Produced by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce
Business • OppOrtunity • COmmunity • Heritage
Janet Baumgardner is SmallBusiness Person of the Year
by HALey HUGHeS
Janet Baumgardner, localowner of Comfort Keepers,is the Greater North AugustaChamber of Commerce’s 2012Small Business Person of theYear.Baumgardner was recog-nized by the chamber, fellow business owners, her employ-ees and others in the commu-nity on Thursday at the con-clusion of the North AugustaSmall Business Expo at the North Augusta CommunityCenter.Amidst applause, she wipedaway tears as she made her way through the exhibitor booths to the stage to accepta plaque from Terra Carroll, North Augusta chamber presi-dent.“It takes a team, a family be-hind you to do what you haveto do,” Baumgardner said.Comfort Keepers, an in-home health care provider, began in 2002 with one clientand one employee – Baum-gardner.The business has expandedover the years and now has 28full-time employees servinghundreds of seniors in the CS-RA. The volume and revenuehas increased since 2002 at anaverage of 35 percent, accord-ing Baumgardner’s nominationform.The award was particularly poignant since Baumgardner and her Comfort Keepers or-ganization are celebrating the10th anniversary of her local business.But Baumgardner said sheknows, as last year’s recipient pointed out in her introductoryremarks, the pride of being asmall-business owner is notin the money. It’s in a job welldone and representing your community well.It’s in 12- to 16-hour days,seven days a week, and nothaving the luxury to hang a“closed” sign in the windowwhen you feel like playinggolf, said Rachel Franklin, lastyear’s Small Business Personof the Year award recipient.Franklin is co-owner of theSno-Cap Drive-In and CarolinaOaks Bed and Breakfast.“I was just blessed,” Baum-gardner said. “I just can’t tellyou how I felt. You do work hard and don’t think you’re go-ing to get recognized. Aboveall, it’s not my business; it’sGod’s business. I started out toserve him.”The nomination for Baum-gardner’s award noted, “Janetunderstands the heart and the passion needed to do her jobas a franchise owner of an in-home care company.”In addition, the nominationreferences her caring nature,her compassion and empathyfor the clients of ComfortKeepers, and her efforts tomake hers a business of excel-lent service. The nominationfurther commented, “Janet isa good example of why small business owners make NorthAugusta a prosperous and agreat place to live and raise afamily.”In her 10 years, Baumgardner has expanded her business,
making it the top ofce in the
Southeast region in 2003. Inaddition, her Comfort Keepersfranchise has moved from tworooms at 709 West Ave. to six
ofces and nally to her pur
-chase of a historic home at 511West Ave. Her business movedinto the new location in Febru-ary 2006. Not only were Baumgard-ner’s business achievementsrecognized, but her community
406 West AvenuePO Box 6246
North Augusta, S.C. 29861
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The Greater NorthAugusta Chamber of Commerceadvocates for the business communityand providesopportunities for business engagementsand growth.
Serotta MaddocksEvans & Co. CPA’s
Southern Bank & Trust
Hixon Realty & Ins. Co.
Allstate Insurance Co.Susan EverittGoodwill Industries
Ga-Lina Physical Therapy
Savannah River Remediation, LLC
City of North Augusta
Aiken Co. School Board
The North Augusta Cham- ber of Commerce’s BusinessExpo was held on Thursday,September 13th at the NorthAugusta Community Cen-ter. The event was held from4-6pm with the Small Busi-ness Person of the Year award being presented at 6pm, withthe Business After Hors thatfollowed. Over 50 vendorswere represented with our Presenting Sponsor beingSRP Federal Credit Union.Our Signature Sponsors wereComcast, Aiken Standard,Savannah River Nuclear Solu-tions, Fox 54, The Star, NHC,talk radio 1380, UniversityHealth Care Systems andGeorgia Health Sciences Uni-versity. Our Gold Sponsorswere A.B.Beverage, SecurityFederal Bank, Coca-Cola, andAT&T, Center for PrimaryCare and Serotta Maddocks,Evans, CPA.A BIG THANK YOU toour Ambassadors for their hard work and dedication tothe Event. Mrs. Terra Carroll,President of the North Au-gusta Chamber of Commercewelcomed the participantsand the public to the 2012Business Expo. Mrs. Carrollintroduced Brett Turner, AnAmbassador and Board mem- ber as our MC for the evening.Brett introduced out Sponsorsand recognized our Table-TopVendors. There were door prizes given out and withthe Network Game, 2 $50.00 bills were awarded to thelucky person whose sheet wasdrawn!!! The FBLA studentsfrom North Augusta HighSchool worked the BusinessExpo. Those attending were:Hannah Reese, Joey Baldwin,Paul Liner, Rachel Branum,Autumn Freeman, HannahWilliams, Alaina Miller andHyuri McDowell and DanielPipper.Al’s Family Resturant wasour caterer for the BusinessExpo. We were supplied with
an aray of nger foods that
were a hit with everyone.Coca-Cola and A.B. Beveragesuppl;ied our refreshments.
See more photosfrom the Business Expo on page 4.
North Augusta Chamber of Commerce’s Busines Expo
See Baumgardner, page 2