West and King Named Small Businesspersons of the Year

CLEVELAND, TN  Preston West and Richard King, owners of KeyStone Solutions, LLC, were named the Mel Bedwell Small Businesspersons of the Year by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee. West and King become the 30th recipients of the award at today’s small business luncheon, held annually by the Chamber.

The Mel Bedwell Small Businessperson of the Year award is given in memoriam of Mel Bedwell, remembered for his energy, determination, ingenuity, honesty, enthusiasm, and loyalty.

West and King represent a field that sees a constant flow of changes and requires near endless research and development to stay ahead of the game, information technology. KeyStone Solutions isdedicated to providing products and services based on the changing technology and security needs of their customers. Their business began in 2006 and continues to blossom to this day. Their outstanding leadership, commitment, determination, and knowledge has been planted with their customers and employees over the past 16 years creating unbreakable relationships.

Their core values for their employees are: Be Tenacious, Be a Team Player, Do What you Say, and Strive to Be Better. These values have made for a stronger 26 employee team.

The company ended 4th quarter of 2022, with an overall growth of 12.3% and a client base of over 300. In the IT world, you look at Managed Endpoints, all client facing devices that are managed. This was over 4600 in 2022 and the projected growth for 2023 is over 7200 devices. The company is expected to grow 17% by the end of 2023. In 2023, they were acknowledged as a Microsoft Small and Medium Business Solutions Partner, which is a huge accomplishment and is a result of hard work by their team in training, support, sales, and certifications.

The recipients are partners in the Advanced Technology Institute at Cleveland State Community College providing students with applicable work experience in their field of study, the opportunity to gain numerous extra soft skills, and developing students to be successful in both school and work.  They strive to help reinforce their core technical skills within the young minds of students through workforce development at Cleveland State. Brooklyn Sewell of Cleveland State said, “The owners go the extra mile for the students and are valued partners.” Tammy Johnson with Habitat for Humanity describes the recipients as “big-hearted servants to Habitat and our community. Since 2020, they have joined our Leaders Build by donating their time and funding to help build decent, affordable homes for those in our community who could simply use a hand up, not a handout.” They also serve as Habitat’s Information Technology committee for over four years keeping their online presence secure and efficient. Johnson describes them as “trusted and holding to the highest ethical standards.”

To be considered for this award, nominees should be leaders of small business displaying growth in number of employees, increase in sales or volume, innovativeness of the product or service offered, thoughtful response to adversity, evidence of contributions by the nominee to aid community-oriented projects and must have been in business at least three years.

West and King join an impressive list of previous Small Businessperson of the Year winners: Brittany Katz, Terra Running Co.; Brad Benton, Benton Enterprises; Steve Hartline, WCLE-Mix 104.1; Bob McIntire, McIntire & Associates Insurance, Inc.; Jeff Cocks, Corporate Networking Solutions; Greg Hicks, Impressions Catering; Roger Pickett, MurMaid Mattress Inc.; Debbie Melton, Don Ledford Automotive Center; Shannon Ritzhaupt, Café Roma; Ed Jacobs, Ed Jacobs & Associates Inc., and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; Hal Roe, Bradley Rentals; Jim Workman, Bender Realty LLC; Don Geren, Cleveland/Bradley Business Incubator; Steve Robinson, Cleveland Plywood; Lynn Jones, Lynn Jones Enterprises; Ross Tarver, Tarver Distributing Co. Inc.; Loye Hamilton, Coldwell Banker, Hamilton & Associates; Kenneth Higgins, Santek Environmental Inc.; Kay Jenkins Cowan, Jenkins Restaurant & Deli; Dan Cooke, Cooke’s Food Store and Panera Bread; Catherine Boettner, Cleveland Tubing; Jim Duggan, Robinson Building Center; Reba Garrison, State Farm Insurance; Ron Braam, Manufacturers Chemicals LLC; Susan Shelton, Bradley News Weekly; Larry McDaniel, Town Squire; Mel Bedwell, Cleveland Business Machines; Pam Nelson, Ocoee Insurance Services; and Jeff Wolfenden, Wolfenden Family Pharmacies.

The Small Business Committee of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce sponsors business development programs and initiatives as part of the Chamber’s commitment to the business development of its members, the economic growth of the region, and the highest quality of life in our community.

For more information, contact Aaron Weatherford at AWeatherford@clevelandchamber.com or (423) 472-6587.