The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce announced Connally as the winner during a news conference today.
"Thad is an exceptional business man, and he makes a great contribution to our community," said Joe Natcher, Chamber Board of Directors Chairman. "We congratulate Thad on his award and look forward to honoring him at the Small Business Appreciation Luncheon in May."
Connally opened First Choice Home Medical nearly seven years ago, beginning his business venture as a two-person operation in a 1,500-square-foot space on Scottsville Road. The business has since tripled its office space in a new location in Thoroughbred Square, and the team - which Connally refers to as the "Dream Team" - has grown to 13. Skip Wirth, director of sales and marketing for the company, attributes this growth to Connally's guiding principle: the patients always come first.
Wirth, in his nomination of Connally for Small Business Person of the Year, describes his co-worker as "a dedicated, hard-working, ethical, caring and compassionate health care professional." In 2008, First Choice Home Medical received the Philanthropic Business Award because of Connally's generosity to area non-profit organizations. The company has been built on the principles of quality, integrity, accountability and caring, says Wirth, with Connally at the helm of the organization.
Connally is involved in many community activities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, manager of Southern KY Soccer, Rotary, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, Hospice of Southern Kentucky and State Street United Methodist Church. In 2009, he was elected as president of the Kentucky Medical Equipment Suppliers Association (KMESA) Board of Directors. He remains actively involved in local, state and national initiatives supporting KMESA and the home medical equipment industry.
The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce has awarded a member of the community with the "Small Business Person of the Year" honor since 1985. This award recognizes a community member who owns and operates a for-profit company that employs 100 or fewer full-time employees, who has invested his or her own money in that small business, who has experienced recent business growth, and who is involved in the development and growth of the Bowling Green community.
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