Two Time Blue Ribbon Award Winner

Meet Tyson Viniard, president and CEO of StarGaze Energy in Paducah, KY. StarGaze Energy is a two time Blue Ribbon Award winner. Here, Tyson shares why America's Small Business Summit is a must attend event for him and how applying for the DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award was an important step in the growth of his business.

As President and CEO of a fast growing clean energy company, I knew that attending America’s Small Business Summit was a must for both me and my company. Winning the Blue Ribbon Award in both 2011 and 2012 was an honor that propelled our company to expand and reach new heights as a leader in our industry. Being in an emerging market was tough when we first began, and at times seemed impossible to break the barriers needed to create a successful business. As StarGaze Energy increased its resources and attracted talent from abroad, it started a progressive movement of passionate professionals and industry leaders dedicated to paving the way for America to lead the clean energy revolution. 
 
We are privileged to say that we proudly support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and America’s Small Business Summit. The event allowed us to network with companies on the cutting edge of their industry, and meet people that were interested in what our company does. We encourage everyone that has started a small business to become a member of the Chamber and apply for the Blue Ribbon award today!
 

Why did you apply for the DREAM BIG Award?
StarGaze Energy applied for the DREAM BIG Award because that’s what we knew to do… Dream Big! We wanted the chance to meet new companies on the forefront of our economy, as well as share our vision as a company to others. The Summit provided a warm welcome to all of us and gave us an overwhelming feeling of success just by being there. 

What was the most important thing you learned about your business when applying for the award?
The most important thing we learned in applying for this award was how dedicated we were to creating a business that not only helped our clients, but the environment as well. We also learned what it took to get a business in an emerging market off the ground and successful.
 
What was the most beneficial part of the Small Business Summit for your business?
The most influential and beneficial part of the Summit was listening to other entrepreneurs from across this great nation give their testimonies of struggles they had to overcome, and the successes they enjoy today because of their hard work.
 
What do you consider your business’ biggest success in the last year?
We would consider building the first solar home with Habitat for Humanity to be our greatest success last year. By introducing new energy technologies for a good cause was one of the best things our company has done, and continues to do. A close second, however, would be designing and building the largest solar thermal air system in America, and donating it to our local animal shelter.
 
What are the biggest challenges facing your business?
Some of the biggest challenges facing our business today are potential regulations that may keep clean energy from entering the market. We keep strong and focused, and as long as the sun is shining, there will always be StarGaze Energy.