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Brad D. Smith Business Incubator tenants receive award

HUNTINGTON — Two clients of the Brad D. Smith Business Incubator are winners of the Small Businesspersons of the Year as named by the U.S. Small Business Administration for 2020.

Kim Eastman and Brenda Sheldon, owners of Hospitality Cleaning Solutions LLC, were selected for the award for West Virginia.

“Brenda and I are honored to have been recognized as West Virginia’s Businesspersons of the Year for 2020,” Eastman said. “Being headquartered in West Virginia has given us many opportunities to find success. We look forward to expanding employment in West Virginia and partnering with local businesses as we continue to grow.”

They started the firm in 2011 and have worked with local hotels to contract housekeeping and janitorial services, along with agreements with the Marshall athletic department to clean athletics facilities. The company has expanded in nine years to work with federal and state agencies, along with commercial clients in four states providing janitorial work. They recently expanded into operations, maintenance and security work as well, Eastman added.

With the help of the Brad D. Smith Business Incubator, Eastman and Sheldon are now working on a second venture, Impact Employment. They said this business will focus on helping individuals out of recovery find new employment opportunities. Impact Employment has already worked with Lifehouse Ministries in Huntington to help recovered individuals find their way back into the work environment.

Eastman says it’s a great honor to be recognized for the work they’re doing as a small business in West Virginia.

Eastman says they’re looking forward to working with the Brad D. Smith Business Incubator as they start Impact Employment.

“We’re excited to be one of the first tenants in the incubator,” Eastman said. “The mentorship, networking and services offered by the incubator and their partners will help Impact Employment grow much more rapidly than if the business did not have access to Marshall’s resources.”

To apply to be a part of the incubator, entrepreneurs can visit www.marshall.edu/incubator and go to the “Applications and Eligibility” tab. For more information, contact James Rorrer, co-director, at 304-696-5120.

City National honored by J.D. Power

CHARLESTON — City National Bank received the highest ranking in customer satisfaction in the north-central region in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, claiming the top honor in its region for the third year in a row. City beat out all other banks in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

“There is no greater honor than being recognized by our customers, and to receive recognition on this level for the third consecutive year is just incredible,” President and CEO Skip Hageboeck said in a release announcing the accomplishment. “Our most important goal is to provide exceptional personal service, and hearing our customers are satisfied with the service they receive is the best compliment we could receive.”“This achievement is a testament to all City employees who are committed to making the overall customer experience as efficient, personal and helpful as possible,” Executive Vice President for Retail Craig Stilwell said in the release. “City’s true measure of success is how our customers feel about us, and we are grateful that our team’s efforts have been recognized and rewarded for the third year in a row.”

The U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, now in its 15th year, measures satisfaction in six factors: account opening; communication and advice; channel activities; convenience; problem resolution; and products and fees. Channel activities include seven sub-factors: ATM; assisted online; branch; call center; IVR; mobile; and website.

In addition to ranking highest overall in its region, City fared best in the factors of “communication and advice,” “convenience” and “channel activities.”

The study is based on responses from more than 91,950 retail banking customers of 182 of the largest banks in the United States regarding their experiences with their retail bank.

MATRIC produces hand sanitizer in fight against COVID-19

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC) announced last week that it has completed production of hand sanitizer at its facility in South Charleston to support the ongoing demand for medical, health and hygiene products amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

MATRIC said in a news release that its initial batch of hand sanitizer equates to over 17,000 8-ounce bottles, and the first deliveries occurred last week. The majority of the product will be delivered to small West Virginia businesses, the company said. The product will also be utilized at MATRIC facilities to help protect its employees who are on the front line and ensure its facilities continue to run safely.

MATRIC does not typically produce hand sanitizer, but after identifying the opportunity and organizations in need, the company pivoted to procure the raw materials and to manufacture this in-demand product.

“The combination of our company’s passion for supporting our communities and the critical-thinking skills of our employees made it an easy decision to make,” Steve Hedrick, chairman and CEO of MATRIC, said in the release. “Finding ways to be a part of the solution is part of our DNA. I’m proud of the team.”

Production of this material had little to no impact on MATRIC’s normal operations, Hedrick added. He said MATRIC continues to operate as an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting customers in areas of chemical, environmental, energy, biotech and government.

The hand sanitizer is being provided to commercial entities in 55-gallon drums through Mid-Atlantic Technical Engineering Inc. (MATE), a MATRIC company, according to the release.

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