DMACC Announces Small Business and Entrepreneurship Award Winners

Posted 9/26/2017

Winners announced in five categories, plus $10,000 check for Entrepreneurship Competition

The Fifth Annual Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Small Business Awards recently took place inside the FFA Enrichment Center at the Ankeny Campus.

Winners were announced in five categories. The DMACC Foundation also presented a $10,000 check to the Entrepreneurship Competition winner.

More than 200 people attend the event which included dinner, cocktails and live music.

2017 Small Business Award Winners include:

Small Business of the Year: Insta-Pro International engineers and manufactures agricultural equipment for food and feed processing. Insta-Pro International has customers in more than 100 countries. The company has experienced tremendous growth with plans to move to a larger headquarters in Grimes and add several new jobs.

Most Innovative Company: ProbioFerm LLC is a grower and manufacturer of Probiotic cultures used in human supplement and agricultural products. The company is located in Urbandale. ProbioFerm has two patents on the delivery of beneficial Probiotic bacteria and has trade marked a proprietary cellular encapsulation method.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Evie Peterson, Farmhouse Catering is a family owned catering company in Nevada. Chef and owner Evie Peterson has been cooking since age 12. The business has experienced tremendous growth and was named one of the 10 Best Caters by the website Best Things Iowa, noted for its locally sourced food.

Top Growth Company: Des Moines Truck Brokers delivered more than 10,000 truckloads last year, claiming more than 98% were on time. The Norwalk company specializes in the transportation of food-grade products. The company continues to add employees, doubling its workforce since 2011.

Dennis Albaugh Award:​ Troy Williams, Williams Machine Shop Inc. is a general job shop in Lacona. Custom duct work, machining, welding, powder coating and more take place inside the shop. Williams earned a Tool and Die Degree from DMACC in 2011.

The 2017 DMACC Foundation $10,000 Entrepreneurship Competition winner is Sleister Brass.  Colton Sleister started the business while still in high school in 2013. Using the money he saved from detasseling, Sleister bought 16 trombones, refurbished them and sold them to Des Moines area band students. The company has seen tremendous growth, adding trumpets and clarinets to its inventory.

“The money will allow us to continue our mission of providing high quality band instruments at reasonable prices to band students and their families," said Sleister. “We plan to purchase more instruments and more of the tools and equipment needed to refurbish those instruments."

Sleister has taken several DMACC courses and is currently studying Chemistry at Drake University.

Aureon was the presenting sponsor for the 2017 DMACC Small Business Awards. Aureon is a business solutions provider offering technology, human resources and contact center solutions.

Colton Sleister (third from left in picture above​) receives a $10,000 check from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Entrepreneurship Professor Vada Grantham, DMACC Foundation Director Tara Connolly and DMACC President Rob Denson for being named the 2017 DMACC Foundation Entrepreneurship Competition winner. The check presentation took place at the fifth annual DMACC Small Business Awards ceremony.

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