Clutch MOV Opens MOV Entrepreneur of the Year Award Nominations for 2020

At a time when businesses and organizations nation-wide are feeling the impacts of a tumultuous pandemic year, Clutch MOV seeks to uplift local entrepreneurs who have found creative ways to preserve and continue to meet needs in the community. For the third year in a row, we are excited to sponsor the Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneur of the Year Award as part of Marietta College’s Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo. Each year, we invite members of the community to nominate forward-thinking, community-building entrepreneurs from across the valley who exemplify qualities like creative-thinking, resiliency, and philanthropy.

Nominations are currently being accepted for individuals who have started or run a business or organization in the Mid-Ohio Valley, which is defined as including Wood, Wirt, Tyler, Roane, Pleasants, Ritchie, Jackson, Calhoun counties in West Virginia, and Washington, Nobel, Monroe, Morgan, Athens, Meigs, and Gallia counties in Ohio.

Andrea Shirey, owner of One Nine Design and winner of the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, said that although this year has been a trying one, in many ways the pandemic has been a catalyst for adjusting priorities, rethinking long term goals, and doing what entrepreneurs do best – leaning into the challenge and figuring out how to use it for growth instead of letting it discourage or derail us.

“I had spent three years establishing routines and rhythms that allowed me to run a successful business, stay active in the community, and keep my priorities on my family. Suddenly, all those routines and rhythms were gone and I essentially had to start over,” said Shirey. “There were some rough days (okay, weeks) but we’ve all slowly adapted and made it work.”

For Shirey, attitude and perspective played a big role in this. “I knew the list of things I couldn’t control was long but I had absolute control over my own attitude, gratitude, and perspective. By staying grateful that I still had work, my husband still had work, my kids and extended family were safe and healthy – those are the mindsets that kept me going on hard days.”

Andrea Shirey of One Nine Design was the 2019 MOV Entrepreneur of the Year

This year’s panel will be evaluating nominations through the lens of resiliency, in alignment with the Entrepreneurship Expo’s 2020 theme of Learning from Challenges: How to Adapt and Become a Resilient Business.

“To me, resiliency is all about a mindset,” said Shirey. “It’s reminding yourself that it’s your business and how you run it is up to you. It’s the ability to look around and say, no, that’s not going to work for me, to look back at what has made you successful in the first place and stay true to that system and experience.”

The nomination deadline for Clutch MOV’s 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year Award is September 14th, 2020. All finalists will be notified by September 21st and the winner of the award will be publicly announced during a special, virtual program during the Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurial Expo on October 15th, 2020. Finalists will be invited to speak on a virtual panel to share their experience and expertise as community business leaders.

Thinking back to last year and being nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Shirey said she got a little choked up. “I remember the feeling of being seen, of someone else acknowledging the work I was doing and the impact it was making,” she said. “That’s a feeling I would hope every entrepreneur has at one point in their life, so if you can nominate someone and give them that feeling, do it.”

Shirey encourages community members and fellow business owners to look around and appreciate those whose work inspires you. “Look around and really see the business owners in our community doing good work, giving back, and making an impact and then be the one that says, hey, I see you, and you matter. Whether or not someone “wins” is almost irrelevant – the beauty is in the fact that you are seen and appreciated.”