J.R.’s wins state award

Published 1:12 pm Saturday, December 15, 2018

Recognized by state Chamber, Business Council

J. R.’s Lawnmower Shop of Opp was among the 12 businesses recognized earlier this month by the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and the Business Council of Alabama in its “Alabama Small Business of the Year” and “Emerging Small Business of the Year” awards.

J.R.’s received the bronze award in the category for businesses with 11-50 employees. Owners Joe and Kelli Richburg and the business were nominated by the board of the Opp and Covington County Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Joe exudes all the characteristics associated with this award: leadership,  community support, chamber involvement, and business success,” the board wrote.

“When Joe Richburg speaks, people listen because his daily actions have led others to respect him on all levels,” the board wrote in its nomination. “Joe is seen as an ambassador for the City of Opp.  In essence, Joe Richburg doesn’t merely ‘talk the talk,’ he ‘walks his talk.’   

J.R.’s Lawnmower Shop is an authorized dealer for Husqvarna (Total-Source Dealer), Grasshopper (5-Star Dealer in 2017), Stihl (first-time dealer), Yamaha golf carts (Eagle Award winner in 2016 and 2017), E-Z-Go, Briggs and Stratton (Diamond Dealer), Yeti, Big Green Egg, Caliber Trailers, DR Power Equipment, and Honda Power Equipment.  He “employs skilled and trained mechanics in addition to a skilled and knowledgeable parts department staff,” the board wrote. He has 22 employees. “We would like to send our kindest regards to the Business Council of Alabama and Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama for selecting J.R.’s Lawnmower Shop as the Bronze Award recipient for the Small Business 11-50 Employees category,” the business stated on social media. “Joe and Kelli Richburg along with all J.R.’s employees are most humbled and honored to be given such a prestigious statewide award. Thank you to all our loyal customers for giving us your trust and business throughout the years. Without our customers, this award would not be possible.”

Richburg has served on the boards of the chamber, the Opp Farmers’ Cooperative Market, the Cattlemen’s Association, and the Opp Utilities Board.  He is active in Westview Baptist Church, and volunteers weekly at Crossover Ministries. He also is a faithful participant in Opp’s weekly prayer day, and hosts a weekly radio show, which he uses to promote his business and Opp.

He volunteers for numerous causes, and provides support in the way of golf carts for many others.

In addition to his business, he and his father-in-law, Gary Smith, own and operate a cattle farm.

Other winners in the category were Campbell Hardware and Sporting Goods in Robertsdale (Gold) and Brown Studio Architecture in Montgomery (Silver).

Emerging business award

  Rack and Reel Sports Grill, LLC, Camden (Gold)

  MRaine Industries, LLC,  Autaugaville (Silver)

• West Avenue Boutique, Trussville (Bronze)

1-10 employee category

• Sandra Nickel Hat Team Realtors, Montgomery (Gold)

• Sawyer Solutions, Pelham (Silver)

• Horizon Point Consulting, Inc., Decatur (Bronze)

51-100 employee category

• River Bank and Trust, Prattville (Gold)

• LSINC Corporation, Huntsville (Silver)

• Thames Batre, Mobile (Bronze)

In 2014,  J.R.’s Lawnmower Shop in Opp, earned the Silver Retailer of the Year Award in the annual $1-$5 million sales category in the Alabama Retail Association’s annual awards.