■ The following Southern and Eastern Kentucky entrepreneurs were recently recognized at the 2014 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards luncheon.
This year's EIEA award winners for Young Entrepreneur, Start-Up Business, For Profit Small Business and Not-for-Profit Entity were announced at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.
The 2014 EIEA award winners in their respective business categories are:
Young Entrepreneur: Shane Hamilton, owner, Service Maids, a professional residential cleaning service, in Garrett.
Start-Up Business: Greg Drury, owner, Harlan's Coal Fired Pizza (dba The Portal), a nostalgic, vintage-themed restaurant, in Harlan.
For Profit Small Business: Mark Gumbert, CEO/Principal Biologist, Copperhead Environmental Consulting, an environmental consulting firm specializing in environmental regulatory compliance and ecological inventories, in Paint Lick.
Not-For-Profit Entity: Cassie Hudson, executive director, Partnership Housing, in Booneville. The Owsley County nonprofit corporation assists low-income families and individuals to purchase, build, or repair homes utilizing funds from various financial institutions and lending agencies.
The EIEA program also recognized Eastern Kentucky University student Collin Elrod, the winner of this year's Collegiate Business Concept Competition, and business adviser Kevin Cumiskey. The international business student pitched a business idea for a ramen noodle restaurant as an alternative to traditional fast foods.
■ Attorney Laura D'Angelo, a partner in Dinsmore & Shohl's Lexington office, has been named to the OperaLex board of directors and the Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association board.
D'Angelo will serve a one-year term on the OperaLex board, ending June 30, 2015. OperaLex is a private, not-for-profit organization that supports and promotes opera in Kentucky.
D'Angelo has also been named to the board of directors for the Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association. She has been riding and showing horses since she was 8 years old.
■ U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has been named a Friend of Farm Bureau by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The award is given each Congress and is based upon members' voting records and their accessibility and responsiveness to their state's farmers. McConnell was nominated for the award for the 113th Congress by the Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Some of McConnell's accomplishments include inserting language in the 2014 Farm Bill to allow hemp pilot programs to begin in Kentucky, securing a permanent increase in the death tax exemption to protect Kentucky family farms, and leading the fight to protect Kentucky's tobacco farmers, including securing the tobacco buyout.
■ Forcht Bank has received a five-star superior rating from Florida-based Bauer Financial, an independent bank rating and research firm.
The rating for Forcht Bank places it on Bauer Financial's recommended banks list based on financial soundness and capitalization. Forcht Bank is operating well above its regulatory capital requirements and is considered well capitalized. Five-star institutions generally have twice the capital required by regulators.
Find out more at Forchtbank.com.
Compiled by Dorothea Wingo