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Marietta College hosts entrepreneurship competitions

Anthony Williams, of Anthony’s Express Mobile Detailing, was chosen as Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneur of the Year this week. (Photo Provided)

MARIETTA — Two West Virginian entrepreneurs have received winning commendations at Marietta College this fall for their business sense.

Anthony Williams, 60, of Parkersburg was recognized Thursday as the Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneur of the Year.

Senior Leah Seaman of Philippi was named the 2019-20 PioBiz Business Plan winner at the close of September.

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

The Riverview Credit Union Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo at Marietta College, while held virtually this year, brought together finalists Chris Bender of DaVinci’s Italian Restaurant, Amanda Fulton and Marilyn Pence of Your Proper Pooch, Denise Headlee of One Skin Care Studio, Larry Sloter of the Busy Bee Restaurant, Anthony Williams of Anthony’s Express Mobile Detailing and Jennifer Wright of The Bodega Thursday for a panel discussion.

Williams, said that the opportunity not only had him in tears, but also learning.

“I am cloud nine right now, if you are having a bad day I’m the guy to talk to,” he said Friday. “I was absolutely floored, I could not believe it. Because the people who were finalists along with me were absolutely outstanding.”

Williams has run his auto-detailing business for 18 years, starting from small means in Parkersburg.

“I started this business on foot because I had a DUI and I couldn’t pay off my fines and I couldn’t drive,” he said. “So I would carry my bucket and walk. Every job took two trips to the apartment. I almost starved for about two years, but I got my fines paid off and could do what this business is intended to do.”

That dedication, to now serving vehicle owners in Marietta, Parkersburg, Beverly and Boaz, is a model to others hoping to make their way in business, and the reasoning behind his recognition at Marietta College Thursday.

“I’m a 6-6 black man and I cried like a little baby. It was a learning experience as well so I’m excited to even have been there,” he said. “The gentleman that runs the Busy Bee, he brought up how important research is, and that’s so true. It’s important to learn about your market, and learn what’s new and what’s tried and true. It was more than just a competition, it was a learning opportunity for me and I appreciated it.”

BUSINESS PLAN WRITER

In September, Artist Leah Seaman, was also recognized for her business chops.

Seaman’s work is also on display at the 2020 West Virginia Emerging Artists Juried Exhibition in the Commissioner’s Gallery of the West Virginia State Museum at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The exhibition is free and open to the public until March 1, 2021.

For more information on how to purchase a print of Seaman’s work, reach out to Seaman on Facebook at @Artabella or on Instagram at @Artabella-Gallery.

Looking ahead, Seaman is excited to graduate from in the spring of 2021 and is currently in the process of illustrating her first children’s book.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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