WTEC Recognizes Entrepreneurs, Releases 2023 Economic Impact Data

AMARILLO, Texas — The WT Enterprise Center recognized the Amarillo business community’s achievements at its annual Entrepreneur Excellence Awards on Feb 6.

The evening featured awards honoring local businesses, as well as the release of 2023 economic impact data from WTEC—which, as an Entrepreneur Support Organization, provides programs, resources and facilities to startup businesses and entrepreneurs.

“This data is crucial as it provides a comprehensive understanding of the Entrepreneurs Support Organization’s contributions to our regional economy,” said Brian Enevoldsen, WTEC managing director. “It encompasses various facets such as job creation, revenue generation and overall economic growth supported by the businesses engaged with the WTEC.”

The economic impact data shows that companies supported by WTEC in 2023 accounted for more than $245 million in total business revenue, almost $52 million in total payroll and $22 million in new equity and loans. WTEC-support companies employed 801 full-time and 223 part-time workers.

“This shows the effect WTEC programming has on our local and regional economy,” Enevoldsen said. “Through supporting entrepreneurship and established companies in the community, the WTEC looks to provide opportunity and hope for those looking for great jobs with great local companies or maybe even starting their own business.”

Aggregate WT Enterprise Center economic data represents the annual total numbers for all companies supported by the WTEC in 2023. This includes Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge recipients, Founder’s Club members, Incubator Clients and commercial kitchen producers

The ceremony also included the recipients in the following categories:

  • The Golden Egg Award: Ogallala Commons was recognized for going above and beyond in pursuit of bettering the community. The nonprofit education and leadership organization makes outstanding contributions to an entrepreneurial ecosystem that encompasses eight states, Enevoldsen said. WTEC has partnered with Ogallala Commons in support of youth entrepreneurship through programming aimed at middle and high school students looking to begin their entrepreneurship journey in the region. The WT Enterprise Center also supports Ogallala Commons Farm to Institute program helping local food producers scale their business through serving larger institutes;
  • Coaching Graduate Award: 11 Marketing + Design was honored for its dedication in completing the 18-month coaching program as part of the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge;
  • Client of the Year: Fat Mama Feeds and owner Brian Gwin received this accolade for exemplifying exceptional dedication and success as a WTEC client. In only two years, the company exceeded its own five-year projections of growth and now services the region with bagged deer corn and soybeans, Enevoldsen said;
  • Don Taylor Entrepreneur Excellence Award: Lloyd Brown, WTEC’s entrepreneur-in-residence, was recognized for demonstrating exceptional entrepreneurship and embodying the spirit of innovation, Enevoldsen said. Brown has made significant contributions as both a community leader and a businessman.

“The awards ceremony gives our community a chance to celebrate the ups and downs of the previous year while focusing on setting goals for the year ahead.” Enevoldsen said. “It is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the contributions these entrepreneurs make in our community, and it is a true joy to know how big a difference they make.”

WT is committed to serving the region and well beyond with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who are empowered to lead others. Partnering and retaining community businesses to improve the quality of life in the Panhandle and beyond is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised more than $150 million.

 

 

About WT Enterprise Center

WTEC is a department of WT’s Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and works side-by-side with America’s SBDC at WTAMU in supporting economic development throughout the Texas Panhandle. WTEC provides Panhandle entrepreneurs business coaching, access to facilities, access to capital, and various other trainings and programs to assist them in growing companies with strong leadership. WTEC also aims to provide opportunities for College of Business students to intern in local businesses showing them the hard work and dedication entrepreneurs must have to be successful. To learn more about the WT Enterprise Center, visit wtenterprisecenter.com or contact info@wtenterprisecenter.com or 806-651-8500.

 

About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offer 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.

 

Photo: Celebrating at the WT Enterprise Center’s Feb. 6 Entrepreneur Excellence Awards are Michelle Howington, WTEC program manager; Walter Steelman, coaching graduate of the year and CEO of 11 Marketing+Design; John Wittler, executive director of Ogallala Commons, Golden Egg Award recipient; and Brian Enevoldsen, WTEC managing director. Not pictured are Brian Gwin of Fat Mama Feeds, Client of the Year; andLloyd Brown, Don Taylor Entrepreneur Excellence Award winner.

 

 

—WTEC—2024 EEA

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