, then our company is going to grow," Morse said.

Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.

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