Craig School of Business (MWSU) 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year Award
By Paul Gibson

            In the middle of March, Missouri Western University’s Center for Entrepreneurship in the Craig School of Business hosted their annual Entrepreneurship Week. The highlight of the week was the Capstone Business Luncheon. An amazing meal was provided, Randy Roth from Hillyard, Inc. was interviewed by local entrepreneur legend Steve Craig, and awards were presented.

            The two notable awards were Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year given to Stephanie Tripp, and Entrepreneur of the Year, to our very own Martial Thevenot. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors an entrepreneur who has been in business for more than five years for their professional achievements and civic contributions to their local community. You can read the official write up directly from the Center of Entrepreneurship here: https://csb-cfe.missouriwestern.edu/entrepreneur-of-the-year-awards-winners/

            I myself have had the honor to work side by side with Martial for the last 10 years and I personally do not believe there is a more deserving individual of this award. Set aside all he has done as a business owner and as an asset to our community; you still have an amazing leader whose impact on our team as a friend, mentor, extra family member, leaves lasting change each of us on Team Perka.  

I was unable to attend the lunch that day, as I was traveling, however thankfully some of our teammates grabbed some video footage of the acceptance speech. In that moment, even in accepting the most prestigious business award in our community it was not about him. He took his time in the spotlight to reflect that light on our team and our fellow St. Joseph Businesses that we not only compete in various avenues, but also grow with. 

The below speech is worth every bit of 6 minutes to see a great example of a leader, who leads by example on how to be a great human, and citizen of our community.