Farmington Businesses Win ‘Excellence in Business Award’

Photo of the Excellence in Business Award winners

Missouri Sen. Kevin Engler, left and Missouri state Rep. Steven Tilley, right, present Pam King of Lake St. Louis, Mo., co-owner of Farmington Manor residential care facility and a group of apartment complexes in Farmington, Mo., with the University of Missouri’s Business Development Program’s “2007 Celebration of Excellence in Business Award.”

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

March 21, 2007 – The University of Missouri’s Business Development Program recently recognized Farmington Manor residential care facility and a group of apartment complexes, also in Farmington, Mo., with the “2007 Celebration of Excellence in Business Award.”

The award was presented at the University of Missouri’s Business Development Program’s annual conference and “Business and Client Showcase” Feb. 14 in the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, Mo.

Farmington Manor, 2879 U.S. Highway 67, and the group of apartment complexes are clients of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southeast Missouri State University. Southeast holds a contract from the University of Missouri for its Small Business Development Center program.

Larry Cooper, SBDC senior business consultant at Southeast, nominated the two businesses for the award. The awards are presented by the Business Development Program annually to recognize outstanding achievement in business management throughout the state.

Richard and Pam King of Lake St. Louis, Mo., own both businesses in Farmington. The Kings purchased the residential care facility and four multi-plex apartments from the same owner last year. They are now in their first year as owners and managers.

“It was quite unexpected and quite an honor” to be selected for the award,” Pam King said. “I never expected anything like this.”

Pam King is a registered nurse who now manages Farmington Manor as its facility administrator and co-owner. Her husband, Richard King, is co-owner of the businesses while working full-time as a software engineer with Reuters in St. Louis.

Cooper said Pam King came to the SBDC as an experienced registered nurse case supervisor and office manager who was doing graduate studies in geriatrics and administration. King said Jon Dolan, executive director of the Missouri Healthcare Association and a neighbor of theirs in Lake St. Louis, suggested she contact an SBDC for assistance. Since the businesses they wished to purchase are in Farmington, which is in the area served by Southeast’s SBDC, King ultimately contacted Cooper in Southeast’s SBDC. 

“The Kings had wanted to be self-employed for a long time,” he said.

Cooper said he provided Pam King with a financial analysis of both Farmington Manor and the apartment complexes over the past three years. The financial analysis included an industry comparison, financial statements and tax returns on the businesses, and key information for the Kings’ decision-making, guiding them to in-depth investigation on the businesses they planned to purchase.

“Pam needed a refresher in understanding the information,” Cooper said. “She also needed someone who could analyze them, pointing out financial strengths, weaknesses, profitability and opportunities for improving profitability. They had talked to their banker and were confident they could obtain financing. But their larger looming question was, ‘should they?”

“I wouldn’t have been able to make the decision (to purchase the properties) without all the work that Larry had done,” Pam King said. “We had to make sure they were financially stable and that we could sustain a mortgage payment.”

Cooper said he also provided the Kings with some preliminary marketing advice and linked the Kings to a marketing plan specialist with the University Extension for Cape Girardeau County. The Extension is now assisting the Kings in developing a marketing plan for their businesses.

“The businesses they wanted to purchase and manage are located away from their residence in Lake St. Louis,” Cooper said. “Pam willingly drove from Lake St. Louis to Cape Girardeau for her SBDC counseling sessions.”

He said this showed tremendous commitment to learn about the financial aspects of the two businesses before they purchased them.

“The commitment paid off,” Cooper said.