The Center for Entrepreneurship in the Craig School of Business at Missouri Western State University honored two St. Joseph business owners for their innovation and impact on the community. Bob Wollenman, co-owner and operator of Deluxe Truck Stop, was presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and Jason Chase, co-owner/CEO of Tech Team and TrueVoIP, received the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
“Both of our honorees are not only successful business owners but also give back to the community in a variety of ways,” said Annette Weeks, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is the highest award given to an entrepreneur who has been in business for five years or more. The 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year is Bob Wollenman. Wollenman, a 1972 graduate of Missouri Western, has been associated with Deluxe Truck Stop LLC in south St. Joseph since 1979. Deluxe Truck Stop is St. Joseph’s one-stop truck servicing center. Wollenman gives credit for his success to the growth of other companies in the area. He says he is blessed that his customers have become his friends, and believes they are the true investors in Deluxe Truck Stop’s success.
The Emerging Entrepreneur is the highest award given to an entrepreneur who has been in business for five years or less. The 2017 Emerging Entrepreneur is Jason Chase. Chase started (and failed at, he says) a number of businesses beginning at the age of 13 with a lawn mowing service. He graduated with an MBA from Missouri State University in December of 2005, and has lived in St. Joseph since then. In 2009 he entered into the technology arena with a local business, Triggerfish. That eventually led him, alongside his colleague and brother-in-law Travis Hawkins, to forming Tech Team.
The awards were presented during the capstone business luncheon of Entrepreneurship Week on March 31. Also during the luncheon, American Family Insurance presented a scholarship to Bryar Moppin, a junior management and marketing major from Rosendale, Missouri.
For more information on the Center for Entrepreneurship, visit their website at csb-cfe.missouriwestern.edu or call 816-271-4283.
Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit www.missouriwestern.edu.